Do you wake up feeling tired? Maybe you stayed out late or binge-watched an entire season of something 'til the wee hours of the morning, and you just cannot find the energy to get up from the bed. This could be the body's normal response to little sleep, stress, a poor diet, or many other factors that can lower your energy levels. If this happens to you often, it may be time to do something about it. So, when was the last time that you exercised?
I understand that sweating in front of a room full of strangers is not something that many of us can endure, let alone enjoy. If you are like me and your idea of exercise is watering your plants and cleaning the house you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is something called online fitness training that you can do right within the comfort of your own living room, terrace, or backyard. Training and comfort in the same sentence? Yes. It is possible. And it seems many people are dumping the gym for the convenience, flexibility, and affordability of training at home. All you need is a tv or computer and the motivation. Word to the wise: motivation is key.
There are numerous online fitness training programs available for streaming, such as Beach Body's Insanity, (which offers high-intensity HIIT cardio and strength training), and the Daily Burn (with more than 150 different workouts on demand including yoga, cardio, and strength training). These full-body routines train every major muscle in your body like your chest, hamstrings, legs, and abs. They also incorporate exercises like squats, burpees, and deadlifts that engage many of those muscle groups in one movement, and are therefore called compound exercises. Isolation exercises, as opposed to compound ones, are movements that place an emphasis on a single joint or muscle group—say, biceps or triceps. A combination of both isolation and compound movements will target all the areas of your body.
Still, if you are looking to exercise a specific area of your body, there are some programs that offer what are known as "target area workouts." While target area workouts may focus on certain problem areas (i.e. arms, legs and core) it is not the same thing as spot reduction.
Target Area Workouts
Who better than fitness guru Jillian Michaels to help you get a strong and ripped upper body? Michaels offers a series of online workouts for your arms, shoulders, and back. Her strength training workouts are designed to sculpt the muscle in the arms and shoulders and boost the heart rate through a combination of cardio and weightlifting exercises. The trick is all in the toning, so Jil uses what she calls "go-to moves" to sculpt your upper body. Exercises like one-legged curls target biceps, while the frog hop targets shoulders, triceps, and upper back. Also, the staggered push-up works the shoulders, chest, triceps, and abs. She also has "crazy triceps challenge circuits", which feature variations of some or your favorite workout moves like jumping jacks and push-ups. Although her workouts may seem a bit intense (I'm talking about plank jacks and cross-arm push-ups), and not everyone is a "ninja"—as she calls her followers— Michaels also offers many beginner workouts on her app at www.jillianmichales.com.
It is no secret that thighs can be one of the toughest areas to tone. If you are tired of looking for exercises that target this specific body part and don't require a gym, look no further! Fitness Blender offers a great no-equipment routine that can be easily done at home. Their glute, inner thigh, and outer thigh workout includes frog leg lifts, squats + side leg raises, butterfly bridges, "u" leg lifts, single leg pendulums, among other movements. These exercises will help tone your legs and lean out your thighs. However, remember that I mentioned earlier that exercising a target area is not the same as spot reduction? While you can tone an area, it is not really possible to spot reduce a fatty area. Instead, you should combine other exercises that help you lower your body fat (like cardiovascular activity and strength training) with a diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
The well-trained core is essential for optimal performance an injury prevention. So, what exactly is the core? Your core is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your abs, broadly considered to be the torso or midsection. In simple fashion, the core is the center of your body and it involves all the muscles in that area (hips, spine, and back). Core exercises are an important part of a well-rounded fitness program. Not only is the core important for your abdominal muscles, but core exercises improve your balance and stability. However, building a strong core takes more than a few crunches. Developing a strong torso means building both core stability and core strength. And how do you do that? Beachbody on Demand offers unlimited access to programs like 21 Day FIX and Core the Force, which include different type of core exercises. Some are seated (like plank variations) and other are supine movements (lying down), but both of them target your hips, abs, and obliques and work every muscle in your core.
Now that you know that it is possible to work out right from home, you are one step further from restoring your energy and your health. Get moving!