Working Out At Home? Try These for Abs, Chest, Core & More

Boston (along with MANY other cities around the world) has been on lockdown down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While grocery stores and pharmacies have kept their doors open, a lot of the gyms in the area are still closed or have limited capacities. Similarly, lots of folks just simply want to avoid the gym during this time. Which begs the question - how do you workout with no gym??

Full transparency, I am the guy that will push the boundaries of going to the gym until they actually close the doors. I got some solid last workouts in before my local gym closed for at least 3 weeks. That being said, I had to figure out a way to move my body at home. At first, it was an uncomfortable feeling, but I quickly became excited to see what I can come up with to stay on track.

In this post, we'll cover some of our favorite at home workouts...

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First off: Ditch your shoes for working out at home

Taking your shoes off before entering a house is just a polite thing to do and it was one of the rules I was taught as a child. Did you know that the average shoe sole is covered with over 400,000 bacteria?! Pretty crazy. Some of the other common home etiquette rules that I am sure you are familiar with are to keep your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, and clean up after yourself.

Ditching your shoes for your workout has many more benefits than just cleanliness. These benefits include enhanced proprioception (awareness of where you are in space), posterior chain activation (glutes, hamstrings, calves), and overall foot/ankle health.

Make sure you have the proper equipment

Looking to create your own home gym or really up the ante in your current home work out setting? If so, then you might be looking for some equipment to ensure you're able to achieve the results you want from the workouts you'll be doing at home. The good news is that you don't need to spend a fortune on outfitting your home gym. In fact, with just some basic equipment, you can create the ideal home gym environment that will never have you scrambling back toward a public gym again!

Gearing Up to Work Out From Home

So just what gear and equipment do you need to get in a great workout from home? We can't emphasize how important it is to dress for the occasion. And part of this is recognizing what's on your feet. With more and more people working out without shoes, having the right pair of athletic grip socks on your feet is important - and proper foot technique can really make a dig difference in your workout. Pedestals provide ideal comfort and fit. They also work to ensure that all of your muscles are engaged with any lower-body exercises. Now that your feet are set up, let's talk about core workouts. 

No equipment? No problem

Core Workouts To Do At Home

Below are three of my favorite core exercises that you can do using common household items. These hit all areas of the core and you should begin to get a light sweat in after just the first exercise.

1. Front plank side plank combo using a television remote - This is very hard if you use a typical plank width stance with your feet. Start by spreading your feet out wide. Back to top.

2. Deadbug with pillow. Back to top.

3. Chinese plank - here I am using yoga blocks, but you can stack some books or use two chairs. Back to top.

Best Chest Building Exercises At Home

Just as push-ups are great for abs, they're also ideal for your arms and chest. To work out even more chest muscles, we'd suggest purchasing a gym bench and some free weights. While more expensive, a bench press is also a key piece of equipment for chest day, especially if you want to lift heavier weights.

If you don't see yourself investing in a bench, no worries. We recommend trying out some burpees which are sure to work your chest and shoulders. Back to top.

Arm Exercises At Home

Some free weights are ideal for zeroing in on the arm muscles. It's why we suggest purchasing either adjustable free weights or a set of them to perform the likes of bicep curls, hammer curls, tricep dips, gorilla rows and more. Pull-ups and push-ups are also great for working out arm and shoulder muscles. Back to top.

Leg Exercises At Home

Don't ever think about skipping leg day! While you might not want to incorporate a leg press into your home gym setup, there's a lot that you can do with some free weights. We like the burn that you can get from lunges, and using free weights to add further resistance to the exercise will leave your thighs on fire after you're done. Calf lifts another good workout that can be kicked up a notch by holding weights as you perform it. Wall sits and squats are additional exercises that you can perform to work out leg muscles that just require basic weights and the right setting to do them in. Back to top.

Back Muscle Exercises At Home

From t-raises to delta raises to dumbbell rows, like many of the exercises on this list, some free weights are all you'll really need to work out the back muscles. While planks are best associated with working out the core muscles, doing and holding planks can also be great for the back as well. Gym mats and yoga mats are great for providing this surface to perform such exercises. 

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Ab Exercises At Home

The good news about many of the workouts that we've listed here is that you don't need a whole lot of specialized equipment to get in a good burn. For example, on ab day, crunches, push-ups and other floor exercises can work out the core muscles effectively. A yoga mat or gym mat, and maybe some weights to add more resistance to your crunches are all you'll really need.

If you're looking for some ab workouts to do at home, we've got some awesome things for you to try out. We teamed up with Kelly Matthews in 2019 when she put together a killer 4 week training program - these workouts will put your core to the test! Back to top.

    Ab/Core Workout #1: Lower Push, Upper Pull

    A1) Landmine Squats - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps (Lower Push, Upper Pull) Back to top.

    A2) Chin Ups, Hollow Body Hanging Scapula Pulls - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Back to top.

    B1) Rack Position Reverse Lunges - 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps. Back to top.

     

    B2) Elevated Single Arm Forearm Plank Row - 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps. Back to top.

     C1) KB Lateral Lunge - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Back to top.

     

    C2) Cable Lat Sweep - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Back to top.

    C3) Ab Wheel/Physio Ball Rollouts - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Back to top.

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    Ab/Core Workout #2: Lower Pull, Upper Push

    A1) Trap-Bar Deadlift - 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps. Back to top.

    A2) Landmine Half Kneeling Press - 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps. Back to top.

    B1) Staggered Stance KB Deadlift - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

    B2) DB Floor Press - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    C1) Slideboard/Glider Hamstring Curls - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

    C2) Tall Kneeling ISO Lateral Raises - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

    C3) (Modified) Copenhagen Plank (:20-30 seconds per side)

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    Ab/Core Workout #3: The Total Body Sizzler!!

    A1) KB Swings - 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps. Back to top.

    A2) Pendlay Row - 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps. Back to top.

     

    A3) TRX Bicep Curls - 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps. Back to top.

    B1) Hip Thrusts - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

      

    B2) Decline Push Ups - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    B3) Hollow Body Skull Crushers - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Back to top.

    C1) Walking Lunges - 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps

     

    C2) Reverse Fly’s - 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps

     

    C3) Tall Kneeling Cable Pullovers - 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps

    Hope you enjoy and look forward to sharing some more home workouts as we ride this thing out!

    #DITCHYOURSHOES

    -Mike

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