Let’s get straight to the point: you can exercise at home – and get a good workout in – using your bodyweight or simple pieces of kit such as dumbbells, kettlebells or a suspension trainer. Even as you grow stronger and fitter, by increasing your reps, or simply slowing down – or speeding up – the tempo of your exercises (which is easier said than done btw), you can progress your workouts and the effectiveness of them.

We know what you are thinking – bodyweight workouts can’t build muscle. Well, they can. A recent study looked at the effectiveness of the press-up as a muscle-building tool. Published in Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, over the course of an 8-week training period, the researchers found that, when compared with a similar load to 40%1RM (rep max) bench press, the press-up was as effective for muscle hypertrophy and strength gain.

Your own bodyweight is great for cardio, too. In-fact, according to researchers at the University of Pristina, it makes no difference to your overall health whether you embark on a routine of jogging or bodyweight exercises. The scientists split a number of students into three groups: one did endurance training, another took part in strength-based circuits, and the third did nothing. The results showed that the groups who exercised lost weight and had lower body fat measurements at the end. However, what was remarkable was how similar the results were, with the researchers concluding that both kinds of exercise were equally beneficial for your cardiovascular system.

The bottom line is this: you don’t need a gym membership to get fit. Fitness is free.[Read More.]