Most of us want to be in shape but not everyone likes the gym. It can be intimidating to join a gym if you’re not in good shape or you don’t know how to use the machines. Furthermore, gyms can be expensive. Or maybe there just isn’t a gym in your neighborhood.
That’s okay. Whatever your reason for not going to the gym, don’t worry about it. You can get a great workout at home. You don’t even need that much space. If you have room for a yoga mat then you’re ready to go.
If you’re going to be working out at home, you may want to invest in a yoga mat. Many of the exercises that you can do in your home involve getting on the ground so you may want some cushioning.
So put your yoga mat in the most open space you have in your house. The next part is up to you. There are a variety of workouts you can do with just a yoga mat. Today let’s look at plyometrics.
A plyometric workout involves any number of body-weight exercises. You can look up ones that suit you best but here are a few to get you started: squats, lunges, toe-raises, and tuck-jumps.
Now, if you were going to structure a workout using just these four exercises, where should you begin? Well it’s good to start off slowly. Warm up with some low-intensity squats. Once you feel ready, you can add a jump at the top of each squat to bring up the intensity.
Next go into your lunges. You can do forward lunges or backward lunges or both. Again, start slowly and then go into a more active phase. This can mean adding a jump or simply doing your lunges faster.
The toe raises can be combined with the squats. Instead of jumping at the end of the squat, go up onto your toes.
And finally, the tuck-jumps. This is the most difficult exercise so save it for the end when your body is fully warmed up. A tuck jump is when you jump in the air, bringing your knees as close to your chest as possible. You can start slowly with this one as well but end as explosively as possible.
Things to Watch Out For
There are only a few things you need to worry about technique-wise when you’re doing a plyo workout. Rule number one is to land as softly as possible. You want to decrease the impact on your knees and ankles. If you’re not using a yoga mat then you should wear sneakers. Doing a plyo workout barefoot can lead to joint pain.
If you’re doing a plyo workout right, you may be sweating quite a bit. So make sure to drink lots of water. And don’t forget to stretch; do dynamic stretches beforehand and static stretches after. If you haven’t done a workout like this before, it’s likely to be very taxing on your legs.
Don’t do a plyometric workout everyday; every other day is fine. If you do plyo everyday you could end up with knee problems or pain in an ankle or something of the like. These workouts are designed to be high intensity and relatively short. 20 to 30 minutes is enough.
It may not sound like a lot, just doing lunges and squats and things of that nature, but if you’re consistent with it, you may notice changes in your body quicker than you think.
If you need help getting started there are some helpful videos online that walk you through all these exercises and many more.