We are once again on holiday, which means it’s time to get off our butts and work on our health with Young Post’s “Home Gym” routines. This section will guide you on a gym or workout routine that you can do at home with minimal equipment.
Last time, we took a look at a beginner’s routine, with the prime focus on encouraging people to try working out for the first time or adopt a healthier lifestyle. This time, we are going to dive deeper and target a specific muscle group – our legs.
As always, safety comes first. This means doing the exercises with the correct form, and not pushing yourself too far if you feel pain. Finally, be sure to complement your new exercise routine with a balanced and healthy diet.
With that said, let’s begin the workout:
Type of programme: circuit training
Number of sets: 3
Rest between sets: 2 minute
Jump rope: 1 minute
Burpee: 20 repetitions
Reverse lunges: 10 for each leg
Squat jump: 15 repetitions
Mountain climbers: 1 minute
Plank: 45 seconds
Just like our previous Home Gym routine, this workout is a circuit training programme, which means that after you have done all the exercises, you will repeat the cycle. All the exercises listed above form one set. You will need to do them all in the order they are listed (taking note of the number of repetitions) three times, with a two-minute rest period between each set.
We will now go through each individual exercise step by step, to learn how to do it correctly and which muscle group it should target.
Jump rope (1 min)
The first exercise of this routine is the jump rope. It’s great for warming up; it will work your arm and leg muscles while improving your coordination. It is as simple as it sounds: continuously flip the rope over your head and jump as it hits the floor. Don’t worry if you fail a jump, just keep going until you’ve completed your one-minute workout. For added difficulty, you can try jumping on foot, then switching to the other. The pattern might look something like this: 10 jumps on your left foot, 10 on the right, 10 with both feet, and so on.
Burpee (20 reps)
Burpees are a full body exercise that give you the best of both strength and aerobic training. We will be looking at the most basic form, the “four-count burpee”. You begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms to your side. Next, push your hips back while bending your knees to go into a squat position, placing your hands on the ground. Then, using your hands as support, jump softly and extend your legs backwards to form a plank position. Hold the plank position for around one second, then jump forward, bringing your feet just behind your hands. Finally, spring upwards into a jump, swinging your hands upwards for extra momentum. When you land, you should be back in the standing position, ready to go again. Repeat 20 times, and trust me you will be feeling the full-body exercise.
Reverse lunges (10 reps per leg)
In the first Home Gym routine, we tried lunges. Well, these are exactly the same but done in reverse. This exercise will train your legs and bum (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes) while improving your body/core stability. Stand upright with your feet together, and take large step backward with your right leg. Then lower your hips towards the floor by bending both your knees. Both knees should form a 90-degree angle. The back knee (right, in this case) should be facing the ground without touching it, with your front knee (left) pointing forwards. Be sure to keep your back straight to avoid injuries. Hold for a brief second, then take a step back into the original position. Repeat the above motion but with the other leg, alternating each leg 10 times on each side. For added difficulty, you can carry one water bottle in each hand.
Squat jumps (15 reps)
Again, this is a similar exercise to the bodyweight squat, which appeared in our first edition of Home Gym. The only difference is that this movement has an added motion at the end, and yes, it’s a jump, hence the name “squat jump”. Just like the bodyweight squat, this will train your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes (your legs and bum). The added jump at the end will help to improve your speed, strength and stability. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out, and your eyes forward. Slowly bend your knees and drop your hips to lower your body. When you hit the bottom, pause for a while, then explode upwards into a jump, just like the final motion of the burpee. Repeat this movement 15 times and then you can move onto the next exercise.
Mountain climbers (1 min)
Don’t worry, we are not going to climb any mountains, just do another full-body workout with one exercise. Mountain climbers are great for building your cardio endurance, core strength and agility. We begin in the plank position, hands shoulder-width apart and back straight. Then pull your right knee towards your chest as far forward as you can. Next, switch legs, this time bringing your left knee towards your chest while pushing your right knee to its original position. Remember to keep your hips down and continue doing this alternating movement as far and as fast as possible for one minute.
Plank (45 secs)
You can see the trusty plank has been incorporated into a lot of this week’s exercises. Keep your back straight forming a line from your head to heel while engaging your core / abs (tummy). Hold that position for 45 secs, and boom! You’ve completed one set of the workout.
Once you have finished your set of six exercises and their required reps, you can take a two-minute rest before beginning your next set. Remember to pace yourself as you will be doing three sets in total. Drink plenty of water, do each move in the correct form, and break a sweat.