Home workout routine: My full body workout

Here’s a breakdown of my usual home workout routine. I do a short circuit, either in full or broken into two or three sets, and repeated three times. I use my deck if the weather is good. These are my typical exercises, but sometimes I mix up the routine with something different. Usually my kids are playing nearby.

My goal is to build strength, particularly in my arms which I have neglected most of my life. I am also trying to regain core strength after having two kids. And I want to support my running by building leg strength too.

If you’re not sure whether ready for a complete body workout, read this article first: How to start exercising if you’re out of shape.

Equipment: yoga mat, hand held weights (mine are 8kg) Optional: bench, skipping rope

My home workout routine warm-up: 1-minute skip

Cardio is my first-love, so I prefer skipping to many of the other exercises in this routine. Sometimes I skipping minutes into my circuit. But the aim of this workout is strength-building, so I haven’t included cardio. Think about adding skipping if you want to include cardio too.

Arm exercise 1: Dumbbell single arm row

Reps: 8-15 per arm

Weight: I use an 8kg dumbbell

Here’s someone else on YouTube demonstrating how to do it. I use my outdoor dining bench for this one.

Arm exercise 2: Shoulder press

Reps: 8 – 15

Weight: I use 8kg in each hand.

This older woman is demonstrating the technique with a light weight. I do my home version on a mat on the ground. This means my elbows can’t go as low as when on the bench.

Arm exercise 3: Triceps extensions

Reps: 8 – 12

Weight: I use an 8kg dumbbell, gripped on either side with two hands

This amazingly-fit looking woman demonstrates the technique with a bar. I do mine on a mat on the floor, as I don’t have a bench.

Core exercise 1: Dead bugs

Reps: 6 (or 12 if you count each side separately)

I try to do these slowly, as advised by my physio. It’s all about control. Hold your core strong and breathe slowly.

Core exercise 2: Side plank

Time: Hold for 30 – 60 seconds per side

You may prefer to do a standard plank if you have a stronger core than me.

Glute exercise 1: Glute bridge

Reps: 8-12

Depending on how strong I’m feeling, I sometimes alternate extending out a single leg for a more challenging glute bridge. Make sure you have the right technique, tensing your butt as you raise your body.

Leg exercise 1: Squats

Reps: 8-12

Weight: I either do just body weight, or 1x8kg dumbbell held to my chest with both hands, or 2x8kg held at the sides of my body.

My tips are to squat as though you are about to sit down on a seat, and to keep the weight on the back of your feet. You should be able to wriggle your toes while you’re down in a squat.

I repeat the above exercises three times. I often change the reps or weights for each set, depending on how I am feeling.

You can add cardio to this home workout routine, if you want: Run, jump or cycle

Okay, so normally I call it a day after the circuit is complete. But if I have an unusual amount of energy, which sometimes the endorphins of a workout give me, I do a bonus cardio session. For me, this is usually a short (1km) run around my nearby lagoon. When I was a gym member, I loved doing a sprint workout on the treadmill. (1 min, sprint, 30 second cool down, repeated 5 times)

My home workout routine cool down stretch: the best bit

I am addicted to stretching, and do 20-minutes each day regardless of whether or not I do a workout. Why? Because I find daily yoga keeps my body free of pain. I won’t list my stretches here, but I focus on the areas where my body feels tight. Sometimes I also use the roller or a massage ball to kneed out muscle pain. I also highly recommend Yoga With Adriene for regular yoga practice as complement to your other activities or for a complete workout. She even has a cool down stretch.

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