The advantages of working out in your own home are numerous. You save yourself the money you would spend on a gym membership. You save yourself time by eliminating the drive to the fitness center. Essentially, by removing the barriers of time and money, you leave yourself with no excuse not to work out.
Women have relatively lower upper body strength compared to men. If you cannot perform pushups, you can still improve the tone of your chest muscles and your cleavage by pushing against a wall or a low, immovable table. Standing on your toes 2 feet from the wall, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the wall. Bend your elbows and bring your nose toward the wall, stopping about 2 inches away. Maintain a straight line from your head to your toes. Repeat for three sets of 15 repetitions. As your strength improves, graduate to pushups with your knees on the floor. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and lower your body until your face is 2 inches from the floor. Perform three sets of 15 reps. As you get stronger, you may be able to perform full pushups. Change the position of your hands and elbows to focus on the backs of your arms instead of your chest as you perform wall and knee push-ups. Bring your hands to shoulder-width apart, pointing your elbows backward while keeping your arms close to your rib cage.
Lunges tone your glutes, inner thighs, quads and the tops of your hamstrings. Lunges work as a buttocks lifter by helping to delineate the point where your glutes and the backs of your legs come together. To perform a stationary lunge, first place your feet side by side. Step forward with your right leg just far enough to lower your pelvis toward the floor, bending your knees and hips to create nearly 90-degree angles in both limbs. Keep your feet in the same positions, but raise and lower your pelvis to do stationary lunges. Keep your right knee in line with your ankle, being careful not to let it creep forward. Complete a set of 15 reps, and switch legs for up to three sets.
Bicycle crunches tone your rectus abdominus, or six-pack, muscle and your obliques, the muscles on the sides of your torso. Perform bicycle crunches by lying down with your back on the floor and your hands behind your head. Raise your torso and both feet off the floor and bring your opposite bent knee and elbow toward each other. Your other leg should be straight and form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Alternate sides for a total of three sets of 15 reps on each side.
If you have a stubborn roll of fat spilling over your bra in the area just under and slightly behind the arms, tone this site with back rows. Loop a piece of exercise tubing around a waist-level or higher immovable object. Hold a handle in each hand and step away from the bar until you feel tension in the tubing. With your palms facing each other, pull the handles close to your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Complete three sets of 15 reps. You can use a heavier resistance band or stand farther away to increase intensity.
- “Personal Trainer Manual”; American Council on Exercise; 1997
- push ups image by Steve Lovegrove from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.