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What Are The Best Exercises To Do At Home?

9 of the most effective exercises to do from home for free

If you are anything like me then you’re always busy. Even on my days off, I seem to be way busier than I was when I was working a structured 9–5 job. There’s so much to do and very little time to do it in, yet some people manage to fit a week’s work into one day, how so? Time management! The good thing is, that we all have the same 24 hours in our days and the same seven day weeks.

Finding the time to exercise on top of everything else that you need to do can be a real challenge sometimes, however, once you’ve managed your time more effectively and have gotten over the apprehension of actually training you can get right in there, train and feel great about yourself.

So, it’s not the exercising itself that’s bothering you, its the time it takes to get to and from the gym, get changed then train? This can sometimes add up to two or three hours for me.

If you don’t have the time to go to the gym every day or even once a week this simple exercise plan will train all of your muscle groups, help you to lose weight and tone your body right from your own living room, garden or bedroom. All you need is a set of dumbbells, some motivation, and drive, and a catchy motivational playlist to help you through.

Bicep Curls

This exercise target the front of the upper arm. I love bicep curls they are one of my favourite exercises. When I lift the weights and I can feel the burn I know that I’ve achieved something. I love to do something called running the rack, it gives my biceps and extra workout that they need.

Start with a series of dumbbells (4 sizes max) lightest to the heaviest possible. Make sure that you can lift the heaviest for ten reps. Follow the instructions below starting with the lightest set first. Once you have carried out ten reps use the next weight for ten reps then the next until you have used all four dumbbells. Then start again from the heaviest to the lightest this will mean that you have completed a maximum of 80 reps and 8 sets.

1. Stand or sit up straight holding a dumbbell at arm’s length.

2. Hold the upper arm still, elbows into the sides, exhale and curl the arm upward until the dumbbells are in front of your shoulders.

3. Now, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbell back down.

Make sure that you move your weights slowly and precisely and to the full range of motion for best results and to avoid injury. No swinging the weights, fast as this only serves to encourage injury.

Tricep Kick Back

This exercise targets the triceps (back of the upper arm), the large muscles in the back of the upper arms. It probably isn’t a good idea to run the rack with this exercise if you are new to training. We’ll perform three sets of twelve reps for this exercise increasing the weight for all three sets.

1. Stand in a bent-over row position, knees bent with a flat back.

2. Keep your arms and elbows at a 90-degree position

3. Whilst keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale and extend the dumbbell backward until the arms are fully extended.

4. Slowly bend your arm to lower the weight and bring back to the starting position.

You can perform this exercise one arm or two arms at a time. I find that if I work both arms at the same time it saves time but also ensures that I perform equally with both arms.

Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is hard and it works your shoulders whilst placing emphasis on your triceps, upper back, and chest, but mainly your shoulders.

1. Sit on a bench or a chair which has a back support whilst holding a dumbbell in each hand.

2. Raise the dumbbells to head height, the elbows out to around 90-degrees.

3. extend the elbow to raise the weights together directly above your head.

4. Hold and then slowly bring the weight back to the starting position.

Make sure the weights are of a weight that will make you work but will not be too heavy to use. Again, don’t run the rack with this exercise but do three sets of twelve reps whilst increasing the weight.

Front Squats

This exercise really targets the quadriceps which are the muscles on the upper front part of your legs. They also strengthen various other muscle groups such as the upper back, abdominals, lumbar spine, gluteals, thigh adductors, hamstrings, and the calves. I’m not a big fan of squats, I have no sense of balance but because I know how important this exercise is to improving strength and muscle tone, I do them.

1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width

2. Hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.

3. Sit back into a squat position, not too low not too high, keeping the dumbbell in the same position then drive back up through the heels.

Repeat this sequence for three sets of twelve reps. You’ll be glad you’ve finished after three sets.

Walking Lunges

Lunges are another one of my not favourite exercises, but they are really good at building and toning your legs and bottom. They are hard and your posture must be correct, and your stomach muscles engaged to achieve the desired results.

The calf muscles, abdominal muscles, and the back muscles act as stabilizers during this exercise.

1. Hold the dumbbells in each hand, take a big step forward with your right foot in line with your right hip.

2. Lower your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle.

3. Stand up to step forward onto your left foot.

4. Continue walking lunges for a count of ten lunges then turn and walk back ten arriving at the same spot that you started in.

5. Repeat this for a further three sets of ten there and ten back.

Bent Over Rows

The bent-over row is a great compound movement that targets a variety of back muscles. It is an important exercise as it works the whole of the upper back.

1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand.

2. bend your hips back and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor.

3. Allow your arms to hang. Row the weights to your sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top.

Repeat these movements for three sets of twelve reps. If you are feeling confident you can run the rack for a count of eight sets of ten reps each set.

Chest Press

I like the chest press as it creates a lean look when wearing a low-cut top, but you don’t want to go too heavy and no you won’t end up looking like Arnie, it simply provides definition.

The Chest press works the pectoralis major (the chest) with assistance from the triceps and shoulders muscles.

1. Lie down flat with a dumbbell in each hand

2. As you breathe out, use your chest to push the dumbbells up.

3. Lower the dumbbells down to a 90-degree angle in a slow and controlled manner.

Three sets of ten reps and then on to your stomach muscles.

If you train your stomach you must train your lower back too. Every muscle group has an agonist (prime mover) and antagonist (argues with the prime mover). This goes for every muscle group. If you train your biceps you must train your triceps, if you train you back you must train your chest, if you train your bottom and hamstrings you must train your quads to avoid injury and over-training of one half of the muscle group, and underdevelopment of the other half of the muscle group.

Ab Curls

This is still one of the most efficient and effective body-weight stomach exercises. If done right this exercise will make your stomach muscles burn. No burn equals not working.

1. Lie on your back on the floor, legs in a triangle position to your body, feet firmly on the floor.

2. Put your fingers on your temples, elbows out straight.

3. Raise the body to the mid-point, hold for three seconds and return to the original position.

4. Repeat for four sets of 15 reps.

Make sure you do not pull on your head as you raise from the floor. keep your elbows out and use only your core to raise yourself from the floor.

Dorsal Raise

1. Lie on the floor on your stomach, feet out flat, top of the foot to the floor

2. Put your fingertips to your temples, elbows out straight, face to the floor.

3. Raise yourself from the floor as high as you can without straining your back or raising your lumbar(stomach) off the floor.

4. Return to the starting position and repeat for a further three sets of fifteen.

So here we are, you’ve finished your at-home workout, it only took thirty minutes in total and you are now feeling a thousand endorphins better off. You can perform this routine anywhere at any time.

Well done, keep up the good work and try for at least three times weekly, every week to see results.

TIP: Forget no pain, no gain. Try No exercise, No results!

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