Following up from my earlier post on 4 types of exercises to avoid, I wanted to showcase some routines that I really recommend. While not all of my workouts take place at my home, I do really enjoy the convenience of being able to squeeze in some solid strength training without having to always go to the gym. In order to make this list, I chose exercises that met three separate criteria. They have to be simple enough to do in the comfort of my home. They have to be effective at building strength (no point in doing them otherwise). And they have to be efficient, meaning that they have to fulfill their purpose without taking too much time or doing redundant motions.
No Equipment Needed:
Plank - This is a fantastic core exercise that will exhaust you in mere seconds if done properly. After you have mastered the basic routine, you can throw in extra moves for increased difficulty. I like to raise each of my arms and legs one at a time while maintaining the proper position. After 90 seconds of this I am literally soaked with sweat.
Bodyweight Squat – This is a simplified version of the classic squat performed by the giant musclemen in the gym. Using your arms to balance yourself, you can get a very effective workout by just using your own body weight. If more intensity is desired, you can always increase your reps.
Pushups – The standard exercise for general strength. These work the pecs, triceps, and back along with virtually every other upper body muscle.
Burpees – While this exercise looks and sounds silly, it is simply exhausting. My form starts to break down pretty soon if I attempt too many of these at one time.
Some Equipment Required:
Pullups – With a standard pullup bar, or an IronGym, you can effectively and efficiently work your biceps, shoulders, back and abdominals. Easily my favorite exercise right now.
Shoulder press – These are very effective at strengthening your shoulders. Note: you can replace the barbell setup in this video with simple free weights for an equally effective workout.
Jump rope – This is a fantastic cardio workout and is also great for your calve muscles. Try doing a fast pace for 3 minutes. It will be much harder than you expect.