How to make your home workouts more challenging

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Are you currently working out from home but feeling a bit uninspired and low in motivation? 

Since many of us have been thrown back into another lockdown, you may have noticed a drop in your daily movement. 

With limited or no access to equipment, this begs the question what kind of training could you be doing and how can you keep your workouts challenging? 

Firstly, it’s important to remember that training is NOT JUST OUTPUT. There are a multitude of benefits to training aside from energy expenditure, including the discipline involved with consistency and performing tasks, even when there are days you don’t want to. This is usually followed by a sense of pride and self-confidence for having taken control of your mindset. 
The physiological benefits range much further too; from a release of varying chemicals and hormones that improve your mood and sleep hygiene, to the maintenance of muscle tissue (which requires far less stimulus than the building of muscle). Therefore, if you’d like to feel fitter, more confident, and happier, sleep better and look more toned then we’d highly recommend training during this time! 
We’re lucky to have access to lots of free content online to use, but here are some general guidelines to follow when looking at what to train and how to keep your home workouts challenging:

  • Try to include some form of resistance training. This could quite simply be bodyweight, press ups, sit ups, squats etc.
  • When you apply intention and a slower tempo to these exercises and you’ll quickly realise how much you’ve underestimated the difficulty of these movements. You can also add a pause at the midpoint of these exercises to increase the time the muscles spend under tension which will increase the intensity of the workout. Another option would be to increase the range of motion of these movements. For example, when perfoming an exercises such as a split squat, the range of movement can be increased by placing both or your front foot on a step. 
  • Shorter, more frequent sessions will likely yield the best result. This is due to the lack of load you’ll have available to you, so rest times can remain fairly short, and intensifiers can be applied to create a large amount of fatigue in a short amount of time. Having a higher frequency of these sessions (3-5 times per week) will then regularly stimulate the other benefits mentioned above.

An example of the types of exercises you could do at home are as follows:

Full body BODYWEIGHT workout

4 Rounds
30 secs each exercise
30 secs rest after each round

  1. Air squats
  2. Press ups 
  3. Elevated hip thrusts(heels on sofa) 
  4. Tricep dips (using sofa/chair)
  5. Reverse lunge (alternate leg)
  6. Plank hold

Full body light DUMBBELL workout
4 Rounds
30 secs each exercise
30 secs rest after each round

  1. Lateral raise
  2. Split squat
  3. Tricep kickbacks
  4. Front squats
  5. Bicep curls 
  6. Hip thrusts

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  • Enjoyment of your training is certainly the most important factor to consider, as this will determine the longevity of your home training. It can be tempting to try and train exactly the same way you were in the gym, but let’s be honest - you don’t have access to the training equipment and environment that the gym could provide. This isn’t a bad thing, it simply means that your training modalities must adapt to what you have available, in a structure that you will stick to.
  • Use this opportunity to acquire further skills that may be required when you return to the gym. This could be in the form of improved mobility and joint range of motion, improved motor control and movement patterns (squat/lunge/direction of movement etc) or a strengthened core and the stability that comes with it. With these improved skills, you will have far fewer limiting factors when you get back on the gym floor, meaning far more potential progress to make!

If you’d like to start or continue training at home, but are unsure about what to do, then consider online coaching. It will provide the structure and accountability required to still make great improvements in this time of worrying and frustration.

To begin your online coaching journey with your M10 coach, please fill in the application form






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