As promised in last week's Fitness Friday, I have a ton of exercise ideas for you to use with a few simple pieces of equipment that I recommend for any home gym: a jump rope, set of dumbbells, and a resistance band.
Ready?! Let's jump into it (did you catch that pun? I tried to be funny :) )
Of course, this one may seem obvious, but I'm here to provide you with a few other options than just the typical jumping rope.
1. High Knees Jumping Rope - Get those knees as high as possible as you spin the rope and try and keep your coordination!
2. Double Unders - Can you get two jumps instead of one per swing of the rope? I can't yet, but someday...
3. 1-Leg Hop - Switch things up and try something new by jumping on one leg and then the other.
4. Heel Kicks - While swinging your rope, kick your feet out one at a time with your toes up and heel striking the ground.
5. Burpee Jump Overs - Lay the jump rope on the ground in a straight, vertical line. Perform a burpee on one side of it, laterally jump over the rope, and perform a burpee on the other side.
6. Backwards Jump Rope - Swing that rope the other direction!
7. Lateral Jumps - Lay the rope on the ground in a straight, vertical line. Jump over it side to side, aiming for speed or distance or both!
8. Forward and Back Jumps - Lay the rope on the ground in a straight, horizontal line. Jump over it forward and back, going for speed or distance or both!
9. Windmills - Hold the rope in both hands, arms up in front of you, jump rope taut. Keeping your arms out straight, bend at the waist and reach right hand to left foot. Rise and repeat on the other side, keeping the rope straight and core tight.
10. Side to Side Jumps - While jumping rope, hop your legs from side to side, feet together.
11. Jump Rope Jacks - While jumping rope, hop your feet out and in, like a jumping jack.
When it comes to dumbbells, I recommend getting two sets if you can, one lighter for upper body, and one for lower body. However, if you can only get one set, start with a good medium weight, like 10-12 lbs.
With these, I'm not going to explain the movements in great detail, except for the movements that are unique or different combinations. Otherwise, I hope the movements are familiar to you or that you can Google it :)
Lastly, this is obviously NOT an exhaustive list for dumbbells. That could be a 100 part blog series if I wanted! I will just touch on a few of my absolute favorites that are time-efficient. You can hold the weights on your shoulders or by your sides, depending on the movement!
1. Elevated Lunges - Elevate that back leg and lunge down and up.
2. Sumo 1.5 Squats - Assume a sumo squat stance (toes pointed out and feet wide). Squat down, rise halfway up, go back down, then come all the way back up and repeat.
3. Squat kicks - Squat down, rise up and kick one leg up. Repeat on other side.
4. Glute Bridges - Hold the weight on your hip bone as you lift your hips to the ceiling.
5. Deadlift - This can be a standard deadlift, sumo stance, or straight legged deadlift - there's so many options!
6. Single Leg Deadlift - Balance on one leg as you perform a straight leg deadlift.
7. Walking Lunges - Make these burn!
8. Chest Press - You can do a standard chest press or even twist your arms together so that your palms face each other at the top of the movement.
9. Chest Flies
10. Shoulder Press - Perfect go-to movement for your shoulders.
11. Front or Side Raises
12. Upright Row - You can also combine this movement with a sumo squat, so you squat down, and rise up and perform an upright row at the top.
13. Bent Over Row - You can have your palms facing each other or palms up or palms down. This movement is so versatile and hits your upper back.
14. Reverse Flies - Bend over, back flat, hips pushed back, and bring your arms up and out to the sides, squeezing between your shoulder blades.
15. Bicep Curl + Shoulder Press - Perform a bicep curl and then flip the weights and press them up into a shoulder press.
16. Tricep Extension
17. Tricep Kickbacks
18. Weighted Jacks - Perform a jumping jack while pressing a single weight up and down.
19. Monkey Jumps - Hold a single weight between your legs. Assume a sumo stance, feet wide, and perform mini jump squats.
20. Plank Rows - Get into a plank with the dumbbells under your hands. Row one arm up at a time, keeping your body in a straight line and hips straight.
Again, that's just the start of ideas that you can do with dumbbells. If you can only get one piece of equipment, get a pair of weights. Strength training is necessary for everyone because we lose muscle mass as we age, which weakens our bones, slows our metabolism, and doesn't make growing old too pleasant!
Last but not least, the resistance band. These ideas are for the resistance band that is a long tube with handles on each end. It is super versatile and perfect for a variety of movements. Plus, it's travel friendly because it weights nothing!
1. Bicep Curls - Step on the middle of the band and perform a bicep curl up and down, holding the handles in your hands.
2. Upright Row - Step on the middle of the band and hold the handles in your hands, palms facing you. Row your arms up, elbows out to the side.
3. Shoulder Press - Step on one end of the band and hold the handle in one hand. Press your arm up and down, adjusting the resistance on the band as necessary.
4. Tricep Extension - Step on the end of the band and hold one handle with both hands behind your head as you perform a tricep extension up and down.
5. Lat Pull Downs - Hold the band with both hands. Raise your arms above your head and pull the rope apart as you bring it down to your chest. You can do this in front or behind your head.
6. Chest Press - Hold the band with both hands. Bring your arms out straight in front of you. Pull the band apart as you bring it in towards your chest.
7. Push-ups - Wrap the band around your back and hold it underneath both hands as you perform a push-up to add extra resistance on the way up.
8. Glute Kickbacks - Slip a handle through one of your feet. Secure the other end up with your hand. Kick your foot back and up, straight or bent, depending on what you feel like!
9. Squats - Stand on the band with both feet and hold the handles in each hand up by your shoulders as you squat up and down.
10. Bent Over Row - Stagger your feet, stand on the band with your front foot, and row your arms up and down.
These are just these start of fun things you can do with resistance bands - it's so easy to be creative!
So there you have it - so many new ideas for home workouts with just a few pieces of equipment. If you have any questions about the movements or the equipment in general, let me know! I'm here to help you - that's my job as a group fitness instructor and a soon-to-be personal trainer (hopefully - if I pass my test!!).
Next week, I'll have three workouts for you to try using only these pieces of equipment - another something to look forward too!