A Beginners Guide to At Home Workouts
The gym can be an intimidating place when you’re first starting out with weight training or any exercise. Luckily, there are a number of workout routines that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
There is a lot you can do with bodyweight exercises to build strength, build muscle, build confidence, and build a routine that will help keep you dedicated to total body wellness. You can even work with a personal trainer online to help teach you about muscle groups, proper form, and nutrition.
While there are a massive amount of online programs like high-intensity boot camps, weeks-long strength training programs, and full-body workouts designed to get your heart rate up, if you’re just starting out, a simple 30-minute bodyweight workout is a great place to start.
But before you jump into your routine, there are a few things to take care of first. We’ve put together this comprehensive beginners guide to at-home workouts to guide you through the whole process from setting up your workout space, fueling up pre-workout, and stretching to post-workout nutrition and recovery.
Set Up Your Space
The first step to starting your at-home workouts is setting up your space. There are a lot of exercises that require very little to no equipment, but you will need enough space to move around.
If you have the room to designate a permanent workout space, then you can set up your own exercise room, corner, or wherever space allows. You can store your workout items here and create a defined workout space that can help you to stay focused and enjoy your exercise more.
If space is limited, find a way to create a temporary space by moving a coffee table or couch out of the way to open up the living room while you’re exercising. Storage ottomans are great for tucking away workout equipment when you’re not using it as well as being a solid base for tricep dips, inclined pushups, or even as a makeshift bench.
While you’ll have plenty of options just utilizing your body and the furniture in your home, one of the more basic pieces of equipment that you may want to invest in is some form of mat, this could be a yoga mat, a camping pad, or a more permanent puzzle mat solution.
If you are having trouble finding space in your home for exercise, try taking it outside. Check out our Outdoor Gym Survival Guide for all you need to know before taking your exercise outside.
Fuel Your Body for Exercise
Once you’ve set up your exercise space, you can start planning for your first workout. The most important thing is to make sure that you have had enough to eat with proper nutrition to fuel your workouts.
The exact measures of what you should eat will vary depending on a number of factors such as age, current size, and goals. One of the most important nutrients to fuel up on before a workout is protein. Check out Allo’s protein calculator to see how many grams you need each day.
It’s best to get as much protein as possible early in the day to fuel muscle regeneration and energy throughout the day and has been shown to be even more effective for muscle growth than a higher level of protein intake later in the day.
A great way to add more protein to your morning routine is with Allo protein powder for hot coffee. Each pre-portioned packet delivers 10 grams of high-quality hydrolyzed whey protein in every 8 oz cup of hot coffee, hot tea, hot matcha, hot chocolate, or whatever other hot drink you enjoy to start your day.
Allo comes in both a protein powder and protein creamer each with flavor options of vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. There is also a natural unflavored protein powder that gives you the early morning protein boost you need without altering the flavor of your favorite roast.
You may also want to take a pre-workout supplement. These usually contain amino acids, caffeine, and other energy enhancing and muscle building nutrients. Learn more in our Expert Guide to Pre-Workout for Beginners.
Stretch and Warmup
Once you’re fueled up and ready to go, it’s a good idea to signal your body that it’s time to exercise with some stretches and a few warmup movements. Stretching before a workout not only increases your flexibility but also improves your range of motion on blood flow.
Pre-workout stretches can be as simple as a 5-minute routine or as in-depth as a full yoga practice. It is best to stretch all parts of your body before any exercise, but you should also make sure that whatever part of your body you are going to target gets a little extra attention so extra arm and shoulder stretches on days when you will be working your upper body for example.
Once you have stretched, it’s also good to get warmed up with a short walk, run, row, or whatever cardio exercise you prefer. Warmups are most effective when done for 5 to 10 minutes immediately before strength and weight training workouts.
Work Your Exercises
You’ve claimed your exercise space, fueled your body with a good amount of protein, carbs, and fats for your goals, stretched and warmed up your muscles, and now you’re finally ready to work out.
There are a wealth of workout guides to follow including a few that we have put together specifically for at-home workouts like 5 Exercises For A Killer Shoulder Workout At Home, The Best Exercises For Back Workouts At Home, Top Moves For Triceps Workouts At Home, 5 Hard Hitting Dumbbell Quad Exercises, and our Killer Ab Workout.
Most of these workouts can be done with little to no equipment. Smaller, more affordable items like resistance bands and lighter dumbbells are good initial investments.
You definitely don’t need to go out and buy a whole rack of weights to get started. Even without any equipment, you can improvise with items from around the house for weighted exercises like water bottles, canned foods, or books.
If you plan to work out only once or twice per week with a few days in between, it’s best to do a full-body workout each time. If you plan to work out more frequently or will be doing workouts on consecutive days, it’s better to break your workouts down by muscle group with lower body and ab workouts on one day and upper body workouts the next.
Cooldowns and Post-Workout Nutrition
Once you are done with your main exercise routine, it’s time to give your body a nice gentle cooldown. Cooldowns should incorporate gentle movement that allows your body to gradually reduce your heart rate and relax your muscles.
After your cooldown, it’s time to stretch again. Stretching after a workout helps to decrease muscle tension which in turn results in a lower risk of injury. For the best results, you should stretch immediately after your workout and once more later in the day such as before bed.
Now that you’ve worked out, cooled down, and stretched, it’s time to replenish the nutrients that you utilized during and immediately after your workout. Post-workout meals should include a decent amount of protein, but your remaining protein needs can be spread out among your remaining meals for the day.
While protein is the most essential nutrient for muscle growth and recovery, it’s also important to refuel on carbohydrates to keep your energy level throughout the day and avoid a crash in the afternoon.
Don’t forget to add your favorite flavor of Allo to your afternoon coffee or tea for an extra 10 grams whenever you enjoy a hot beverage and you’ll be at your daily intake goal in no time.