Feeling gym-timidated? Personal trainer reveals how you can get fit at home

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Your body is the best piece of equipment you have – and for many exercises, it’s all you need. 

Squats and lunges are great for toning up your lower body, legs and bum, while mountain climbers, planks, Russian twists and leg raises are good for toning your stomach and strengthening the core.

Cardio exercises, such as burpees, running on the spot and jumping jacks are great for burning calories which in turn helps burn fat.

It’s a great idea to use objects around the house to assist you in your workouts, such as the sofa or arm chairs. These are perfect for adding exercises such as split squats and tricep dips. 

For split squats, start with standing facing away from the sofa or chair and place on foot behind you on the platform. Bend your standing leg into a lunge but keeping your foot flat on the floor. Bend as low as you can and stand back up. This is great for the legs and bum!

For the tricep dip, sit on the chair and bring your fingers off the edge. Drop your bum off the chair and start bending your arms to drop your body down. Once you’ve bent your elbows and dropped your body low, start to put yourself back up until your arms are straight. This will strengthen and tone the back of your arms! 

If you’re nervous, start with basic exercises; as you get fitter and stronger you can build up the intensity. That’s what’s so great about home training, it’s perfect for all fitness levels!

Three great exercises to start with are jogging on the spot, trying a squat by sitting on to a chair or sofa and standing back up, and a plank. Do all three for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds rest, and repeat three to five times.

Exercising at home is a great way to save time during a hectic January – so you’re already one step ahead of everyone else. 

The most effective home workouts are based around short, timed intervals such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) to get the most results in the littlest amount of time. 

You don’t need much room at all for this so it’s easy to do in your living room, as all you need is enough space for your body to move around. Though I’d suggest moving any expensive or family collectables out of the room first!

A good HIIT workout should last 15 between 25 minutes and should be done two to three times a week. 

This is broken down into 40 seconds of exercise, 20 seconds of rest, incorporating five exercises such as sprints (running on the spot when you’re at home), burpees, squat jumps, jumping jacks and mountain climbers. 

Treat it like a circuit and repeat each set for three rounds, working up to five rounds over a period of four to six weeks. 

 

You’re more likely to stick to these long term health changes – and the results – if you get others involved in your journey.

Why not ask a friend or a family member to join you for your workouts? Exercising with someone else is an excellent way to keep you motivated.

There are also partner exercises you can do, and they certainly make your workout more entertaining.

My clients’ favourite partner exercise has to be push-up taps. Do a push-up facing your workout partner and then use one hand to clap each other, then go into the next push-up. This is a great one for motivation – and a bit of healthy competition! 

Start off slowly; aim for five hand claps each (10 in total) and then increase the number of claps week on week. You can even try and match it to the beat of your favourite song to make it really fun. 

 

It’s important not to overdo it on one type of workout, as this risks injury and boredom. Doing the same workout week in, week out is not good for you, physically or mentally.

Try to plan what areas of your body you want to focus on each day. A lower body strength workout could consist of 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 splits squats and 10 glute bridges.

For upper body strength, incorporate push-up variations, mountain climbers, side planks and perhaps invest in some dumbbell weights to introduce some biceps curls, chest flyes or shoulder raises.

The ‘core day’ could include crunches, sit-ups, planks, Russian twists, leg raises and leg rotations.

I would recommend changing your routine every three to four weeks, adding in something new and different to keep it fresh and interesting. Giving your body a shock by mixing up your training pattern is great for your progress and prevents overworking certain muscles.

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