Staying Fit Indoors: Home Workouts for Chilly Autumn Days in 2023
We know that going outside for a workout is getting less appealing as we enter into winter. The days are shorter, the wind is harsh, and it is often raining. Even if you’re working out indoors at a studio or gym, this might be enough to put you off leaving the house at all. At Motivate, we strongly believe that to form a habit, you need to make it as easy and as appealing as possible. This is the time to get into home workouts. There’s so much you can do without leaving your front door, and you can do it so oh-so comfortably too. Candles, your favourite show – whatever you need to be consistent, do it.
In this post, we are offering you a guide to help you embrace home workouts so that you don’t lose a single precious workout to less-than-ideal weather. We want to show how you quick, comfortable and effective you can make your home workouts this year. We recently created a guide on little lifestyle changes you can make for autumn wellness, and incase that sounds interesting to you, you can find it here.
Top tips for the best home workouts
Switch up your home workout style
You can vary between workout styles within a week, for example doing a HIIT workout, a strength workout, and a yoga session. BUT, if you’re looking to get physical results as fast as possible, we recommend sticking to one style and switching it up every 8-12 weeks, assuming variety is indeed what you want.
Invest in a personal trainer
Consistency is the most important factor in any fitness regimine. We highly recommend that if it is possible for you, invest in a personal trainer to hold you accountable and ensure you’re being consistent! You can have your trainer with you for every session, or you can have them there weekly while they check in with you during the rest of the week. They can even plan your solo home workouts for you, so all you need to do is show up for yourself and follow the instructions they gave you.
Your trainer can walk you through the workouts they plan for you, and if there are any exercises included that you haven’t already covered in your sessions, they can ensure you’re doing them correctly. Personal trainers are such an investment because they make sure you’re getting the best possible results from the time you invest in your fitness, they keep you going in those moments that you want to give up, and they make sure you’re performing each exercise safely and correctly.
Dumbbell home workout
Get a set of dummbells that challenge you, but that are light enough to work both your legs and upper body. For a home workout regimine with variety, you do not want to skip resistance training. There’s so much you can do with a set of dumbbells that challenge both your legs and upper body. If you have absolutely no idea what dumbbells to buy, this post was written to answer this question only and may help you make a decision.
Beyond dumbbells, there are some other pieces of equipment you may want if you plan on working out at home over the long-term. We have a post on our top five home workout equipment picks to help you get started.
How to master leg training at home
If you’re starting off at home with no equipment, we think you’ll find this post – ’31 Leg Exercises at Home That Require No Equipment’ by Self Magazine, helpful!
If you’ve got one set of dumbbells at home that are light enough to complete upper body exercises with, the chances are, they’re going to be much too light to effectively train your legs too. To make up for this, we recommend opting for single leg exercises such as lunges instead of squats, and adding resistance bands to make them harder and increase the burn. We created a resistance band leg workout for you already, you can find it here.
You can also perform isolation exercises to compliment your main exercises to get the muscles fired up and working beforehand. This will also help your muscles work much after, even if technically you could be lifting heavier weights. Depending on your fitness level, the resistance band leg workout above may inspire your activation exercises.
Types of home workouts
Now that we’ve covered how to prepare for a successful home workout regimine, we can go into the types of home workouts you can incorporate. A good fitness routine keeps your heart, bones and muscles strong. It also keeps your muscles and joints agile and flexible. All in all, it is diverse and well-rounded. The variety of home workout styles we offer you here make sure that your fitness routine is all these things.
High intensity workout at home
For at-home cardio, HIIT (high intensitiy interval training) is the way to go. Short intervals and heart-pumping movements, with regular breaks. You can adapt the exercises according to your fitness levels. For example, for a complete beginner, a HIIT exercise could be bodyweight squats. For someone who has already achieved a certain level of fitness, a HIIT exercise may be knee-ups or burpees.
The HIIT exercises given above are examples of bodyweight exercises, but you can do a challenging and effective bodyweight workout that is not HIIT. Slower movements, performed over longer intervals, constitute a bodyweight workout. You can perform this doing sets and reps like you would in a typical gym-based resistance workout. For example: 5 exercises, performing each exercise 12 times for 4 rounds resting for 1 minute inbetween, before moving onto the next exercise.
You can also perform a bodyweight workout as a circuit. For example: 5 exercises, performed one after the other, and then repeating the chain of exercises 4 times, resting for 1 minute between rounds.
It is so important that you adapt the timings and the exercises according to your own ability. You want it to be challenging enough to get you feeling amazing AND give you results, but not so hard you risk an injury or feel nautious.
Trust yourself to do the best you can, and note that this is a benefit of working out with a personal trainer. They’ll make sure you’re pushing yourself hard enough, but not too hard. Having a personal trainer, even if it is not forever, helps you understand your limits. You’ll realise areas you can go harder than you ever thought you could, and also areas it is wise to be prudent.
Here are examples of amazing bodyweight exercises you can do at home:
Planks: Modify by putting your knees on the ground. The closer your knees are to your upper body, the easier it will be. These work your core and upper body the most.
Push-ups: Modify the same way you would modify a plank, described above. These also work your core and upper body the most.
Lunges: We recommend these over squats for at home workouts unless squats truly feel challenging enough. .
Wall sits: These are an incredibly challenging lower body exercise you can perform at home. Get down into a squat position with your back leaning against the wall. Make sure your knees are not past your toes. Engage your core and glute muscles. Press into all four corners of your feet.
A couple of home workouts for you to try!
Abs workout at home
One of the most popular workouts to do at home is an ab workout. You can create your own using any ab exercises you know – maybe that’s crunches, scissor kicks, and hip dips. We’ve already created an ab workout for you! You can find it here. Make sure you’re doing them correctly. If you aren’t able to get the guidance of a personal trainer right now, you can watch demonstration videos on YouTube.
There are also a lot of very good and complete ab workouts you can simple follow along for free online.
Here is an ab workout for you to try at home:
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds before moving onto the next. Avoid resting between, but if you do get back into it as fast as you can. The exercises are ordered in a way that hopefully the change in position is enough for you to keep going!
1.High plank hold
2.Forearm side plank
3.Other side forearm side plank
A leg workout with dumbbells
You can get a fantastic workout for your legs at home without any equipment by increasing reps, and decreasing the range of movement (such as pulsing) to increase intensity on certain muscles. However, you shoudn’t depend on low resistance, high repetition exercises.
At the beginning of this post, we recommended investing in a set of dumbbells that are heavy enough to challenge your legs, while being light enough that you can perform some exercises with your upper body too. We also talked about how you can opt for single leg exercises to work one leg at a time, to make the most of the weight you have.
Here is an at-home leg workout that you can perform with or without dumbbells, comprised of our favourite at-home leg exercises
After a warm-up that takes your joints through their full range of motion, try this workout. Repeat each exercise for 45 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between sets. Once you’ve completed 4 rounds of the exercise, rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute before starting the next exercise. We recommend a free app such as Tabata to set this timer up in advance. It is so simple and helpful!
1.Narrow lunges – left leg
2.Narrow lunges – right leg
3.Single leg bridge – left leg
4.Single leg bridge – right leg
5.Curtsy lunge – left leg
6.Curtsy lunge – right leg
We GUARANTEE your legs will be burning after this!
The keys to a successful home workout routine this autumn are variety, consistency (as with any kind of workout routine), and some basic equipment if you can. You can certainly start off and achieve great results using just your bodyweight. For the long-term, you’ll want some equipment to achieve that variety we’ve talked about and make sure you’re continuing to challenge yourself so that you do not plateau. Make your at-home workouts harder by modifying them, performing activation exercises prior, and reducing rest time.
Some of the most popular at-home workouts include an ab workout (but remember that you can’t just do ab workouts and call it a day), HIIT, and full body, bodyweight workouts. Switch them up, keep them fun, and make working out regularly at home as easy and as comfortable as you can. Consistency, afterall, is the most important thing.