Resistance training needs to be consistent to be effective. But how do you maintain or even progress your physique when you’re on the go, away from home, travelling or simply unable to make it to the gym? There’s a simple solution – train without equipment. Minimal to no equipment exercise can be just as effective when done right. We’re going to break down some of our top tips for maximizing training efficiency and effectiveness anywhere, anytime.
There are so many ineffective ‘at home’ workout programs, schedules and videos out there. The one thing that they all lack is proper programming and ability for progression through the routine. This often leads people into doing hardcore, ‘beast mode’ workouts that become tiresome, tedious and repetitive over time, making them tough to enjoy and stick to.
With so many misleading home workout programs around, it becomes a common misconception that you NEED equipment and gym facilities to effectively build muscle and burn body fat. But gyms are not the be all and end all. Yes they make programming easier, but there are other effective ways to build and maintain your goal physique. In fact, by simply making the right exercise selections, and utilizing simple tools such as light resistance bands, we are able to create a stimulus that promotes muscle adaptation and overall progression.
Here are a few tips:
- Focus on compound movements that will give you the best bang for your buck and create maximal muscle stimulation for the time allocated.
- Staple movements such as squats and lunges are brilliant for leg development as they recruit all areas of the leg while also challenging core stability. These are often the most taxing movements as they stimulate the largest muscle group, so it’s best to keep them at the start of the session.
- Pushing movements such as the humble push up can be done in a variety of ways; they can be done incline (leaning against a table), flat (on the floor) or decline (legs elevated) depending on your level of ability.
- Working the back and focusing on pulling movements is extremely important, as it allows us to improve posture and correct the imbalances created from spending so much of our day in a tucked over position. Chin-ups are one of the best exercises both in and out of the gym for developing back muscles, and all you need is a bar, a doorway or anything else you can hang off to do these. Chin ups cater to a variety of skill levels – the movement can be regressed and made easier or progressed and made increasingly difficult with the assistance of a resistance band.
- Carry a resistance band – one with or without handles will work just fine. The real win with a band is that it doesn’t take up much space like other equipment. Band work can also stimulate blood flow and create muscle-building signals without creating excessive muscle damage. This means we can utilize them at a higher frequency, working each muscle group more often with more manageable recovery time between session. Bands are a great way to progress and apply extra resistance to an exercise. To amp up your workout, use a selection of resistance bands to increase the degree of resistance applied to your selected exercise.
- The third and final tip is to make the workout routine simple and time effective. When on the go, the last thing you want to worry about is a 1-2 hour session that you need to try and fit in to your busy day. This just leads to missed session, and we all know the session you do is always more effective than the one you don’t. As little as 10-30 minutes can be enough time to send that signal to the body that it needs to maintain and build its muscle mass to respond to the resistance being applied. Focus on setting up full body routines that target each movement (pushing, pulling and legs) within each workout. Incorporate effective compound exercises mentioned in tip one along with the addition a few little ‘fun’ movements such as banded lateral raises, bicep curls or tricep extensions to further promote blood flow to the working muscles. Choose 4-6 exercises, do 12-20 reps and repeat 2-3 times through.
If this simple routine can be done 1-3 times per day for 3-5 days of the week then you’ll be in a great position to maintain that hard earned body that you’ve taken time to build. You can even progress your mobility and stability in the process, all while enjoying that time away, knowing there is no stress about needing to find a fully equipped gym to do what you love. These little tips and pointers are great for any skill level; you just need to work to your body’s capabilities and find a level that suits you best. A simple routine like this can help a beginner get started at home, or an avid lifter get their sessions in while away on holiday, either way, it is possible to train effectively no matter where you are or what your goals may be.
Author Glen George from our Melbourne stores!