Really pushing yourself in a training session is a lot harder when you’re stuck at home without access to the right gym equipment, an ideal workout space, or a gym buddy to keep you motivated.
Athlean-X’s Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. runs through the 10 exercises that he thinks are important to incorporate into any home workouts in his latest video. All these moves should be accessible regardless of the facilities at your disposal or ability level, to make sure you’re working every muscle group during quarantine.
10 Exercise to Add to Your Home Workouts
First up is a classic: the simple pullup. “When it comes to training your back, there’s no better exercise than this,” says Cavaliere. “You can’t escape the benefits that this exercise provides.” If you can’t do a pullup, he recommends starting out by trying inverted rows, which you can perform even without a dedicated pullup rig by placing a bar (like a broom or shovel) across two chairs.
The second exercise is another back training bodyweight move called the human pullover. It’s similar to a lat pullover, except instead of a dumbbell, you’re moving your body. You’ll also engage the abs. It’s a challenging move, so you can work the same muscles with the more accessible sliding pulldown.
Moving onto the chest, Cavaliere’s third move is the rotational pushup, a variation which introduces relative adduction with the twisting movement in each rep, maximizing contraction in the chest. This move can be made more difficult by placing the feet on a higher surface for a decline version, or easier by placing the hands on a higher surface for an incline version.
The fourth move is the bicep chin curl, a bodyweight move that recreates the motion of a bicep curl using the pullup bar. An easier version of this is the inverted chin curl, which utilizes the same bar-and-chair setup as the inverted row, although Cavaliere warns both versions of the exercise will “hit you hard.”
Fifth is the upright triceps dip, which can be performed anywhere using the backs of two chairs. “The action of staying upright keeps your elbows tighter at your side, which creates greater contraction on the long head of the triceps,” he says. A seated triceps dip can be done on the floor with your back to the couch, and your hands placed on the couch backwards to open up your shoulders.
Moving down to the legs, Cavaliere points out that resistance is crucial when training at home. So for the sixth exercise, the banded Bulgarian split squat, he simply doubles up the band to increase the resistance by around 40 pounds. “That might not be the appropriate load for everybody, but it’s a starting point and it gives you an option that’s better than doing a load of air squats,” he says. If you don’t have a band, you can recreate some of that tension by doing a slowed-down, controlled one and a half rep version of the split squat.
The seventh move, the slick floor bridge curl, engages the posterior chain and works the hamstrings and glutes in concert with each other. Simply lie back with your feet on a slippery surface, raise your body off the floor, and move your feet up and down in a sliding motion.
For the eighth move, hamstring/glutes raises, lock your feet in place in a kneeling position and then concentrically lower yourself forward until you’re catching your weight on a box or couch in front of you, then pushing off and using your glutes and hamstrings to raise yourself back up.
The ninth exercise is a handstand pushup, to really burn the shoulders. “There is some limitation in how low you can get your body in this exercise, but you can fix that by placing your hands on top of some books, so you get a little bit more of a range of motion,” says Cavaliere. “This is a very challenging way to work your shoulders that does its best to simulate the overhead press.”
The tenth and final move is one of Cavaliere’s faves: the equipment-free face pull, an exercise that can be performed using any doorway in your house and engages all of the muscles in your upper back, including the hard-to-hit rotator cuff.
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