Have you ever dreamed of having your own gym at home? Is it true that the comfort of exercising in your private space ends with vagrancy and excuses? But can a home gym help me build muscle? These and many other questions are asked by many.
So Can Home Gyms Build Muscle Mass? There’s absolutely no doubt that you can use a home gym for bodybuilding.The truth is that you can train effectively using simple home gym bodybuilding exercises that I will discuss. These are possible with or without training equipment.
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How to Organize Workouts in the Home
3 workouts a week of about 40-50 minutes each. This is the total time you will have to dedicate to your “workouts”. In addition, choosing to train in your personal “home gym” you will not even fear mishaps related to traffic, files to access the gym equipment and harassing training partners.
Work Out at Home Without Tools
Do you think that in order to train at home you need a treadmill, an exercise bike, dumbbells and bulky benches?
You can achieve excellent results and set up quick and stimulating workouts even if you choose only free weight bodybuilding exercises, which do not require the use of any tool.
The only accessory you’ll need is a simple fitness mat, useful for protecting your back, knees and elbows when you’re doing ground exercises. There are many models that differ in size, thickness, materials, colors and properties: to find the perfect type for your needs, you can consult this practical guide to the choice of gym mats.
To train comfortably, get yourself a pair of sports shoes (the classic running shoes are fine) and make sure you have a small corner where you can move safely, without running the risk of colliding furniture, jambs and fixtures.
Here’s what tools should never be missing for effective home training:
Tools for Aerobic Training
Aerobic training is used to burn fat mass (and thus lose weight), increase endurance and strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory system. Running, cycling and swimming are classic aerobic activities, but of course they are not possible at home. In order not to give up the aerobic exercises, you can choose a treadmill, which replaces running and walking in the open air, a bicycle, to pedal without leaving the house, or a stepper.
As for the treadmills, those for domestic use must obviously be small, foldable and possibly not too expensive. The cheapest and most practical aerobic training equipment to use at home is undoubtedly the stepper.
Tools for muscle training
Aerobic activity must always be accompanied by muscle training, to improve strength and tone. The best tools in this case are weights. If you don’t have a problem with space, and especially if you’re already trained enough, I recommend you invest in a good bench for weightlifting with rocker arms.
The bench should then be combined with the rockers, better if adjustable, so you can gradually increase the weight. If you are new to muscle training, it is best to opt for small fitness weights.
Before and after the actual training, do not forget to do stretching. There are lots of accessories to use with the body free, which, although not essential, help to perform the exercises in a safe and stimulating way. These include gymnastics balls, which are also used in yoga and pilates to improve balance and coordination. They are very cheap and there are various sizes of them on the market. Make sure they are made of anti-explosion and anti-slip PVC.
Other useful accessories to stretch the muscles of the arms and legs are the elastic. They are very versatile and you can use them in different ways, even to enhance muscle exercises, increasing endurance. The price is usually low, but always make sure that the elastics are made of material resistant and 100% safe.
Home gym exercises
I have seen which are the tools to have to do gym in the house, let’s see now what are the exercises to do using these tools. First, however, let’s make a small premise: if you are not an expert in fitness and have never trained, or have attended very little the gym, ask a personal trainer to make a training card and avoid improvising, because you could cause serious damage to your body!
I will not give you, therefore, precise indications on the duration and intensity of the training, but only on what are the exercises that can be done at home.
Walking and running
The ideal would be to run outdoors, for example in a park, but if you want to train exclusively at home, you can do so with a treadmill. Ideally, you should run for at least 30 minutes three times a week (or if you succeed every day). If you are not already training and running for the first time, start by walking fast for ten minutes, then run for five, then walk for ten more and finally run for five more, slowing down gradually.
This activity can be done either outdoors or inside the house on a treadmill.
As time goes by, you reduce the duration of your walk to the advantage of running, until you run for the duration of your training. Remember that before you start running it is important to do stretching exercises to stretch and warm up your muscles.
Biking (with a bike)
Another great aerobic workout is the bike. I suggest you take advantage of every possible opportunity to cycle and leave your car, for example to go to work. If you can’t ride outdoors every day, buy a bike and work out at home. You can also use an exercise bike to get your biking on!
Again, the ideal is to train for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Most exercise bikes give you the ability to adjust the resistance of your pedals to make your training more intense and tone up your leg muscles. Start with the lowest resistance, gradually increasing it over time.
Step (or stairs)
If you have stairs in your house, or you live upstairs, you’re lucky: you don’t have to buy a stepper to train! Stairs every day are already a big step towards burning calories and firming leg muscles. A stepper, however, could be useful if you don’t have any other aerobic training equipment, such as a treadmill or exercise bike.
The rule is always the same: the training must last at least thirty minutes and must be repeated three times a week to be really effective. To make your home gym session more stimulating, try stepping to the rhythm of music.
In addition to aerobic training, which helps burn fat and lose weight, it is essential to do muscle exercises to train and strengthen muscles throughout the body. For the arms, you need to use weights. If you have never done any weight exercises, start with small dumbbells with a weight of 1 kg.
When you are more trained, you can increase the weight to be lifted and, if possible, use a bench to lift the barbell. During weight exercises the risk of injury is very high, so proceed with caution, follow a training card made by a pesonal trainer specifically for you and, if you can, have an expert follow you for the first time.
For abdominals there is no need for specific tools, you just need a mat to train on the floor. If you have enough space at home, you can use a bench. In total, the training should take at least 10-15 minutes. The best exercises to train high, low and lateral abdominals are crunches and planks, i.e. elbow bends.
To do the crunches, lay on the floor in a supine position, bend your legs slightly and cross your hands behind the nape of your neck. Raise your entire torso towards your pelvis, without bending your back. Do the same exercise by bending your upper body to the right and left for the lateral abdominals.
For planks, however, lie on the ground on your stomach down, lean on your elbows and tip of your toes and stay in this position for at least thirty seconds. For the side planks, lean only on one forearm and raise the other arm towards the ceiling. Hold the position for at least thirty seconds and repeat on the other side.
Squat is the perfect exercise for firming and strengthening the muscles of the legs and buttocks. It can be done with or without weights, if you have never trained, it is preferable to start without. To be effective, squats should be done for at least 10 minutes a day three times a week. Warning: If done the wrong way, this exercise can damage your joints, so if you have never done it in the gym, have a personal trainer teach you how to do it correctly.
To squat the right way, stand with your legs parallel and spaced out and slowly descend, as if you were sitting in a chair. Your feet can be parallel or with your fingers slightly outward facing, the important thing is that the position is stable. The abdominals should be contracted and the eyes should point straight forward. It is important not to bend your knees first, but to push your pelvis back. Your knees should be in line with your feet and your back should not be bent.
Final Thoughts on Building Muscle with a Home Gym
Some tips for training at home As I have seen, to make gym in the house is possible, but with some shrewdness. First of all, if you have never trained in the gym, I do not recommend that you start alone, because you may do the exercises incorrectly, causing damage to the muscles and joints. At least for the first time, have a personal trainer explain how to do the exercises correctly.
The type, duration and intensity of your training should not be left to chance either. So avoid making your own training plans and have an expert make a card, which you can do at home and not necessarily in the gym.
Finally, although there is nothing to prevent you from training at home with your body and free weights, without any tools, having a bike, a treadmill and some weight is definitely a wise choice. As I have seen, in the specialized shops and on Amazon there is a vast choice of equipment for the gym, cheap and compact, perfect for home use. You have no excuse not to start training right away!