14 Ways to Make Your Home Exercise Program More Effective
Working out at home has so many advantages compared to visiting a gym. It’s absolutely my preferred way to stay in shape.
No monthly fees, no commute, no waiting for (sweaty, germy) equipment, nobody watching you do the cat-cow . . . ahem (am I the only one bothered by that?) Plus, regardless of the weather, you remain warm and dry while other people are braving the elements #fistbump
Wins all around!
Maybe the only thing that would make staying home even more rewarding would be making your exercise sessions extra effective.
And I’m going to show you how to do just that 😉
Try these suggestions for creating and using a home gym that will help you to become slimmer and fitter for a lot less than that costly gym membership.
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How to Design an Effective Home Gym
Designate a space
Being able to set aside an entire room may be ideal, but you can make any layout work.
Yup, even in an apartment #beentheredonethat
If you’re short on space, arrange a gym in one corner of your basement or bedroom. You can even put your home gym equipment out of sight when you’re done.
The most important thing is that you have a space that’s at least 6ft x 6ft. That should give you the room you need to do all kinds of effective moves.
From experience, the living room is as good as anything! When you’re determined enough to work out consistently, you’ll make even the most compact spaces work.
Clear away distractions
Make it easier to concentrate by storing work materials and children’s toys elsewhere. Turn your phone off if you’re tempted to text.
Workout when your kids are napping, in school or in bed for the evening whenever possible. I get it . . . sometimes this isn’t possible, but you’ll usually get a far better workout when you can concentrate without little ones under your feet.
Just do your best mama! Any workout is always better than no workout at all.
If you need ideas on how to workout with your kiddos around, read my blog post here.
Stock up on equipment
This doesn’t have to be extravagant! (Unless you want it to be). There’s plenty of gear that you can pick up even on a tight budget.
If you’re in need of budget-friendly ideas, check out my post, 20 Home Gym Equipment for $20 or Less. You can create an effective and affordable home gym for just $100 (or less!).
For endless variety, use your phone or set up a small TV or iPad so you can watch fitness videos. Browse workouts on Netflix or visit your library for free titles.
There are also plenty of apps and websites that provide effective workouts you can do at home, many of them completely free. Here are a few of my favorites:
How to Make Your Home Workout Routine Even Better
Focus on whole body movements
Compared to exercises that target single muscles, compound movements are more efficient.
You may want to spend more time doing push-ups instead of bicep curls or try burpees (I know, they’re intense!), squat with shoulder press, lunges with a bicep curl or sumo squat with upright row.
Train for muscle strength, heart health, flexibility, fascia strength, and balance. Vary your workouts instead of sticking to just the exercises that you like.
I’m totally guilty of only doing pilates or yoga because I love it so much, but mixing in body weight exercises and hand weights is extremely beneficial. Lifting weights firms your body quickly, giving you those sexy muscles we all want.
Try interval training
You may have seen studies that show that interval training increases the benefits of exercising.
To get started, alternate between high-intensity activities and less demanding movements. Gradually make your workouts more challenging by increasing the intensity, pace, or resistance.
For example, for a cardio workout on the treadmill try walking 3 minutes, jogging 2 minutes, running 1 minute, then finishing off with a sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat 4-5 times. This kind of interval can be used with any type of cardio.
Come up with your own variations to keep your body guessing! And make sure to change things up every 2-3 weeks to avoid hitting plateaus.
Find a buddy
When you workout with a friend, you can share feedback, encouragement, and laughs. Invite a family member, neighbor or coworker to join you.
Another option is to join a Facebook group with like-minded people that can hold you accountable and celebrate your accomplishments.
Whatever it takes to maintain your motivation!
Set goals regularly
It’s common to reach a plateau after you’ve been working out for a while. If you want to stay motivated or keep making gains, give yourself specific targets to strive for.
You might decide to work out for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week or take an inch off your waist within 30 days, or progressively lift 1-2 pounds more each week.
Whatever it is, make sure it’s a S.M.A.R.T goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Track your progress
Once you establish goals, make sure you’re regularly measuring your progress. Were you able to lift more weight this week? Did you lose another pound or inch?
Or maybe the only thing you notice is that a workout routine feels just a little easier now than it did last week – that’s progress too! Write that bad boy down and pat yourself on the back.
Keep a journal about your workouts, performance, and results. Reward yourself when you reach each milestone, and keep setting new goals every few weeks.
Remember to have a good time!
If you love training with kettlebells or watching nature shows while you’re running on the treadmill, or any combination thereof, do more of that. You’ll be more likely to stick to your workout program over the long-run.
Do what you love, what excites you, not just what you think you “should” be doing because everyone else is. (I’m not a CrossFit lover . . . there, I said it.)
Experiment with different types of workouts and equipment to find what works for you.
Use good form
Protect yourself from injuries by doing exercises properly. If you’re a beginner, you may want to take a class or work with a trainer to receive the instructions you need.
If you have a dedicated workout space, consider hanging full-length mirrors on the wall so you’ll be more aware of your body and can check your form.
Giving your body adequate time to recover will also help you to stay safe and give your muscles the downtime they need to repair in order to get stronger. A good starting point if you’re a beginner is to give it 48 hours in-between workouts.
If you have no signs of overtraining like fatigue or persistent muscle soreness, you may prefer active rest like going for a gentle walk on your days off.
Talk with your doctor
Discuss any individual concerns with your physician. This is especially important if you’ve been sedentary or you’re trying to manage a chronic condition.
Yes, you can enjoy the comforts of home while you maximize your workouts! A well-planned space and a balanced exercise program will help you to shape up faster than you expected.
I hope these tips inspire you to clear a corner of your living room, stock up on a few pieces of simple exercise equipment (my picks are a mat, stability ball and hand weights!) and start planning out your workout routine for the upcoming weeks.
>>Download my free 30-Day Make Exercise a Habit Challenge and Fitness Planner below to get started!<<
Remember, your fitness program doesn’t have to be perfect. Every little bit of movement you do each day is a step (literally) in the right direction. The most important thing is that you start!
Do you workout at home? What’s your can’t-live-without piece of home exercise equipment?
Hi! I’m Liane, mindset coach and holistic nutritionist in training. I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. My aim is to inspire you on your healthy living journey by sharing simple, everyday holistic habits that can transform your well-being and life.