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10 Simple Ways to Get Incredible Fitness Results … AT HOME!

10 Simple Ways to Get Incredible Fitness Results … AT HOME!

As it has been said, our home is our castle. It’s one of the few places we truly feel comfortable; so why not exercise there? Because many people don’t have time to go to the gym, are intimidated by the gym (some people scream really loud when lifting…scary), or don’t want to wait on equipment (you know that guy that does like 15 sets per piece of equipment…yeah that guy) almost 67% of gym memberships are never used! Working out at home doesn’t sound like a bad option!

From demolishing calories to shredding fat, you can get the results you want from your living room! Below are 10 of the easiest, most simple ways for beginners to start making their castle into their very own gym and get incredible fitness results along the way!

1. Body-weight Exercise For Starters

“Man, working out at home sounds fun and all but who can afford all of that equipment?”

I’m here to tell you that one of the best tools you have at your disposal is yourself! Bodyweight training is all the rage nowadays because it focuses on increasing your functional strength through movements like squats, pushups, pull-ups, dips, planks, etc. This functional strength is the strength you need to perform daily tasks in your life and this form of training can be just as effective (with all other things considered) as traditional weight-lifting at a gym! Save yourself time and money and get to those push-ups!

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2. After-burn Train

“Great, so I’m getting stronger but I NEED to do cardio; aka I need a treadmill. There’s no way I’m running outsides, it’s freezing!”

The answer is after-burn or commonly referred to as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) training. Basically, if you strength train at a high-intensity (70-75% of your VO2) for an extended period of time (at least 30 minutes) your body requires more oxygen and therefore calories after your workout to return it to its normal resting state. In fact, you can burn extra calories over 38 hours after your workout is over still due to that workout—that’s insane. You could be burning calories still from your workout the NEXT night while sitting on the couch watching Big Bang Theory re-runs! [Note: For a more detailed EPOC training guideline click HERE.]

3. Keep It Simple, Stupid

“But dude, I need all of that equipment at the gym and I need someone to help time my rest sets!”

Dude, no you don’t! Making your home your gym is all about being convenient and making it as easy and pain-free as possible! You don’t need complex rest or working sets that only Einstein would understand (because we all know that Einstein was big into lifting). The best thing to do is to keep it simple. In fact, a simple workout (with normal resting sets) when performed at a high intensity is just as effective as some complex workout that you put together from 3 weight lifting magazines, 2 online resources, and the advice of your brother-in-law who lifts a lot. The best bet is to keep your workout simple in order to help you remember it, make it more convenient, and make it more likely for you to perform!

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4. Short Bursts of Exercise Create Huge Results

 “Listen here fella; I have no time to go to the gym now, why would I have time at home?”

Great question and the answer is twofold. First, you will save time not going to and from the gym, save time not at your “gym social hour,” and save time not getting ready because you can basically exercise at home in whatever you want (from pajamas to work boots)! Another thing that is important to remember is that time you save doing all the things can be put towards exercise; even if it’s only 10–15 minutes! Everyone thinks that you need to exercise an hour a day to see great results but a recent study found that those that exercised just 8.5 minutes a day received the SAME cardiovascular benefits as those that exercised 25 minutes a day! That’s incredible! The point is not to exercise less; the point is that you now have the time no matter if its 10 minutes to still help improve your health!

5. Keep Your Workouts Fun

“Yep…nothing says fun like sweating profusely while trying to catch my breath for 25 minutes all while thinking I’m going to die…sure sounds fun!”

Exercise doesn’t have to be running at full sprint for 5 minutes or even doing lunges until you have to crawl to your car. Exercise can be fun and if you can make it fun at home, you are more likely to do it more often and ACTUALLY more likely to eat less afterwards! The next time you need to get some “cardio” in, don’t rush to the gym to wait 35 minutes to get on a machine then power walk for 25 minutes. Instead, go outside and take a hike; literally! Research has shown that when you have fun while performing the exercise you aren’t as likely to reward yourself with junk food afterwards!

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6. Walk Your Way to Better Health

“Well sorry to break it to you, but I’m way out of shape and there is no way I can perform super high-intensity exercise!”

No worries! Do what you can when it comes to high-intensity exercise. Until then, start briskly walking to increase your exercise capacity! Yup—walking. Walking is ideal for helping sedentary individuals build up their exercise capacity so they can move on to more intense exercise! In fact, for the obese (or beginners), walking is  great way to burn calories at a lower heart rate and actually burn calories faster than cycling and even jogging in some instances! If you need to make your walks even more difficult, carry 2 pounds dumbbells with you or punch the air while walking like you are Rocky training for Apollo Creed!

7. Persistence Pays Off

“I go to the gym now whenever I feel like it and haven’t seen results, how can I at home then?” “You can’t just go randomly and expect results…“ “I went 3 Fridays ago, why don’t I have a six pack?”

It’s all about persistence. One of the top ways to get in shape is to stay active and exercise on a persistent basis! One of the biggest factors science has found that determines your cardiovascular and overall health is persistent exercise. It doesn’t matter if you workout less than 10 minutes a day or over 30 minutes, as long as you are exercising on a persistent basis then you will get some great results! Make sure to stay active every day, no matter if it is your workout day!

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8. Stick to the Bare Essentials

“Blah, blah, blah…I’m tired of bodyweight exercises and there is no way I can get a great workout without a ton of equipment!”

Besides your own body the only other equipment that is needed for starting out is a couple dumbbells (5–10lbs) and an exercise mat (or even a towel). That is literally it! You can get a killer workout with just these bare essentials! By exercising at a high-intensity while performing your workout in a circuit like set, you can build muscle, burn calories, and induce the EPOC effect! [Note: circuits are strength training exercises performed at a high intensity where you move from one exercise to another very quickly with little to no rest between sets while performing exercises that work the entire body.]

9. Accountability

“Even if I do start working out at home, there is less accountability there and I’m more likely to not exercise at all!”

I totally understand that! That’s why you need to set up 2–3 fail safes in order to make sure you stick to your at-home workout! Science has shown that the more fail safes you have in place the better prepared you will be. First and foremost have a friend or your spouse keep you accountable! Accountability is one of the biggest motivators to actually workout! Have them check in on you from time to time to make sure you still are crushing your at-home fitness goals! One phone call a week is enough to do just that.

10. Strength Training is a MUST

“Well I hate to lift weights, I have no idea what I’m doing. It can’t be that important!”

Sorry my friend! If you take anything away from this, remember to start strength training. No, it’s not about getting huge ripped muscles that make you look bigger than the Hulk trying to deal with his enormous rage issues (which you can achieve if that’s what you want). For many of us it is about burning calories, building muscle, relieving stress, improving your cardiovascular health, and even improving your bone strength! Strength training can do all of that and more! You won’t get “bulky,” you will get healthy, so start lifting today!

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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