Five Ways to Make Your Home Workouts More Effective

If you’re a busy parent, home workouts are probably your best bet for sneaking in some exercise while caring for your kids. It’s definitely more convenient, but working out at home comes with its own challenges, including the fact that it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and feel like you’re not seeing results.

To make your home workouts more effective, give these tips a try today.

1. Shorten Your Workouts with Interval Training

If you only have twenty or thirty minutes to exercise while your kids nap, interval training is the way to go. Interval training involves alternating between high- and low-intensity workout periods to increase your heart and rate and help you burn more calories during and after your workout.

A basic interval workout might look something like this:

  • 30 seconds of treadmill or bike sprints followed by 30 seconds of rest

  • 20 seconds of plyometrics (burpees, jump squats, etc.) followed by 30 seconds of rest

If you’ve never done this kind of workout before, start by shooting for just four rounds of sprints or plyometrics and work your way up over time. You can also always increase the rest times a bit if needed.

2. Wear the Right Shoes

When they work out at home, lots of people tend to forget about the importance of proper footwear. If you’re doing yoga or pilates, you can definitely workout barefoot. It’s even okay to resistance train without shoes (just don’t drop a weight on your foot!).

But, when you’re doing cardio, especially anything that involves a lot of jumping, supportive shoes are a must to protect your feet.

Since you’re saving money on a gym membership by working out at home, it’s worth it to invest in a high-quality pair of shoes to carry you through your workout sessions. Your feet will thank you.

3. Add Resistance

Don’t forget to add some resistance training to your workout schedule at least twice a week. Resistance training will help you avoid injury and strengthen your muscles and bones while also boosting your metabolism to increase your overall calorie burn.

Invest in some adjustable dumbbells or resistance bands that are easy to put away when your workout is over.

If you’re not sure how to begin when it comes to resistance training, start by focusing on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and rows. These exercises require you to use multiple muscle groups at once, so you can do a full-body workout in less time.

Pay attention to the often-forgotten muscles we need to keep strong, too. This list includes muscles like the forearms, calves, shoulders, and low back. Light dumbbells or wrist weights are perfect for targeting these small but important muscles.

4. Mix it Up

If you’re stuck in a home workout rut, mixing things up with a new type of workout will help you eliminate boredom and feel excited to exercise again. This will also help you see better results since your body may have gotten used to and stopped responding to your old routine.

If you always run on the treadmill, try adding some fun cardio alternatives like Zumba or kickboxing (there are lots of videos available online). Or, if you always use dumbbells, try bodyweight exercises for a different challenge.

5. Get Your Kids Involved

Do your kids often wander into your workout space and prevent you from exercising? You may need to reframe the situation and look for ways to get your little ones involved in the workouts.

Some ways you can easily involve your kids in your fitness routine include:

  • Using them as weights — have them ride on your back while you do squats, lunges, or bear crawls, or use them as a weight for overhead presses

  • Have relay races or broad jump contests for fun cardio bursts

  • Play games like tag or freeze dance

  • Head to the local playground and do pull-ups or cross the monkey bars while they play

If you’ve been lacking motivation or struggling to see results from your home workouts, a change to your routine may be in order. Use these tips as inspiration to get back at it!

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