Working out and building muscle is often all about keeping things varied. You need to keep challenging your body and that means avoiding reaching a plateau at all costs.
The problem though is that finding ways to train from home can sometimes be challenging, especially during this time of Covid-19 lockdown when it is even more important to maintain your fitness levels with no easy access to gyms or prolonged outdoor workouts.
Of course you can’t stock your home with quite as much gym equipment as the typical gym and even the sheer weight can end up costing a lot of money.
As a result, you need to get a little more creative in order to get the most from your home workouts and sometimes this will mean thinking outside of the box and trying to come up with unique ways of training.
Here are a few different exercises that you may not have come across but which can be very effective at building muscle from the comfort of your own home.
Training the calves from home can be tricky unless you have a lot of weight to pile onto your dumbbells. A good solution is to use ‘calf jumps’ which train the explosive fast twitch muscle fibers. The idea is simply to jump but while keeping your entire leg straight. That means that you’re generating all of the power from your foot and your calf and this can be a surprisingly effective workout!
While we’re at it, jumping squats are equally as useful and something a lot of people just don’t think of. Simply squat and at the top of that squat, jump up in the air!
There are all manner of crawls which include bear crawls, Spider-Man crawls and more. These are great because they maintain a constant time under tension while also training your ‘contralateral coordination’ as you’re moving all your limbs at different times. They’re a great form of functional training and something you can do across the garden!
To be performed with either dumbbells or barbells, this is an alternative way to try using your dumbbells. Simply curl the weight, but by dragging the weight upward instead. This means your hands are pointing a little more toward the ground at the start and then come directly upward but the pivot in your arm is still going to be the elbow joint. This makes curls a little easier, which in turn makes them great to round off a drop set.
One of the most deadly words in all of weight training. Burns are exercises you perform when you have nothing left to give and nothing left in the tank. Here, you are simply performing as much of the exercise as you can still do. So if you can only bob up and down on the ground after a set of press ups – that’s all you do. It’s a great way to finish off the muscle, it’s exhausting and it creates a real flood of blood and metabolites to finish you off.
And there you go – try working some of these into your next routine and that should give your muscles a bit of a wakeup call!