There are days you might be unable to make it to the gym for your usual routine workouts. These days, you will need motivation and ideas on what to do to continue staying fit even outside the gym.
This article will guide you on how to keep fit outside of the gym with a full-body workout. The good thing about exercising is that it can be done from anywhere (right from the confines of your home) on your own time.
Reasons why people wouldn’t be able to go to the gym
You might wonder why people would want to work out from home or anywhere that is not the gym. The fact is that not everyone can make it to the gym for routine workouts. Busy schedules or life situations might make you miss your gym sessions on some days. Here’s why these out of gym workouts would be beneficial to you
- Cost of gym training
Gym sign-ups are not usually free. Most gyms come with a monthly or annual subscription for users, making it difficult for some people to access. Outside of membership, some gyms require that you also hire on-staff personal trainers to assist you in your workouts.
According to the American Council on Exercise, there is no fixed price charged by personal trainers. However, the cost will depend on different factors such as the trainer’s specialty certifications, exercise equipment, legal and business needs, etc. According to the PTDC, the typical rate for personal training is around $60 to $70 for a one-hour training session.
Another top reason people might be unable to go to the gym is lack of time. Some run on busy schedules that make it hard for them to make out time to hit the gym, particularly when the gym is not close to home. Sometimes, a commute to the gym can be longer than the actual workout. If you are in this category, you must know that you don’t necessarily have to wait till you are in a gym before you can work out.
- The feeling of being intimidated
We’ve all been in the position where we are the newbies in the gym or just getting started in our fitness journey. It can be intimidating working out around avid gym-goers who seem to have perfect form and a strategic workout plan. It’s important to keep in mind that this can actually benefit you if you’re just starting. Finding the right welcoming gym can help you perfect your form and stay motivated. Don’t let intimidation stop you from achieving your goals. There are ways you can stay fit in the comfort of your own home until you find a gym that’s right for you.
- Not wanting to socialize
Oftentimes, gyms can become very busy especially in the early morning and early evening when it’s the most popular times to visit. Some people may feel distracted or overwhelmed by the hustling and bustling of overcrowded gym times. That’s okay! If you focus better and feel more energized working out alone, this out of gym workout is perfect.
Factors beyond human control can make it unable for people to go to the gym for a while. For instance, COVID-19 caused businesses, including gyms, to close down. This caused many people to get creative with their out-of-gym workout routines. While some went back to the gym as they reopened, others chose to stick to their new way of life.
Other factors like re-locating and injuries can be motivators for people to take a break from the gym.
Workout moves for each part of the body
If you resonated with any of the above reasons, check out some outside-the-gym workout moves you can do for any part of the body, below. You might need basic workout equipment like a dumbbell and kettlebell for some of the exercises.
- Warming up for total body workout
A total body workout targets the heart and lungs in addition to the muscles. It is possible to build lean muscular legs or even a six-pack without visiting the gym.
Warm-ups help elevate your heart rate while getting you set for the main workout session. It increases blood flow to the muscles and reduces your risk of incurring an injury during the workout. Warm-up is particularly necessary if you’re beginning a new gym routine.
- Working the arms
Working the arms typically involve targeting two main muscles- the biceps and the triceps. The bent-over dumbbell triceps kickback targets specifically the triceps.
To do the bent-over dumbbell triceps kickback:
- Stand, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your hands by your sides
- Lean forward in a lunge position and extend forward at your hips
- Be sure to keep your back straight and not hunched
- Bend your elbows until your forearms are parallel to the ground
- Extend your arm straight back behind you
- Return your arm to a 90-degree angle and bring the weights in front again as in the start position
- Repeat on each side. The proper weight will be one that you can complete 10-12 reps with for 3 sets.
- Working the chest
Push-up is one of the best ways to build your chest muscles. For a bodybuilder without gym equipment, push-ups should be among your best workout options. Increase the challenge by completing with one arm instead of two.
- Place your chest and stomach flat on the floor
- Place your palms chest level with your arms bent at a 45-degree angle and your legs straight out behind you
- Exhale as you push from your toes and hands bringing your entire torso off the ground until your arms are completely extended in front of you.
- Keep your core engaged to make sure your back stays level from your neck to your feet
- Inhale while slowly lowering back down until your elbows meet your side. Make sure your torso does not touch the ground again until the set is complete.
- Working the legs
Two effective workouts to target the legs include goblet squat and kettlebell pistol squat. Both of these exercises can also be completed without weights.
To do the goblet squat:
- Stand with your legs wide apart
- Hold one weighted end of the dumbbell in both hands, close to your chest
- Lean back as if you’re preparing to sit in a chair
- Keep your back straight and protect fragile knees by keeping them behind your toes
- The goal is to squat down to at least a 90-degree angle but going beyond this will increase workout effectiveness
To do kettlebell pistol squat:
- Hold a kettlebell with your two hands just under your chin
- Lift one of your legs off the floor and squat with the other
- Drive through the heel and bring yourself back home to a standing position
- Do not let the lifted leg touch the floor as you stand
- Lower down again and repeat
- To work the abs
There are various exercises you can do to work the abs. Two popular workouts that you can do outside the gym to target the abdominal muscles include bicycle kicks and sit-ups.
To do bicycle kicks:
- Lay flat on your back, place your hands behind your head and extend your legs fully
- Press your lower back to the ground to engage your core and eliminate any arch in the lower back
- Raise your shoulders off the floor and bring your left knee toward your chest
- Rotate your shoulders to bring your right elbow towards the left knee
- Ensure that the leg that is not bent is fully extended and, on the floor,
- After touching the left knee with the right elbow, bring the right knee to the left elbow
- Perform the movements slowly and repeatedly
Why these workouts would be useful
It doesn’t matter where it is done; once done right, every exercise counts and can be effective.
Even though you don’t get the same quality of equipment as the gym, you can still make do with what you have and benefit from your home training sessions. If you are working out from home, here are some of the benefits of home workouts:
- You don’t have to pay monthly gym fees
- There won’t be a need to stand in queues waiting for your turn to use any equipment
- It saves you time
- You can purchase basic inexpensive workout equipment and have full ownership of the equipment
- It affords you the convenience of training at your own time and whenever you feel like
These workouts are important and useful because:
- They help you keep fit and healthy
- They help in the loss of fat
- They are healthy for the heart
- They can help boost your mood
- They can improve hormonal health
- They are good for the bones and enhance mobility
- They can help manage certain pain such as back pain
- They help maintain strength and balance
Benefits of mixing in non-weighted workouts
While weight lifting is a great and effective exercise or training and building your muscles for strength, you should know that sometimes your body needs a break. You can focus on the aerobic exercises during your break from weightlifting, which is an anaerobic exercise. As a bodybuilder, most of your workout routines are centered around weights to build muscle mass. However, taking breaks and letting your muscles recover is equally as important. That doesn’t mean you have to be sedentary on your days off or days that the gym just simply is not an option.
Your body needs intermittent breaks to get adapted to sustained training. Here are reasons why you need to take a break from working out with weights:
- A break allows you to recover from the periods of intense training
- When you take a break, you can avoid overtraining syndrome (OTS), which is caused by excessive skeletal, muscular and joint trauma
- Taking a break is a way to avoid burnouts which usually presents with symptoms like weakness, fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation, and the falling sick
- A break gives the tendons, muscles, and ligaments some time to repair themselves
- It helps recuperate the nervous system
- A break from working out with weight makes for mental refreshment as you will feel sharper and more motivated to return to your workouts
A gym is not the only answer to staying fit. No matter the reason for not going, there are plenty of ways to get your daily workout in from wherever you are. Weighted workouts are important to building lean muscle mass but non-weighted workouts are just as important for muscle recovery and avoiding burnout.