Living rooms are misunderstood. For that matter, so are hotel rooms, or any sort of bedroom. Kitchens? Yeah, they’ve never been given enough credit either. Why do they only have to be the rooms of their namesake? Why can’t we look past the couches, beds, ovens, and chairs and see the true potential they all share. This great untapped potentiality, is the ability, to be a GYM.
Hip Bridges in the Bedroom
Don’t be fooled by that sectional sofa and area rug, complemented nicely by the antique coffee table you snagged for a bargain at an estate sale last spring, your living room is also a fitness utopia waiting to be utilized. No need for equipment, treadmills, or yoga balls here; all that’s needed is initiative and a no excuse attitude to aid you in your fitness goals wherever life takes you.
Why buy a bowflex, when you are a bowflex?
Body Weight is the name of the game here, so to speak. Rather than seeing our body weight as a burden or nuisance, we should embrace it for what it is and can be, our own personal home gym. Just take one of the aforementioned rooms, add one of cup body, and stir in four to five of my favorite bodyweight exercises and voila! You’re left with a fitness routine that can kickstart any regimen, supplement a current fitness program, or most often the case, squeeze in a workout while traveling.
Body who now?
Body weight exercises are strength based movements using good ol’ fashion flesh and bone as their resistance. Not to be confused with running (cardio), or biking (using equipment & cardio), these movements require little to no equipment, yet can provide fantastic strength and mobility training benefits. Learning how to use them and make use of the environment that you’re in can help you not only achieve your fitness goals, but take away any residual excuses.
Move or be moved.
One of the fundamental parts of living, is the ability for us to move ourselves around. As you humans age (confession: I am actually a cyborg), movement can be impaired, and without proper lifestyle and health habits, this can lead to relying on others to move us (i.e. wheelchair, walker, etc.) Resistance training is key to keeping bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint mobility in the best shape they can be, so when Father Time comes a-knocking, you can kick him in the face and go for a jog.
Okay Brandt, How can I kick Father Time in the face?
Here is a sample routine of bodyweight exercises that can be done literally anywhere, with a lofty exception for perhaps the shower. As with any exercise, always listen to your body and be aware of your limitations. No longer is not having time for the gym today, or it’s too rainy to go running an excuse! It’s time to be active on your own terms with nothing standing in your way.
The @home Circuit
1a. Body Weight Squats
1b. Squat Hold
1c. Push Up Position Plank
2a. Hip Bridges
2b. Push Ups (If unable to do so, find a stable surface like the arm of a coach to do an incline variation)
2c. Side Plank/Hard Roll Hold
Note: These by no means need to be done in circuit form, this is just a pretty way of organizing them. If you only have time for ten squats now and then throughout the day, or maybe holding a couple twenty second planks during your lunch break, then that’s great. The most important message here is to be active when you can, and your body will thank you.
I love bodyweight exercises. Familiar? Yes. Simple? Yes. But if you’re crunched for time and want to get your sweat on, wouldn’t you want something simple and familiar? They also trigger a sense of accountability that other exercises don’t necessarily include. How long you hold that plank, or how hard you squeeze that Hard-Roll-Hold is entirely up to you. So with that I leave you with a question:
What excuse do you have not to move?
*Photo 1 courtesy of Shutterstock
*Photo 2 courtesy of Dorit Mayagur with editing by Spindle Fitness