Squatting five hundred pounds is a sure sign of physical fitness, but not everyone has the time or willpower to rack up the weights needed to develop stronger muscles. The good news is that
Workout routines that require no equipment (other than a pair of gym shorts) have become hugely popular in recent years. Perhaps no workout has gotten better publicity than yoga, a set of conditioning exercises that build up muscular endurance by holding poses for a set time. Yoga begins with simple poses, such as the downward facing dog that arches the back and works out the thighs and arms, and can progress onto expert poses like tree, which requires you to balance and do complex routines while standing on just one leg. You can find books, videos, and even podcasts of yoga routines that may be done anywhere in the home where you have room to stand on a mat.
Yoga and Conditioning Exercises
Like yoga, basic conditioning exercises stress pushing off against the force of your own body weight, but do so as one set to the level of exhaustion rather than in a regular (12-15 rep) set of movements. Everyone knows that push-ups and sit-ups can be done easily without weights, but may not know about more intensive conditioning workouts. Wall sitting braces your back against a wall, using only your thighs to keep you off the ground. Planking raises your body parallel to the ground by lifting with your toes and forearms, working out your abdominal muscles. Complex workouts like scorpion push-ups can develop multiple muscle groups at one time, but will quickly leave beginners exhausted.
On Using Your Own Weight
There is plenty of easy to use equipement to aid in taking bodyweight conditioning exercises to the next level. Exercise balls, jump ropes, and resistance bands are all you need to get your body in shape. Not only can you work out from home, these kind of exercises are also great for beginners, and strengthens and tones your muscles enabling you to build your core.
Should you be looking to push your heart rate to its maximum capacity, there are a number of exercise machines you can use that boost the rate at which your body burns up fat for fuel. Simple treadmills have long been a favorite of working out at home since they allow you to get your heart rate up and watch television at the same time. While treadmills are a good way to burn calories, other machines require more effort and thus provide greater yields for the time investment, such as elliptical machines. These rowers require a full range of motion from the entire body, utilizing upper and lower muscle groups to develop results. You can find ellipticals from Nordictrack.com that feature electronic measurements of your workout performance, such as the time, the distance traveled, your heart rate, and even the calories you have burned off.
Not all exercise has to be monotonous or a secondary chore. The best way to get in good shape is to have fun doing it. Organized sports is a great way to get in better shape without ever touching weights (although you should do sports outside the home and not inside). A simple hoop installed on the side of a garage turns a ten-by-ten square of concrete into a stadium for two-on-two basketball or HORSE competitions. A front lawn can turn into a soccer pitch or a football gridiron, while a nearby park can provide enough space for higher-intensity sports like ultimate Frisbee. Indeed, you need not always play sports with other people — getting your pets involved in the workout pays dividends for both you and them. Simple fetch games for dogs can be augmented by racing them around the neighborhood or wrestling with them for a tug-of-war match. If you can organize mass dog-walkings, furthermore, you are sure to have much more fun and burn off many more calories.
Joyce G. is a professional health blogger and writer. She currently partners with Nordictrack.com in raising awareness about the importance of health and fitness. NordicTrack has come to symbolize the means for serious athletes and fitness-buffs alike to “get ready for adventure,” whatever that may be. Visit our website to look for the best ellipticals from Nordictrack.com.