8 easy at-home workouts
With no pre-bookings, travel or costly memberships, working out in a home gym can be a great way to tap into free fitness.
We’ve been building gyms for years for customers who love the convenience of strolling across the garden to work out in their very own private space. Here’s eight easy exercise plans to get you trim and toned in 2020.
Why: Every workout needs to start with a warm-up – and what better place than your own garden!?
How: Soak up the smells and sounds outdoors while you wake up your body. Warming up properly can reduce the risk of injuries, increase blood flow and give you a better range of motion.
Try: Do each exercise for two minutes: march on the spot, shoulder roll, knee lift, gentle squats and arm circles (forwards and back).
Pulling your weight
Why: Strength-training exercises using dumbbells are an easy way to get lean at home. To get the most tone for your time, do weight-bearing exercises that test two or more muscle groups. Do two or three sets of each, three times a week, and you should see a difference in four weeks.
How: Start with a 2KG set and 6 to 8 reps, and when you get used to then you can do more reps or go up in weight size.
Try: Have a go at a Dumbbell Thruster by squatting with your weights and driving them up overhead as you stand, or an Arnold Press, which targets the shoulders and triceps. Position the weights in front of your shoulders, palms facing the body, and as you push up overhead turn the wrists to bring the palms to face ahead. Repeat.
Why? Cardio workouts increase lung capacity and improve heart health – as well as burning fat and calories for weight loss. What’s not to love?
How: Equip your home gym with elliptical trainers and treadmills and you’re good to go in all weathers (we can even add a changing room and kitchen)! But if you’ve opted for a smaller space, you can still get up a sweat with a DIY fat-burning routine.
Try: Do three rounds of the following exercises for 10 seconds each, with a 10 second rest in between: jogging on the spot, jumping jacks and mountain climbers (bringing one knee to your nose at a time from a plank position, without elevating the hips).
Straight to the core
Why: Work on your abs and you’re less likely to develop injuries, poor posture and back pain.
How: If you hate crunches, planks are a great way to strengthen your abs but also work out your chest, back and arms.
Try: A classic plank involves placing your hands and feet on the floor, with shoulders hip width apart, tucking your tailbone in and holding for a count of 10. Repeat five times and soup-it-up by doing side planks, propped on an elbow and feet together, so your body is in one long line. Make it harder still with a lateral plank walk, where you maintain a plank position while walking on your hands and feet side-to-side.
Why: Workout your thighs, glutes and calves and you can boost your metabolism and strengthen bones and joints.
How: Start these exercises off without weights, then progress to holding hand weights as you feel more confident. Best of all, you can enjoy the view through your bifold doors while you’re busting through your reps!
Try: Go for a 20 second set of the first exercises, with a 10 second rest in between, and then push yourself by adding the second exercise.
- Squats: Squat Jumps
- Reverse Lunge: Lunge Jumps
- Supine Side Leg Raises: add ankle weights or a resistance band.
Why: Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, concentration and destress – and with natural sound-proofing and insulation, our solid log cabins are the perfect place to tune out the world. Check out our yoga studio case study here.
How: There’s hundreds of yoga apps and YouTube videos available to download so you can bring the classroom to your cabin.
Try: Go for a slow flow by standing in Mountain and taking five deep breaths, then bend from the hips and let your head hang loose in a Standing Forward Fold. Clasp each elbow and swing side-to-side for three breaths. Come down onto all fours and work into a Cat/Cow, arching and dipping the back for five breaths. Through bent knees come up into Downward Facing Dog (don’t obsess about getting your heels to the ground, instead think about lengthening your back), and hold for five breaths. Finally, jump forward into another fold, uncurling one vertebrae at a time up to your starting position.
Why: Strength training without weights, such as Pilates, can boost tendons, bones and ligaments, reduce inflammation and have a major impact on posture.
How: Grab a mat or a towel and you’re good to go!
Try: Practice ‘The Saw’ by sitting with your legs wide and stretching your arms out either side. Slowly twist and reach towards one foot, come back to the centre, and then repeat on the other side. Do four sets. Move on to The Hundred by lying face up, arms at your sides and bending your knees to a 90-degree angle. Lift your head and neck off the ground if comfortable and pump the arms up and down by the knees for 100 reps. Top it off with five Glute Bridges, lying face up with knees bent and rolling up and down slowly while keeping knees together and pushing into your feet.
Why: Balance exercises can often be overlooked in favour of cardio and weight-training, but good balance can affect and improve all sorts of daily activities.
How: Try to incorporate a balance into your warmup or cool down to improve stability and challenge yourself. Your balance can vary day-to-day, so don’t get disheartened if one day you keep falling over! Your balance will improve over time.
Try: A yoga pose such as Tree is a great place to start, but you can make it harder with a Single Leg Cross-Body Punch by holding two dumbbells at chest height. Put your weight into your left foot while you squat and punch across your body. Repeat on the right and do two sets of 10 reps. Or, put a resistance band across your lower thighs (just above the knees) and squat, tapping your left foot forward, back and to the side for 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.
Our traditional and contemporary style gyms can be conveniently sited in your garden and most do not require planning permission. Delivery can be within weeks and prices start at £15,225.
You can customise your Norwegian Log gym with a kitchen, changing room and air conditioning, and you can even add a sauna or steam room to give it that real Scandi feel. Click here for further gym case studies.