The Ultimate 30 Minute Home Workout

Home exercise is one of my favorite ways to get in shape, since I began working out at home (could not afford a gym membership). Working out at home involves choosing the right home fitness equipment, and it’s sad that the buyer recieved inadequate information about diet and exercise.

No wonder people tend to get frustrated. No wonder the equipment turns into an EXPENSIVE clothes hanger.

There is a simple solution for those who cannot get to a gym, live too far away, or just don’t want to go to a club and want a fast, effective workout. Here are the steps you need to take to ensure results.

STEP 1: Invest in dumbbells and a bench. If you’ve got a few bucks, go to a fitness equipment dealer and get some dumbbells and an adjustable bench. For women, start with 3’s, 5’s, 8’s, 10’s, 12’s, and 15 lb. db’s. For the guys, go to 50’s (in increments of 5 lb. per db).

STEP 2: Set up your workout space. Basements seem to be a popular choice, bedrooms are a distant second. Whatever you choose is fine. Also, so that you can make sure you’re doing your exercise correctly, put a full-length mirror on your wall, or get one. Your choice. No one else is watching you but you, so if you want better results (and safety!), put up a mirror.

STEP 3: Set aside 30 minutes at least four times a week, to do your strength training. You can go up to 6 days if you want – just be sure you’re splitting up your body parts accordingly. For instance, one day you do back, chest, biceps, and calves; the next day do shoulders, triceps, legs, and abs. Use a similar arrangement for the 4-day workout. It doesn’t matter when you do it during the day, as long as you get the workout in.

STEP 4: The dumbbell strength training routine. Here are the best dumbbell exercises to do – the ones that get the most muscle worked in the least amount of time:

• Back – Db bent over row

Grab a pair of db’s (use common sense for how much weight); hold them at your sides while standing straight up. Pull your shoulders back, and stick your butt out as you bend forward. Your back should be nice and flat. When your upper body is parallel to the ground with arms straight, you’re in the starting position. Now, picture yourself rowing a boat. Use that action to pull the db’s up and back, towards your hips. Lower and repeat, in control.

• Chest – Db flat bench press

Grab your db’s and lie down on the bench, with your lower back pressed into the cushion. Lower the db’s until they’re directly beside your chest, push up and in an arc until they’re above your chest. Feel the stretch at the bottom, feel your chest muscles working as you go up. Lower and repeat.

• Legs – Db squat (guys) or Lunge (women)

For the squat: db’s are at your sides. When you lower yourself, pretend you’re sitting down on a chair. Be sure to stay on your heels, and keep your torso tight to support your spine. When you can feel yourself bending too far forward as you go down, that’s your signal to push back up.

For lunges: db’s at your sides. Keeping your torso rigid as a 2×4, take a big step forward with one leg. After your foot has planted, lower your hips until you’re just about to touch the ground with your trailing knee – without actually touching. Push back with your front leg. Do all your reps with one leg before switching.

• Shoulders – Standing db shoulder press

Standing with your abs nice and tight to support your spine, raise the dumbbells until they’re even with your ears. You should see in the mirror a straight line from your left elbow to your right elbow. Push the db’s over your head in an arc – be sure to keep the db’s moving ABOVE your head, not in front.

• Calves – standing calf raise on basement step

Place both feet on the step so that you’re positioned on the balls of your feet. Keep your legs straight, abs tight, butt tucked in. Lower your heels to the ground maintaining that tight position with the rest of your body. Raise up as far as you can, up to your tippy-toes. Lower and repeat.

• Biceps – db standing curl

Your arms should be straight, holding the db’s with your palms facing forward. Place your arms at your sides, and then raise the db’s, bending ONLY your elbows. Keep your back and shoulders out of it. Bend the elbow, straighten the arm.

• Triceps – db triceps kickback

Take the same position as the bent over row I mentioned a moment ago. Raise your arms to your sides, and then keep them there. From that position (your elbows should be bent at 90 deg.), straighten your arms until they’re straight as an arrow. Bend your elbows (but keep your arms up!), and then straighten your arms. It’s just the reverse action of db standing curls.

• Abs – See 90 Seconds To Flatter Abs

Ultimately you’ll be able to finish a complete workout even WITHIN 30 minutes! Get to work!

STEP 5: Focus on what you DO, rather than what you haven’t done. Stop beating yourself up if you only get three workouts in a week, instead of 4, 5, or 6. If you haven’t been working out consistently lately, that’s three more workouts that you’ve done in a long time, isn’t it? Be easy on yourself and build up over time. It’s the way I went from being a 280 lb teenager to a 200 lb full-time personal trainer in less than 2 years!