10 Ways to beat the Gym
If going to the gym were easy it would be as busy as late January or early February year round. So many things can get in the way of our activity if the gym is our only option, so I’m here to give you a few alternatives that even if you are an avid gym goer are nice to change up the routine a bit. Here are ten alternatives to hitting the weights in the gym. As of today there will be no more excuses.
1. Resistance bands: The beauty of the resistance band is you’re basically getting a weight training regimen in without have to lift the weights. You can go at your own pace and the risk of injury is far less with a band then holding a heavy weight. The other great thing is the resistance is throughout the entire exercise motion where with the free weights there are certain parts of the movement that aren’t against gravity at a large enough angle. This results in a better range of motion strength and more complete stimulation.
2. Yoga: I had a client once that had such bad rheumatoid arthritis that she had to have assistance just to walk. She never lifted a weight with me once. I absolutely LOVED teaching her yoga and the results were amazing! We started off very light, doing some basic stretching helping her develop the ability to touch her toes and worked up from there. It was a long daunting task but at the end of 6 months she was a whole new person. Touching her toes no longer left her recovering for 3 days and she was able to walk around the house and to and from the car without assistance. Yoga has many benefits to it including a stronger body, more toned, and more flexible. It has its mental benefits as well, Yoga teaches you to focus on breathing while you hold the poses. This attention to breath is calming; it dissolves stress and anxiety. I use yogic breathing on the tennis courts, in the dentist's chair, when I'm stuck in traffic.
3. Jumping Jacks: Just one of the plyometrics I will list in this article jumping jacks always take me back to my childhood memories on the playground. Now I use them as an excellent cardio exercise or a really nice warm up for something else.
4. Ab circuit: How many people do you know that don’t want a six-pack? I don’t know of many. Now I do realize that abs start in the kitchen and nutrition is a key component but doing those ab workouts prior to being lean is the best way to ensure you have abs when the fat has melted away. I personally like to do a circuit that includes V-Ups, Crunches on the exercise ball and incline sit-ups on the Bosu ball. Always make sure they are slow and controlled and you use your mind-muscle connection to flex those abs while you are using them. This will not only help you develop that six-pack you have always wanted but teach you to control your midsection as well.
5. Military push-ups: These are by far not the easiest thing on this list and for a lot of people seem very out of reach, but they do not have to be. There is a simple trick I learned a long time ago that not only is easier to learn to do push-ups properly so you can actually reap the benefits but need to be done at home in order for the process to work. Now walk over to your stairs and place both hands on the stair directly in front of your stomach to chest section. Make sure your back is straight and your hips are tucked in. See how many push-ups you can do…. Was it 5 maybe 10, or for some even 20? If you were able to do at least 15 moved your hands down one stair. Your goal is to move all the way to the floor. It takes time but it is an achievable goal.
6. Light Weight Lifting: Wait! I said we weren’t going to the gym didn’t I? Well guess what, we still aren’t. Light weight lifting is something that can be done around the house we just need to be a little inventive. You remember those cans of food in the back of the pantry you have been trying not to use because it is processed? Well go grab them. These cans are great for some basic bicep exercises, lateral raises and if you lie down on the floor they can be used for chest press or to do chest flies. It’s a great way to burn off some calories and build muscle.
7. Mountain Climbers: These are another great full body cardio exercise. It helps to simulate the physical challenge of climbing a mountain, without any deprivation of oxygen or cold. They are also an excellent ab workout if you are just wanting to through something in without the full circuit. Make sure to balance your body well throughout the workout, and maintain a neutral back. Don't slouch. While performing the first mountain climber exercise, make sure the twist comes from the core and hips and never from your shoulders.
8. Exercise Videos: If you are someone who always feels lost when it comes to exercise and prefer to have a trainer like figure in your life then maybe exercise videos is the answer for you. They come in such a large variety you can do something new every day and never have to get bored. You can do something old school with Richard Simons, go a bit more new age with Jillian Michaels, or push yourself to your limits to be your absolute best with Tony Horton in P90X.
9. Squats: One of the most core exercises you can do, they increase functional strength, create an anabolic environment, are almost an entire body workout, tone and tighten your butt, improve balance and can help you gain flexibility. These are one of the few workouts used by almost every athlete in every sport and there is good reason for that. Don’t worry though you do not have to play a sport to reap the same benefits they do.
10. Hit the bleachers or just your stairs: What is a home workout without a bit of cardio. My favorite part of spring is when it warms up just enough to head to the local track and run bleachers. It is a quick way to get your heart rate up while also doing some anabolic exercises for your legs. If it is raining outside you do not have to miss your cardio either, stairs can be a great replacement to bleachers just flip on some music or a movie and go to town. You won’t regret it I promise.
Whether you are a new mom trying to get off some baby weight, a middle aged gentlemen ready to get rid of your stomach or a high school student just starting out and ready to get into shape to feel better about yourself, it doesn’t matter who you are working out from home is not only a great alternative to spending the time to get to the gym but spending the money for an expensive gym membership too. In the comfort of your own home you will be more likely to keep up with the exercises and develop a healthier lifestyle all around for yourself.