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Getting Creative and Intuitive With My Workouts at Home

home workout

Sometimes, simple is best when it comes to workouts at home.

It’s funny, right as my love of CrossFit-inspired workouts was seemingly coming to a head—surviving this event, visiting Reebok CrossFit HQ and working out with Bob—my workout plans have since changed, kind of dramatically. I blogged over on Fit Bottomed Mamas about why, but since changing up my weekly workout routine to be a bit gentler on my body, I’ve learned some things. Some things I think are worth sharing.

3 Reasons I’m Loving My Workouts at Home

1. Workouts at home can be really fun and effective, even without a workout DVD or lots of equipment. It may seem intimidating to create your own workout at home, but it actually can be dang simple. For Ryan and me lately, it’s been as simple as writing down five different exercises on a piece of paper, shuffling them, and then doing each for a minute back-to-back for three to five rounds with a minute of rest between each round. The next day, we might select four new moves to do for two minutes each for a total of three rounds with two minutes of rest between each round. Or, we might decide we’re going to do 50 of each and just take our time with it. I prefer moves that build strength and get the heart rate up (why you see what you do in the photo above), but the exercises can be anything—burpees, mountain climbers, jacks, squats, bench presses. The options are pretty much limitless!

2. You can chunk it up. I’m not a huge fan of two-a-days, where you do two full workouts in a day (where do those people get the energy, seriously?), but I do dig doing half of a workout here or even a third of one there. I might do 25 minutes of easy yoga in the morning, 50 push-ups and lunges over my lunch break and then a short walk with my dog in the evening. These little bursts of activity are quick, manageable and give you a burst of energy and a feeling of accomplishment throughout your day. They also keep you from sitting so much. ‘Cause have you heard? Sitting is the new evil.

3. Workouts at home make it really easy for you to practice intuitive exercise. My weekly workout routine has changed in that my workout each day is more flexible. I still walk the dog daily, but I might swap out a day of strength training for power yoga if I feel tight or I might do a quick core circuit (25 sit-ups, 25 V-ups and two minutes of plank works wonders!) in addition to my run if I have extra time. In a nutshell, it gives me total control and allows my workouts to better adapt to my schedule, my energy levels and just what feels right for me to do. I’ve found, if you really listen to what your body is saying, it’ll tell you what to do!

Now, with all that said, you do have to have some structure. Otherwise, you might find yourself sitting on the couch, procrastinating about your workout, claiming that your body “needs” to sit and watch reruns of The Glee Project. So, I recommend setting weekly goals and planning out your workouts at least a day in advance (even just scheduling the time you’re going to do them helps). I’ve found that although I’m working out a bit later in the morning, early morning workouts still work best for me. They get me awake and feeling good for the day!

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t miss my gym or that I won’t be psyched to return to the super high-intensity stuff, but for now, I’m embracing my workouts at home. And they’re kind of loving me back. My flexibility has improved, my stress levels are down and my triceps have never been stronger. Pretty nice perks!

Who else loves doing workouts at home? What are a few of your faves? Do you create your own workouts at home? Let’s swap notes—I’d love to hear your ideas and steal, er, I mean borrow, them. —Jenn

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  1. KB says:

    Most of my workouts have been at home, but I don’t structure it as much as you do. I may have to reconsider that.

  2. Jessica says:

    I haven’t been able to get back into the workout classes I used to do (offered by my work for free) after I had a baby because of my pumping and pick-up duty schedule. It’s been so hard giving those up. I also don’t have the set-up to do work-out DVDs very easily (only one TV in the house, and no floor space near it to work out). But this motivates me to try something like what you’re doing that I can squeeze in in the evening after the little guy goes to sleep. I will start tonight!

  3. Billy says:

    Before retiring I used the gym and trainers at work. Now working out at home beginning with a 30-45 minute morning power walk outside (or treadmill if inclement weather), then a 2 minute plank, 3 sets of pushups, curls, tricep lifts behind the head, kick-backs, crunches. Trying to use the ball for some of these to work balance into the routine.

    Thanks for your article on home workouts. We are always looking for new ideas.

  4. Tuba says:

    I’ve heard about working out with a deck of cards. You name the each suit with an exercise. For example; push-ups for clubs, sit-ups for diamonds, squats for spades and jump-jacks for hearts. Then you simply pick a card and do the following exercise as the number of the card. Kings, queens and jacks count as 10 and aces count as 11. You can finish the deck as a challenge or you can stop whenever you want. I think that method is a great deal especially for vacations.

  5. Debbie says:

    I’m liking my home workouts now since I’m practicing kickboxing moves I learned in class. My Saturday kickboxing classes are hardcore, more like bootcamp, but determined to get through all 10 of them.

    I’m not good at the moves and feel dorky (punch like a girl!) so I’m practicing with the latest Jillian DVD and a few others (older Kathy Smith has a 10 min solution one when I’m short on time–and tired). I just have to get over the newbie feel of it all so it helps to practice all by myself!

  6. Helen says:

    I have been working out at home for 4 years!! Ihave experimented with everything.. And it has treated me well! I recently have finished jillian Michael’s Body Revolution (which by the way you should review! it is a 3 month programme and you just keep on moving without getting bored!)

  7. Wanda says:

    I’m not a fan of working out at home because I need a more social environment. However, I really liked your post on intuitive workouts. I sign up for classes in advance at my gym, but I’ve learned that overall, I tend to listen to body daily to determine which workout I actually need and/or feel I can handle. As you mentioned, I could wake up feeling tight one day and instead of another high-intensity CrossFit or spin class, I go to a power yoga class instead. Some days, if I am completely worn out, I go to a restorative yoga and come out feeling refreshed. I am finding that it helps me to stay motivated to work out and keeps me from pushing myself too hard when my body isn’t up to it.

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