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Training and Conditioning

Summer Work Out: Weight Loss Results without the Gym

If you were to survey people throughout this country on why they are not able to stay in shape, there would likely be a trend among the answers. So many people believe that they reason they aren’t able to get fit is because they don’t have time to go to the gym. However, a person doesn’t need a gym – not even any exercise equipment – to get in shape. The beautiful thing about the human body is that it can act as its own form of resistance when trying to build muscles.

First, though, let’s start with the obvious. Cardio is always possible – running, walking, jogging, climbing stairs, and swimming in a nearby lake, pond or pool can be done without a single machine. If you can’t get outside because Mother Nature doesn’t want to play along, then consider simple kid-style activities to get your heart rate up. Jumping jacks, dancing to your favorite songs, or even simply running in place can be enough to give your body a little pick-me-up. However, it isn’t just cardio that is needed to get you that figure you’ve always dreamed of, so be prepared to find how easy it can be to workout in your home without building a gym.

Shoulders and Chest Working out the chest at the gym will typically mean lying or sitting on the specially designed bench while pushing, pushing, or pulling large amounts of weight around. However, this is not necessary. If you want to see results, then hit the living room floor. Push-ups are among the very best ways to work the chest. If you aren’t able to do the classic style, then consider the assisted push up (also called the women’s style). Do eight or ten of them, take a short break and then do another set. If you can get three to five sets in, then you are doing really well. However, don’t get discouraged if that doesn’t work right away.

When you are done with those, grab the kitchen chair (or any chair with sturdy arms). Sitting in it — with your back straight — take hold of the chair’s arms at each side of your waist. Gently push up lifting your buttocks out of the seat without relying on your feet to do so, then slowly return to the starting position. Do this eight or ten times, take a rest, and repeat. The aim again should be for three to five repetitions.

Butt and Legs This is likely the most commonly worked area of the body without weights. There are many exercises that can be done right in the comfort of your own home. One of those is the classic squat. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, keep your back straight and pretend to sit in an invisible chair behind you until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Stop and slowly return to standing. Repeat this for the same counts as the other exercises mentioned.

Another great exercise is the lunge. Stepping forward with one leg, keep the other planted firmly on the ground and center your body between the two. With a straight back, you want to bend the back knee toward the ground. The front knee should remain centered over the front heel. Push up with your back leg to slowly return to standing. This process should be repeated eight to ten times for each leg (alternating them each time).

Finally, for the calves, consider a toe push up. This is as simple as it sounds. Standing with your feet about hip width apart and your tummy pulled tight, lift your weight until on your tippy-toes. Hold for a few seconds and slowly return to flat feet. Again, you will want to repeat this eight to ten times per set for three to five sets.

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