At some point, we’ve all hit the gym with the purpose of showing off those perfectly flat abs and well-toned muscles. While whatever your reason might be to hit the gym the benefits of staying fit are tremendous, apart from physiological effects exercising is quintessential to stay in a healthy mental space as well. But it’s not uncommon for the initial excitement of working out towards your dream body fizzle out given your tight schedule.
Does that mean you should let go of the idea of having the perfect body? Definitely, NOT!
Fitness isn’t bound to just working out at the gym but bound to the determination you have to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. If you are serious enough you could reach your goals doing as little as jogging each day with a few basic bodyweight exercises or even exercising from the comfort of your home. So go ahead and read on as I share a few simple exercises to help you tone your muscles working out at home.
But before we get to the workout routine, it’s important to know what is muscle toning and why is it necessary. Muscle tone refers to having some amount of muscle and a low body fat percentage so the muscles are well seen and defined. Muscle toning exercises raise your basal metabolism which helps your body burn more calories per day, boosting effective weight loss. It also helps you build endurance and strength.
I’ve mentioned here a 6-day workout routine each stretching to about 40-45 minutes long, alternating between cardio workouts and weight training workouts. Effectively your first, third and fifth day will aim at reducing the body fat percent. Second, fourth and sixth to help you put on more muscle.
Cardio workouts elevate your heart rate making you sweat which helps you lose weight. Jogging mixed with fast walking for 20 mins or 20 mins on an elliptical cross-trainer is a good start. If you don’t own one, you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket to buy a new one. Rent an elliptical cross-trainer for a few months give working out at home a try before actually making an investment.
Cardio workouts help you sweat and shed weight, but most of the weight that is lost is in form of water and hydrolytes which can easily be regained by your body. It is important to mix your cardio workouts with high-intensity cardio exercises like jumping jacks, burpees mixed with stepper exercises to work on your upper & lower body muscle groups and help you get in great shape.
Now, that your weight loss has been taken care of let’s move forward and put on some muscle. I’ve divided all the muscle parts across the three days of weight training.
Day One – Chest, Triceps, Shoulders & Abs
Dumbbell Floor Press
Lying down on the floor, position the weights at shoulder width over your chest with palms facing away from you. Push the weights up while breathing out and lock your arms when at full stretch. Squeeze your chest and bring your arms down slowly till your upper arms touch the ground while breathing in. Tuck your elbows at an angle of 45 degrees for safe pressing. Continue this for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions each.
Dumbbell Floor Flys
Lying down on the floor with the dumbbells positioned on your thigh. Raise each dumbbell right over the chest while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows to avoid stressing of bicep muscles. Bring down the dumbbells on either side in a wide arc while breathing in until your elbows touch the ground. Bring your arms back to the initial position while breathing out and squeeze your chest muscles.
Hold the two dumbbells at shoulder level with palms facing forward. Push one dumbbell up till elbows reach a locking position. Lower your arm after a short pause and repeat for the other arm.
Standing up, hold the dumbbells in each of your hands with your palms facing each other. Raise your arms till they are almost parallel to the ground. Lower your arms to the initial position after a short pause.
Hold one dumbbell behind your head with both your arms and your upper arms pointing straight up. Raise the dumbbell by curling your elbows and bring the dumbbell back down after a short pause.
While standing, place one foot forward with a slight bend in the knees and other foot back to put in a semi-lunging position. Bend forward to make your body parallel to the ground. Lift the dumbbell with the other hand with the upper arm being parallel to your body. Push the dumbbell back by extending your elbow, return to the initial position after a short pause.
Lie facedown with your legs stretched, elbows bent directly under shoulder. Keep your feet hip-width apart and tuck your toes to raise your body to form a straight line from head to heels. Hold the position for as long as you can.
Day Two – Back, Biceps & Abs
Lift both the dumbbells and bring yourself into a squatting position with a slight bend in your back and knees. Raise the dumbbells straight up while breathing out without moving your back or knee. Breathe in as you bring the dumbbell to starting position.
Kneeling One Arm Row
Put your one arm and knee on a bench and lift the dumbbell from the other arm. Bring the dumbbell straight up using just your arm, breathing out and keeping other parts still. Breathe in while bringing your arm back to starting position.
While in standing position spread your feet apart at shoulder width and position each of the dumbbells in either hand with palms facing each other. Raise your arms till they reach shoulder height. Avoid jerking your arms in order to reduce the effort of lifting and keep your arms still throughout the movement.
The initial position of hammer curls is as similar to your biceps curls, the difference being in the position of your palms. Position your palms facing your body and raise your arms by curling your elbows and keeping your upper arms still.
Lie down on your back, raise your lower body till your legs are perpendicular to the ground. Lower your legs slowly to the starting position after a short pause.
Put your feet flat on the floor with the knees bent while lying face up on the floor. Support your hand and neck with your hand, curl your head and shoulders towards the ceiling and rotate to the right. Return to the initial position and twist to the left. Repeat this 15 times for 3 sets.
Day Three – Legs & Abs
Hold one kettlebell with both the hands in front of your thighs. Lower your body by bending your knees till they almost form a 90-degree angle. Remember to keep your upper body still throughout.
Keep your one leg forward and another leg back while holding the dumbbells in each of your arms with palms facing each other. Lower your body to your knees form 90 degree angles, and return back to initial position after a short pause.
While standing up, hold each of the dumbbells in your hands placed at the side of your thighs with palms facing each other. Take a wide step sideway till your knees form a 90-degree angle, and bring back to the initial position after a short pause. Keep your back still throughout.
Hold the dumbbells in each of your arms with palms facing each other. Raise your heels by applying force on your toes and lower it back after a short pause. Make sure to keep rest of your body still throughout.
Lie down on your back with knees bent. Raise your upper body with the help of your upper abs till your shoulders are off the ground, looking straight up. Lower your body to starting position slowly.
End your workout routine with 3 sets of the plank exercise.
While this makes sure you have a good high-intensity workout, toning muscles require more than just working out. Make sure you follow a healthy diet free of carbonated drinks, fried food and anything junk that will just add on to those lost kilos. Also, your muscles get used to your routine so make sure to keep changing your exercises for maximum effect. You can find more at home exercises here.
That wraps up this list to help you lose weight without hitting the gym. So go ahead, get sweating and start shedding. If you liked what you read, share it with your friends and share your weight loss experiences and which exercises helped you the most with me in the comments section below.