Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Home Workouts

Hi everyone,

I hope you're all well and had a great bank holiday like I did! I relaxed and had a cheeky cheat meal with the family...

I danced my little life away in Notting Hill Carnival (yes dancing does count as exercise)....

To finish off, I sweated my weight in water 28 floors above London (little tip - house music + crap air conditioning = SERIOUS FAT BURNER!)

But once again, Bank Holiday was over with a bang (and a downpour) which meant I spent my Monday sweating it out in the gym, which is a little bit more relevant to the topic at hand...

I was discussing this weekend how we live in a world where surgery is EVERYWHERE. Even when you think it's not there, it probably is. Fat transfers creating tiny waists and enormous arses on instagram, big breasts and ribs removed on twitter, botox filled foreheads and collagen lips staring right at you through the TV screen. No wonder we feel pressure. Fake has become the norm, so normal that we don't even know what's real and what's fake any more.

Never the less, moaning about it isn't going to change it. We live in the society we live in, and unless were going to pack up shop and become berry-eating-technology-shunning-nudists on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean... we will continue to feel the pressure to look good and try (usually in vain) to keep up with the Kardashian's the natural way.

The main reason the majority of us don't succeed in the cat and mouse game of trying to keep up with celebs, is often down to the fact that we don't have that celebrity bank balance. Gyms aren't always affordable. Personal Trainers, even if I do say so myself, are expensive... and even if you can manage the purse strings, there's then the issue of struggling to find the time to actually get to the gym.

Because of this I felt the need to post about home workouts. I want to show you that you can work on your body, without feeling the pinch of a gym membership. Everyone should have the opportunity to exercise, whether they can afford the luxury of a £120 Equinox membership or do it for free in their front room.
If you have some self motivation and discipline, read on. However, if you know deep down you're never going to swap an hour of XFactor for a workout, you might as well stop reading now.

The majority of exercises can be done using your body weight and body weight alone. Sometimes all you need is the stairs in your house, a sofa to hook your feet under, a ledge to jump onto. But most importantly - you need focus.

Being at home, in a place you associate to relaxation it can be difficult to reprogramme your mind and see it as a gym. However if you set aside 1 hour, 3+ times a week, clear a little space in your living room and focus your mind on the job you're there to do, I promise you will start to see results.

Abs Core & Obliques

Plank Hold

Ab Hold - Raise legs off floor tense abs and hold for 1 min sets

Scissors - Stage One - same position as ab hold but cross feet over one direction 

Scissors - Stage 2 (keep crossing legs over) - do 1 min sets

Crunch Stage 1 - Abs engaged legs up

Crunch - Stage 2 - Abs engaged, legs out hovering off floor before bringing back into crunch

Side Plank Dip - Stage 1 - Plank on side arm straight (use elbow if easier)

Side Dip - Stage 2 - without touching floor dip mid section down before raising again

Plank Knee To Elbow - Stage 1 - full arm plank raise leg

Plank Knee To Elbow - Stage 2 - touch knee to elbow then back to plank 
The key to a good home workout is the right mentality. Look around you for things you can utilise within the home. Get creative, look at everyday pieces of furniture from a different point of view.

A good example of this is the stairs in your house. Stairs can be AMAZING for your legs and glutes.
Run up the stairs, jog back down for 1 minute solid, 10 times. Alternatively you could do 10 rounds of lunging up one step and straight leg kick-back out with the other, alternating each step. If you're really confident (and have good balance), you can box jump each step to the top and run back down.
That's 3 different leg workout, training glutes, quads and hams using something that was in your home all along.

Legs and Glutes

Squat Hold - Use anything weighted available - form good squat and hold for 1 min

Narrow Lunge - Stage 1 (lunge wider for glutes, narrow for quads) - should look like a right angle 

Donkey Kick - what it says on the tin - kick like a donkey! Up and down leg bent

Straight Leg Donkey Kick - again up down keep glutes really tensed 

Side Leg Donkey Kick - almost in (dare I say it, dog peeing position!) - leg up and down 

Squat Shuffle - Stage 1 - Squat 

Squat Shuffle - Stage 2 - bring left foot in so feet are together moving left and raise up before going back into a squat
Squat Ball Raise - works both shoulders and glutes - squat with ball hanging down

Squat Ball Raise - from squat to standing raising ball to the sky before returning to squat

If you don't have weights at home look around - what do you have? A full 1.5 litre bottle of water? A 6 pint of milk? Both can be used as alternatives to weights (just don't go crying over spilt milk and blame me). Haha. Hilarious I know. Joke over. But really, utilise what you do have. For example in the tricep extension picture below, use a bottle of water instead - I promise 20 reps in you will feel the BURN! 

Tricep Raise - Stage 1 (again use anything weighted available) - arms bent backwards elbows to sky

Tricep Raise - Stage 1 - raise into stretch position before bending backwards again 
Chataranga - Stage 1 - High plank 

Chataranga - Stage 2 - elbows in, drop to about 10 cm off ground before raising up again (THIS IS HARD!)

Knee Press Ups - Stage 1 (if strong enough - do straight leg press ups)

Knee Press Ups - Stage 2 - lower yourself and keep those elbows out 

Hight Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a real favourite of mine, If like me you are allergic to cardio, but want to burn fat... short sharp intervals of high intensity exercises will be your new best friend.


Squat Starjump - Stage 1 - Squat arms out 

Squat Starjump - Stage 2 - Up into starjump pike position before returning to squat
Toe Tap - Stage One (use any mid-knee height ledge)

Toe Taps - Stage 2

Step Up Lunge - Stage 1 - Right leg Up 

Step Up Lunge - Stage 2 - Cross Left Leg Over 

Step Up Lunge - Stage 3 - Drop Left Leg to Floor

Step Up Lunge - Stage 4 - Take Right Leg Back Into Lunge - then alternate legs

Box Jump Stage 1 - squat hold 

Box Jump Stage 2 - Launch 

Box Jump Stage 3 - Land in squat position on platform

Incorporating exercises from the pictures above, below I have listed two full body workouts you can do entirely at home. No gym needed. Do these two to three times a week, remember the more you train, the harder you train - the better your results will be. Don't expect to do 20 minutes of exercise a week and morph into a Victoria's Secret model. It just doesn't work like that and unfortunately, I see all too often, people having unrealistic goals with minimal work put in.

If you want maintenance, train twice a week, however if you want to make changes, you need to be looking at 3 to 4 times a week of real hard graft along with an improved diet. You know the amount of work your doing, you know how hard your training, you know what your eating, so if your effort is at 20% you're only fooling yourself in the long run. If you put in the work, you will reap the results, simple.

Home Workout 1
Home Workout 2
Interval Run 
Around the block 10 mins - 30 seconds steady jog 30 second sprint)
Box Jumps 
10 x 3
Squat Starjump (alternative - regular starjumps)
1 min x 3                                          
1 min x 3
Lateral Bound (side jumps)
Standing on right leg before launching yourself to balance on left left and back to right again

Abs, Core & Obliques 
Sit Ups (lodge feet under sofa if necessary)
25 x 4
1 min x 2
Oblique Crunches
Sit up position - right foot on left knee - crunch right - then swap 
20 x 3
Plank Hold
1 min x 2
Leg Raises
Lie on back legs straight above head and lower to hover above floor before raising again
15 x 3 
Side Lower
20 x 3

Glutes & Legs 
Donkey Kicks/ Bent/ Straight/ Side
10 x bent 10 x straight 10 x side before swapping legs
60 x 2
Squat Shuffles
20 x 3
Walking Lunges (narrow)
20 x 3

Arms /Shoulders & Upper Back 
Press Ups
10 x 2
5 x 4
Bicep Curls 
20 x 3
Squat Ball Raise 
10 x 4
Step Up Lunge Back (alternative - step ups without lunge) 
10 each leg x 4 (hold dumbbells where possible)
Knee Tuck Jump
Simple - jump into knee tuck and back down
20 x 3
Toe Taps
1 min x 3
Mountain Climbers
Plank position arms straight, bringing knees into running like motion while stationary
1 min x 2
10 x 3

Abs, Core & Obliques
Sit Ups (lodge feet under sofa if necessary)
25 x 4
10 x 4
Alternate Heel Touchers
Lay on back legs bent knees facing sky - touch right foot with right hand - then left with left
30 x 3
Suitcase Crunch
Like a leg raise except as legs come in so does upper body - folding in like closing a suitcase then back out to flat stretch hovering feet 
10 x 4
Side Plank Dips 
10 x 4 on each side
Plank Hold
1 min x 2

Glutes & Legs
Donkey Kicks/ Bent/ Straight/ Side
10 x bent 10 x straight 10 x side before swapping legs
60 x 2
Squat Hold
1 min x 3
Squat Ball Raise
10 x 4
Wide Leg Lunges
Usual lunge but go wide out to the side 
20 x 3

Arms, Shoulders & Upper Back 
Tricep Raises
10 x 4
Shoulder Raises 
Stand in strong man position arms up - fists facing sky and raise until arms are fully extended before bringing back down - feel burn on shoulders and top of back 
10 x 4

I hope this helps, feedback and ideas welcome as always and good luck!

Ciara x


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