As a personal trainer, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told by clients that it’s tough getting to the gym. With work, errands, kids, afterschool functions and just the commute back and forth, I completely understand.
It’s definitely a challenge to carve out that time for yourself, unless you’ve trained yourself to get up and go at 5 AM before everyone else in the house has even started their day. You get extra brownie points for that one. (Oops, did I say brownie?)
Ziploc® invited me to check out and try their Ziploc® Fresh 180 Challenge, which encouraged me to complete some workout basics at home. These are exercises that can be done at a beginner level to build strength and endurance, and honestly, no gym is necessary.
This challenge brought me back to all the suggestions I’ve made to clients over the years. Working out at home really is easier than you think and it doesn’t have to take up much time. You can get your heart pumping and build your strength in less than 30 minutes—all without fancy fitness equipment; just use what you already have in the house.
Step One: Grab a cast iron Dutch oven or a porcelain crock pot from the kitchen. Seriously, this is all you’ll need for a great upper body workout.
Step Two: Hold the (empty) crock pot between both hands and lift for a combination bicep curl and overhead press.
Complete 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. Someone more advanced could even lift and press with one arm.
Alternate those sets with some stationary squats and you’ve got yourself a great warm-up.
Other everyday items that can be used for an upper body workout include heavier laundry detergent bottles or an old pair of tights. Using the tights as resistance bands works great for the shoulders (think front or side raises). Some form of resistance is all you need, and, who knew that old tights could help get you those tank-top-ready arms?
For those looking to ramp it up, here’s my favorite tip. Set up stations in different rooms to create a circuit training workout.
I like to break up the exercises into sections: upper body, core and lower body. Here’s how I did it at my home:
Room One: Family Room
This room was designated for pushups followed by plank holds during TV commercials. (Beginners start on your knees; more advanced do both sets from your feet.)
Room Two: The Stairs
Next were deep lunges up the stairs (I added in rear leg lifts at the top of the staircase for a little something extra).
Lunges are a great way to get the heart rate going, so cardio is taken care of as well.
Room Three: Home Office
This room was designated for tricep dips.
Make sure you use something with a sturdy base (I used a chair), and then back downstairs to the family room to repeat the circuit.
Going back and forth through the short circuit is efficient and a great way to get a full body workout. Each station was designated for up to five minutes with a one-minute break in between.
I also loved the snacks and the pre- and post-workout nutrition that I’d prepped for myself beforehand and stored inside a Ziploc® brand snack bag. Don’t forget that you must refuel those muscles. Trust me, those stair lunges aren’t going to get any easier without some extra fuel.
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own. Photos: Faith Dey