Our bodies are the only place we will always be in. The human body is a temple of neurological paths and muscle fibers, in a sense, and should be properly maintained through physical activities and good food.
However, many people are afraid to even step in a gym, or go outside and enjoy the nature, along with a jog. For those people, taking the first step to a healthier body (and mind) seems impossible!
… And even if they take that step, they don’t stick to training for that long because they are “Busy”.
Maybe they’re actually worried about what other people think of them, or have some kind of insecurity, or simply don’t know how to execute the exercises.
If you recognize yourself in some of the statements above, we’re here to help you get started! Below, we will give you a simple full body home workout, that is done using mostly your bodyweight, as well as some basic equipment.
- A pair of dumbbells, heavy enough to give you a challenge
- Full body
Type of exercises used
- Mostly bodyweight exercises, some dumbbell exercises
Rest times between sets
- No specific rest times, but not longer than 60 seconds
- Beginner/intermediate male and female trainees
Chest and triceps exercises
Muscle groups involved: Chest, triceps, front deltoids
Targeted muscle groups according to arm placement
- Wide push-ups- Mostly chest
- Regular (shoulder) width- Mostly chest, front deltoids and triceps are secondarily involved
- Close grip push-ups (Diamond push-ups) – Mostly triceps, front deltoids and chest are secondarily involved
Push-ups are an exercise that can give you great results, by shaping your pectoral muscles, as well as the front deltoid and the triceps.
It is a perfect substitute for exercises like “Flat bench press” and “Flat dumbbell flys”, which are usually done in a gym.
You can target different sectors of your chest, by raising your legs up on a bench. You can also change the width of your arms to emphasize more on the triceps or the chest.
Using a bench to elevate your feet/arms is also an option to increase or decrease the tension.
Execution of the exercise:
- Place your hands on the floor, slightly below the shoulder line, fingers point forward. Heels are together and your head looks forward. Your body should be straight like a guitar string
- Go down, until the upper arm is parallel with the ground
- Push up until you almost reach full lock of the elbow joint
- Go down slowly, push up explosively
This is simple, yet often misunderstood. For EVERY exercise, you INHALE on the NEGATIVE part of the exercise (The part where we do not apply strength and effort whatsoever) and EXHALE on the POSITIVE part, where you apply strength and effort.
So, for this exercise, you would INHALE while going down and EXHALE while pushing up. Do not forget to control your breathing.
For all you ladies reading this article- If this exercise is hard for you, stand on your knees to make the movement easier to go through!
Bench dips are an exercise, used to primarily target the triceps, and secondarily, the chest.
- Sit on a bench sideways and place your hands beside you. Lift your body up in the air, by only standing on your hands.
- Place your legs on the ground, or on another bench if you want to use your full bodyweight
- Let your body down until the upper arm is parallel to the ground
- Push yourself up to the initial position
- Neck reflexes – Look up to emphasize on the triceps
- Injury prevention – Do not quickly lock out your elbows at the top, to avoid joint damage
- Control the movement and feel your triceps/chest/shoulders working
Now that we’ve gone through the first two very basic body-weight exercises you can do at home, let’s move on to the exercises that require simple equipment, like a pair of dumbbells.
Dumbbell lateral raises
This is an exercise, used to target the side deltoids.
Secondary muscles involved: Trapezius
- Stand up, straighten your back and puff your chest a little
- Keep the dumbbells in front of you (or by your side) so that their sides point forward
- Don’t lock out your elbows, keep them slightly bent
- Raise the dumbbells laterally
- Contract the lateral head of your shoulder muscles
Note: Don’t go too heavy on this exercise, as that will put more tension on your traps, rather than the side deltoids.
Back and bicep exercises
This is an exercise that builds pulling power and targets the back musculature.
The movement allows you to target the back unilaterally and is especially effective when you have some kind of disproportion.
- Place your left hand and knee (optional) so that your body is parallel to the ground
- Hold the dumbbell with your right hand
- Pull the dumbbell up, contracting your back
- Let the dumbbell down, stretching your back
- Don’t let the dumbbell touch the ground, keep constant tension on your back
- Keep your elbow close to the body
- Pull to the lower part of your abdominal to target the lower portion of your back
Dumbbell bicep curl
This is an exercise that primarily targets the biceps, and secondarily the forearm muscles.
- Pick the dumbbells and keep them by your side (We know that sounds a bit romantic)
- Arms fully relaxed
- Keep shoulders and upper arm static
- Curl the dumbbells, contracting your bicep
- Keep your pinky supinated (Facing outwards)
- Don’t swing your arms
- Curl by just moving your elbow
- Keep your arms close to your body
A basic exercise, that targets the abdominal musculature and requires balance.
- Sit on the ground
- Place your arms by the side of your head to balance your body
- Lift your legs up and try to maintain balance
- Curl your legs towards your body and start alternating them in a pedal-spinning fashion
- To further engage the core musculature, twist your body slightly to the left side, when the right knee is closer to the body, and vice versa.
Keep your abdominal wall constantly tensed.
This is a static exercise that tenses the whole body, and mainly the core musculature.
- Lay on the ground, standing on your elbows and toes
- Keep your body straight
- Hold this position for as long as possible
Body-weight (wall) squats
This is an exercise that primarily targets the quadriceps, and secondarily the glutes and hamstrings.
- Place your legs at shoulder width
- Open your toes slightly, so that they won’t point forward
- Cross your arms and place them on your shoulders
- Keep your back straight
- Let your butt down, until your legs are parallel to the ground
- Go up without locking your knees
- You can step wider to target the glutes
- You can contract the glutes at the top of the exercise
- If you have a hard time driving the tension through the heels, you can elevate your heels by up to an inch and a half
- Keeping your back against a wall is optional, as shown on the exercise illustration- It allows you to control the movement better, resulting in further quadriceps engagement.
Dumbbell walking lunges
A perfect exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes
- Stand up straight and the dumbbells by your side
- Take a big step forward and let your body down, keeping the back straight
- Don’t let your knee touch the ground
- Come up and proceed to doing the same movement on the other leg
Control the movement and don’t go too fast on it, as you might lose balance.
Cardio through exercises
As a cardio routine, you can do these 3 exercises in a superset, meaning, you do them consecutively with no rest in between the exercises.
This is one of the most effective body-weight exercises, that is cardio oriented, but also develops pushing and jumping strength, explosiveness and endurance.
- Stand up straight with your arms next to you
- Squat down and place your palms slightly wider than shoulder width
- Kick back with your legs, so that you’re in a push up position
- Do a push up
- Return legs to original position
- Squat up and jump
This is pretty much a full body exercise, with a core focus, that can be applied in everyday workouts as well as cardio workouts.
- Stay in a push-up position
- Arms are as wide as shoulder width or slightly wider
- Get your knees closer to your chest, by curling the leg in
- Get it back to the original position
- Repeat on the other leg
Try to imagine you’re actually climbing a mountain or a wall.
This is an exercise that primarily targets the calf musculature, but also tenses the quadriceps and most muscles on the upper portion of the body.
- Stand up straight
- Place rope behind you
- Spin the rope
- Jump and sync with the movement of your wrists
- Keep a moderate pace
When you get used to the movement and synchronizing the rope and your jumps, you can start alternating your steps- Dance, in a sense. You don’t really need to jump that high, just as high as the rope is thick, so it can pass below you. Try to play with the rope.
You don’t necessarily need to go to the gym.
As you can see in this workout guide, there are plenty of options when it comes to working out at home, or outdoor.
This routine is suitable for beginners and intermediate athletes, that are looking to improve their overall health and looks, without the need to visit the gym.