With spring slowly approaching, there is one thing on everyone’s plush, winterized, midsection-concerned minds, getting fit and in shape for warmer weather, summer clothing and more fun in the sun activities. The downfall to this revelation is the when, where and how of working out with less than optimal outside conditions, lack of room in your home to really get down and a non-existent desire to spend money on joining a gym.
Fret not. There are ways to squeeze in general routines that accommodate your space, schedule, financial, and bodily needs. The first thing to do is determine what you want to achieve out of a work out. Some want the perfect body; others want to feel healthier; and others are in pretty good shape but would like to tone specific areas of their body. Regardless of your situation, you should find a strategic balance in your workout routine; i.e., do not focus on hours of pushups hoping for an overall toned body. The best option is to look for a resistance-training regimen that will work your legs, arms, shoulders and chest. You will also want to make sure your regimen integrates abdominal exercises that inadvertently work your upper and lower back areas. There are ways to optimize your workout by focusing on calisthenics (squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, etc.) and isometric movements using just your bodyweight. You can optimize these types of workouts by utilizing dumbbells and elastic bands.
Now that there is an idea of what to look for, the central focus should be which specific exercise moves and routines work best. Calisthenics consists of rhythmical movements such as bending, twisting, jumping, kicking, and swinging, whereby body weight is used for resistance. When performed energetically, calisthenics benefit both muscular and cardiovascular fitness. Calisthenics also improves psychomotor skills such as coordination, balance, and agility. If you have limited space (small apartments, dormitories, small workout rooms, etc.), isometrics are the best option. Isometrics are exercises and workouts accomplished in static positions, rather than through a range of motion, which allows for an ideal workout in a single position.
There are several variations of isometric workout movements. Plank Bridging involves lying in the push up position with your elbows under your chest. With the weight of your body relying on your forearm, tighten your core and hold this position for 10 seconds. The isometric push-up is a simple push-up with a pause in-between pushing up and coming down. Isometric Shoulder Raises involves the use of dumbbells. With a dumbbell in each hand, raise both arms up until they are parallel to the ground holding this position for 10 seconds. Dumbbells are interchangable with anything that is easy to grasp and has a desired weight or density such as a large can of beans, a book, etc. These isometric routines are very easy for beginners and do not require a lot of space or a need for a gym or special equipment.
All in all, hope is not lost. For every living situation there is a way to combat the ails of working out and getting fit. Whether you lack space in your apartment, time in your schedule or finances for a gym membership, the perfect workout regimen is out there. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you, creating a plan and being consistent.