Even if you already have the best home gym equipment it can be tough to find the time to exercise.. For the modern man or woman, having a 9 to 5 career can be exhausting, especially so if you have a part time job, care for a relative or have kids as well. This can make staying fit an extremely daunting challenge because, let’s face it, you now have less hours in your day than you used to.
You need a workout plan that takes up very little time of your busy day and is based around your lifestyle but gives exceptional results. Don't worry, there are a few exercises you can try out if you don’t have time to go to the gym. Some of these exercises do not even need any gym equipment, and I’ve also added in some workout regimes for which you can utilize a home treadmill or elliptical machine.
It’s more efficient to have some form of exercise equipment at home, especially if you’re looking to really change your lifestyle and workout long term. The early morning workout is a great habit to get into, wake up a little earlier than normal and start off by just doing anything! Have a light walk, go up and down the stairs a few times, get your body used to movement in the morning.
Once you’ve got used to this you’re ready to take on something a little more demanding, if you don't have space for equipment you can create a bodyweight workout from the list below. If you’re looking to make your own home gym check out our article ‘How To Build A Home Gym For Under $3,000’.
The Bodyweight no Equipment Workout
For the following workout, you don’t need any gym equipment. Choose a minimum of three moves, perform each move for a minute then switch them up in quick succession to maintain the upbeat nature of your workout. This workout consists of four sets of all selected moves. Remember that the more moves you use, the better your workout!
This cardio move is included in most (if not all) workout plans. It is a wonderful way to get warmed up or do some active resting in-between the more difficult moves. You can start with your feet placed together, hands at your side, then jump, spreading your legs apart while bringing your arms over your head, and clap them at the top. Remember to maintain your knees in a bent position as you jump then bring your feet back to their initial position together with the arms. Do this move over and over again, and as fast as possible to obtain maximum results.
Skipping a rope can be great cardio but power skips add a little more intensity. To do a power skip, start with an upright position, with the feet at hip width apart and keep your core as tight as possible. Raise your right knee and bring your left arm forward, then begin to hop off the left foot. Afterwards, land using the ball area of your left leg, and then straight after bring your right foot down, then do the same with the other side. Keep your focus on the height as opposed to speed.
Start in an upright position, with your legs hip width apart and then start to run in the same spot by placing your knee towards your chest. Repeat the process and remember to alternate as fast as possible.
*Don’t confuse the high knee with the power skip.
Wide Mountain Climbers
With a tightly held core, and in a plank position, place your right foot forward and on the outer region of your right hand so that you are in low-lunge position. Start jumping as you switch your feet in midair; this will ensure that you fall with your left leg to outward region of your right straight back. Remember to alternate and as fast possible.
With this move, you will require a sturdy chair or bench. Put your right leg on top of the bench, and with your glutes, then start to push up in order for your right leg is in a straight position and the left one is above the ground. In a slow manner, lower your left leg to the ground followed by your right foot. Do these for a couple of rounds then alternate; keep your focus on your glutes as you use them to push up.
While standing on your right leg, lift your left foot of the ground. Afterwards, start to jump in a forward motion 3 to 5 times. Make sure that each time you land gently on the ball part of your foot. From there, with reverse your legs, and then jump back and repeat.
With your feet shoulder width apart, squat low to the ground with your arms extended. As you raise yourself up, jump in a leaping motion while extending your legs fully as your arms are pushed downwards to assist with your momentum. Make sure to land smoothly on the toes of your feet, and then return to squat position once more.
For this cardio exercise move, you will require a firm chair or box. You can start off with a relatively average box that is roughly mid-calf height and move on to greater heights as you get used to it. Place yourself in front of the box with your feet shoulder width apart. From there, bend your knees, send your hips back, swing your arms in a backward motion then forward again, and finally spring up onto box. Always make sure you land softly on the toes of your feet and then step back down using one leg at a time in a repetitive manner.
Begin with your knees slightly bent, with your hips back, and a low chair or bench on you right side. Shift your weight to your left leg, and then carefully begin to jump over the item using your right leg first followed by your left one. You can reverse your legs them repeat the workout.
When it comes to cardio exercise, if you have a home gym, or a couple of pieces of cardio equipment like a treadmill, or an elliptical machine, you can try out the workouts described above, and also add some more heat to your workout by using your equipment.
For those who want something a little more advanced you can add equipment like a home gym or smith machine. Also try using the exercises above or any other exercises with weights.
- If you are a beginner, you can perform a 20 to 30-minute run on your treadmill.
- Warm up with a brisk walk for five minutes.
- After that, increase your speed to 3-4 mph (which is 4.8-6.4 km/h) for 20 minutes.
- Cool down for five minutes by slowly lowering your pace each minute.
- As you progress, experiment with inclines and faster speeds.
When using a treadmill for cardio exercise, it is important to understand that increasing your pace gradually will be more beneficial as it will help you run for more miles without too much fatigue and also prevent injuries.
The Elliptical Machine
You can use the elliptical machine for walking, stair climbing, running or sprinting exercises. To use this machine effectively:
- Step on to the pedals
- To keep your balance, grab onto the handle bars
- Some machines require you to start pedaling in order to turn it on
- If this doesn’t turn on the display, look for the power button
- When your left foot goes down, straightening your legs, the right handle should be pulled towards your body
- The same applies when your left leg goes down
- Note that your arms should always be swinging with the handles
- Always keep your knees slightly bent when straightening your leg on each stroke, to prevent injuries
As you advance, turn up the resistance so that you push harder on the pedals, which will provide for a better workout. Also, turn up the incline to have more variety to the workout. Do five minute intervals increasing the resistance and incline each time.Throughout your cardio exercise workout, remember to always keep your core tight.
The Tabata Protocol
Tabata was created by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, he and his team researched how to optimise workouts using high intensities and short time periods for maximal results. The typical protocol was twenty seconds of hard work followed by ten seconds of rest and repeated for only four minutes.
The results of this research showed that these short intense workouts were more efficient and trained the aerobic and anaerobic systems better than moderate workouts lasting an hour.
Tabata Program example:
- Dumbbell Squat
- Push Up
- Kettlebells Swing
- Treadmill Sprints
- 20secs work / 10secs rest / x 8 / rest 2 mins
- Repeat 3 times
How I Find Time To Workout [Video]
A fitness regime developed by Greg Glassman, who created a way for people to compete against themselves and others in fitness. Combining workouts from gymnastics, power lifting, strongman and interval training to give people an opportunity to learn techniques from a large array of sports. It focuses on large demanding exercises to deliver maximum results in the shortest possible time, if you can survive 30 minutes of crossfit consider yourself very, very fit.
Crossfit Program Example:
- 5 Pull Ups
- 10 Push Ups
- 15 Air Squats
10 minutes total workout time (as many reps as possible)
If you’re still struggling to keep to an exercises regime, remember that activity is still exercise and extremely important to your health. Try not to be the type of person who is either exercising or doing nothing at all, but rather go through phases of training hard then phases where you’re recovering but still active. Walking everyday is still a great form of exercise.
Utilize Your Breaks For Working Out!
The Commute Workout
If it’s possible try swapping your drive or train to work with a bike. You would be surprised the distance you can travel without traffic slowing you down, it also utilizes the most stressful part of your day; the early morning dash. Making this time work for you already ensures your workout is done giving you an excellent sense of accomplishment for the rest of the day.
The Lunch Break Workout
With most of us only having an hour break it’s to let this time slip by without noticing the time you’ve wasted. If you’ve prepared your lunch for the day you can eat without having to think about and find what to eat. This leaves you with around 50mins to spare.
The Little Bit Here And There Workout
See some stairs at the metro? Run them! Need to go to a different floor of your office? Find some stairs and run them! Sat at your desk without moving? Stand up and move around about. Activity is a huge driving force of health and fitness, the simple things done often make a huge difference.
Get your boss on board!
A healthy workforce and workplace has been shown time and time again to be more productive and people take less sick days. What employer doesn’t want that! Google is the perfect example of a thriving company that focuses on its employees mental and physical health.
If you can get your boss to take a leaf out of their book you will have a huge barrier lifted to ultimately reach your goal. Try to persuade them to take on board some of these ideas:
Whole Office Group Workouts
This can be fitness or yoga and companies can either pay for somebody to come in and take the class or how about you go and get a basic qualification and run it yourself?
Group Fitness Challenges
Maintaining healthy competition and encouraging team building is an important part of any work environment. It’s even better if you can do it for a good cause, whether it’s charity runs or just fun activities this is a great addition to any business.
How To Find Time To Exercise [Video]
Treadmill or Standing Desks
Having access to just one treadmill desk for the whole office to use is a simple and cheap way to help employees be more active and get in their cardio. LifeSpan Fitness have some great models that offer a very safe machine that has a capped speed and even padded rests for the arms and wrists for typing. The desk can be adjusted to suit the height of the user and it can also be folded away neatly. Adjustable standing desks are also a great addition to help reduce lower back pain, sickness and increase overall mental well being.
The On-Site Gym
With so much portable gym equipment available a spare office or even just some space in the corner of the room with some mats and a few pieces of equipment give a whole new dimension to your new lifestyle.
The Home Gym
At My Gym Expert, we advocate using home gym equipment because exercising at home is the most efficient way to use your time while in a comfortable, familiar and private environment. It's generally easier to fit a workout into your day if the access levels and convenience is high. Where better than in your own home?