Structuring your home workout correctly can be hard work, especially if you’re a bigger and at the start of your fitness journey. You may get overwhelmed with how to start what to include and how long to do it for. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to stay fit, if you want to work out at home you must first have a well-planned home workoutstructure to follow and a goal.
How much time can you devote to your home workout?
Before you plan your workout it’s important to first establish the time you have or are willing to comfortably dedicate to working out especially if you want to lose weight. Because the time you have will be the basis of structuring your entire workout. A simple workout structure will have 4 stages:
- Warm up
- Main exercise
- Cool down.
- Fuel up
Plan the exercises you would like to engage in before you start: Did you know that your workout actually starts much before you get down to doing the exercises? It’s true. Planning your home workout is a great way to ace it and reach your goal. Some people can wing it, but if you’re new to the whole working out phase, it’s always better to plan what you’ll be doing in advance. Create a list of
- What is your overall fitness goal? Do you want tolose weight or stay Fit?
- Decide your goal for the particular workout session – build endurance, increase strength, tone, increase stamina etc.
- What is the best home workout that will help you to achieve that goal? Are you going to do yoga, functional training or HIIT cardio?
- What body part you want to focus on – Some people prefer doing isolation workouts, workouts that only focus on only one joint or a limited number of muscle groups such as exercises that target only the leg muscles or back muscles.
- The types of exercise and their duration (sets and reps). For example 10 jumping jacks, 30-sec plank hold, and 20 mountain climbing and so on in addition to how many times you’ll be repeating it.
Start with a Warm-up and a stretch: Warming up the body before any physical activity is important. A warm-up will consist of light cardiovascular exercises combined with stretches. Cardiovascular exercises will help increase your heart rate and body temperature while stretched will warm up our muscles for movements. A warm-up should be the first stage of your home workout structure as it helps loosen up tight joints and increase blood circulation. Starting your workout without a warmup can cause injuries like hamstring strains and more. Your warm up should ideally be performed for 20 minutes, however, if you are crunched for time, a 10-minute warm up will do too. Another important thing to remember about warm-ups is to tailor them in line with your main exercises. This means, in your warm up, you prepare for the exercises you will be performing. For example, if you plan on working on your upper body with movements like pushups it will be good to warm up your shoulder.
In your warm up, ensure to stretch your neck, back, hips, ankle, wrist and shoulders first by performing simply rotational movements. Then you can move into more advanced warm up techniques like dynamic stretches, skipping, jumps and more. You can always look online or download an app that will help you perform a proper warm up before your exercise
Organize your main workout with adequate intervals in between:
At this stage, you will perform the exercises you planned. That is the exercise type with the number of repetitions and sets. Even a person who has been working out for a long time cannot do a sequence of workouts without intervals so you don’t have to either. When doing your main workouts it’s a great idea to keep a 30 seconds break between each exercise for beginners and once you move to a more advanced level you can reduce your interval timer to 10 seconds.
At this stage, you will also define the intensity you want to workout with. You can first start slow and pick us the pace and you go into your second and third set or if you are used to working out you can start with a high pace from the first set itself. If you are using weights you can move on to heavier weights as you move through the sets to make your workout more effective. You know your body best so always remember to listen to your body and only push yourself if you are sure your body will be able to handle the intensity. Another important point to remember here is to remember that you can to complete the exercise you have planned for, so distributing your energy accordingly and in a way that allows you to complete the set target is the right way to go.
Cool down: At the end of your home workout: Your cool down period is as important as your warm up and main exercise. Suddenly stopping your home workout and sitting down or lying down is not advisable. You must gradually allow your heart rate to drop. Do this by slowing going into a stretch after your last rep. You can also get into slow controlled movements or slow flow of stretched to allow your body to cool down. A good 5 minute if stretching the muscles you activated during your exercise will help you avoid or reduce soreness.
Fuel Up: After your home workout don’t forget to hydrate your body with plenty of water and a light snack. Before you eat, give yourself a 30-minute rest period and then you can indulge in a light snack to refuel your body.
While structuring your home workout remember to start with the exercises you enjoy and you are able to do. Everyone wants to lose weight or get fit fast but you don’t have to hurry the process. Don’t choose an exercise that is beyond your fitness level as that can instantly demotivate you. Remember to stay hydrated throughout your workout. Keep a bottle of water near you and a towel to wipe off sweat.