Author: Thomas Calkins
In recent times, an increasing amount of people utilize the facilities at the local gym. For some, using the gym can be advantageous. Usually, a good gym is well-equipped with state-of-the-art machines, and some people like to exercise in a social setting around people with similar goals. But if you don't have the kind of money required to invest in a gym membership, don't want to spend the extra time it takes to get there, or simply don't like other people watching you workout, exercising in the comfort of your own home is a great alternative.
If you use your home as a gym you will have to improvise on some level. However, if you have the motivation and determination to increase your muscle mass, home will be a great place for you to exercise, and to be successful. Even without the fancy equipment, any people have reported excellent results by substituting expensive benches for coffee tables, and shoulder press machines for chairs! My main point is that there is no excuse for not working out. As with any kind of exercise safety is of paramount importance. No increase in muscle mass is worth injuring yourself for. You can solve the safety issue and still work out by asking other people to spot for you, and by asking them to maneuver the weights if your starting position is awkward.
Dumbbells are amongst the safest, most versatile tools when you work out at home. They are easy to lift into a good starting position, and if your lift should fail you can safely drop them by your sides.
Here are some excellent exercises you can utilize at home:
* Push-ups - These will be the most versatile staple of your routine, and they will work multiple muscles. You can adjust your body position to isolate different muscles, vary the distance between your hands, or even use a chair to change the angle of your body relative to the floor.
* Curls - These are most easily accomplished using dumbbells, but in the absence of any other equipment, you can use pretty much anything that you can hold securely in your hands - such as loaded grocery bags. You are aiming to keep your elbows tight to your body, and curl straight from the hip to the point directly in front of your shoulder.
* Tricep Press - You need a chair for this, placed around 3 feet in front of your body. Grip the back of the chair with both hands, and press your body up by straightening your arms. For this exercise to be done correctly, your arms should be across your chest, and your body should be at a 50 or 60 degree angle. Manipulate the intensity of the exercise by varying the distance you lean over to grip the chair.
* Lunges - These are also a versatile exercise if you have some free space. You can
use dumbbells to do stationary lunges, or do walking lunges if you have an
adequate amount of space.
* Calf Raises - These can be very easily accomplished in homes with little free space. Sit comfortably on a chair, place your legs on a block of a suitable height, and place free weights on a board across your knees. The weights will provide the resistance you need to build your calf muscles, and you can add to them as your muscle mass increases.
As we have already mentioned, home can be a great alternative to going to the gym, but you still need to begin your workout with a warm up, and finish it with a cool down. Always use the correct techniques to avoid injury to your muscles, and never endanger yourself or other people by being too creative with your improvisations!
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