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The Express

Home Workout

Exercise routines that can be done at home
and take up little time

Fitness

The most common excuse we hear from people as to why they don’t train regularly or even start training is that they ‘don’t have the time.’ We are all far to busy these days – often rushing around and burning ourselves out without making time for important things – and that includes exercise. But there is an answer! Cris Ramis of RAMIS Health and Fitness has come up with short exercise routines that can be done in the home and take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. He has devised a weekly style protocol to help people easily integrate exercise into their daily lives. No More Excuses!!

Typical home training area and gym equipment
Typical home training area and gym equipment

Some of the exercises require no equipment at all (until you build up some strength) whilst others require basic equipment you could get from any store that stocks sporting goods.

These routines are short and can be done at home whilst watching your favourite TV show or listening to your favourite music. Their effectiveness depends on how hard you work at the exercises, and how consistently you train. Regardless of level of training experience, the exercises have to feel tough and you have to do them regularly to yield results.

What results can you expect?

If you do these exercises for a week and expect instant results, you’re fooling yourself!

Week 1 of this routine will get your body used to doing the exercises. Weeks 2, 3 and 4 will continue this process and you should feel yourself getting stronger and maybe even dropping a pound or two of body fat (if your nutrition is up to scratch).

Persevere for a second and third month and you’ll see real gains in strength, fitness, muscle tone and a corresponding loss in body fat. You will feel so much better too!

How it works:

The weights sessions revolve around a 4 week cycle.
In week 5 you finally start again with Session A on Monday. Scheduling the routine like this helps keep the body off guard and stops it getting used to the routine too quickly.

If you have to miss a day’s training (for a good reason as opposed to making an excuse!) simply carry on the following day with the session you would have done that day. Beating yourself up for missing a session is counter-productive on a physical, mental and emotional level (this one’s the most damaging). So take the missed session in your stride, stay motivated and positive and carry on the following day.

Their effectiveness depends on how hard you work at the exercises, and how consistently you train. Regardless of level of training experience, the exercises have to feel tough and you have to do them regularly to yield results. This applies to everyone – even Cris!

Keep going with the routines for as long as you see improvements in strength, fitness and appearance. If you find results slowing down or you’re feeling bored, then it’s time to change exercises. (Contact Cris and he can set you a revised regime!)

If you don’t have stairs for cardio, and don’t want to leave the house to walk, jog or run, Cris recommends buying a mini-trampette. The one he uses with clients is called ‘The Supertramp’ and can be found online or from decent sporting goods stores. They are kind on joints, can be fun and don’t take up too much room.

 

  • Schedule
  • Week 1
  • Week 2
  • Week 3
  • Week 4
Click on the tabs above for the weeks schedule: ............. see below for exercise description

Monday - Session A: Lower Body
Warm-up with 5 mins of any of the following:
Jogging on the spot
Walking up and down the stairs
Bodyweight squats and rotations

Ex 1 – Split Squats (sometimes called Lunges)
Ex 2 – 2-Leg Hip Extension off the Floor (progress to a 1-Leg version once the 2-Leg version is no longer a challenge)
Perform a set of 10 reps per leg on exercise 1, take 30-60 seconds rest and then perform a set of 10 reps per leg on exercise 2. Take 30-60 seconds rest and repeat this sequence until you’ve done 3 sets on each exercise.
Cool-down by stretching out your legs. Hold the stretches for 15-30 seconds each.

Tuesday – Cardiovascular training
Walk, stride (i.e. 2 step-widths at a time), jog or run up and downstairs for between 10-20 minutes.
Make sure you start off at a gentle pace to warm-up and finish off gently to cool down
Cool-down by stretching out your legs. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds.

Wednesday - Session B: Upper Body
Warm-up with 5 mins of any of the following:
Jogging on the spot
Walking up and down the stairs
Bodyweight squats and rotations
Ex 1 – Press-Ups on knees or toes
Ex 2 – Dumbbell Pullovers on Floor (you can lay on a bench or Swiss Ball if you have the ability)
Perform a set of 10 reps on exercise 1, take 30-60 seconds rest and then perform a set of 10 reps on exercise 2. Take 30-60 seconds rest and repeat this sequence until you’ve done 3 sets on each exercise.
Cool-down by stretching out your upper body. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds.

Thursday – Cardiovascular training (as Tuesday)

Friday - Session C: Lower Body
Warm-up with 5 mins of any of the following:
Jogging on the spot
Walking up and down the stairs
Bodyweight squats and rotations
Ex 1 – Step-Ups (onto your stairs, your sofa, a sturdy box, or workout steps)
Ex 2 – Bodyweight Squats (progress to holding weights when bodyweight is no longer a challenge)
Perform a set of 10 reps per leg on exercise 1, take 30-60 seconds rest and then perform a set of 10 reps on exercise 2. Take 30-60 seconds rest and repeat this sequence until you’ve done 3 sets on each exercise.
Cool-down by stretching out your legs. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds.

Saturday – Cardiovascular training (as Tuesday)

Sunday
Walk outside for 20-60 minutes (make the time, it’s Sunday for crying out loud!), or walk up and down stairs at your normal pace for 20 minutes.

Monday - Session D: Upper Body
Warm-up with 5 mins of any of the following:
Jogging on the spot
Walking up and down the stairs
Bodyweight squats and rotations
Ex 1 – Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Ex 2 – 1-Arm Dumbbell Row
Perform a set of 10 reps per leg on exercise 1, take 30-60 seconds rest and then perform a set of 10 reps on exercise 2. Take 30-60 seconds rest and repeat this sequence until you’ve done 3 sets on each exercise.
Cool-down by stretching out your upper body. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds.

Tuesday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Wednesday - Session A: Lower Body (as outlined in week 1)

Thursday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Friday - Session B: Upper Body (as outlined in week 1)

Saturday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Sunday – as per week 1

Monday - Session C: Lower Body (as outlined in week 1)

Tuesday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Wednesday - Session D: Upper Body (as outlined in week 2)

Thursday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Friday - Session A: Lower Body (as outlined in week 1)

Saturday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Sunday – as per week 1

Monday - Session B: Upper Body (as outlined in week 1)

Tuesday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Wednesday - Session C: Lower Body (as outlined in week 1)

Thursday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Friday - Session D: Upper Body (as outlined in week 2)

Saturday – Cardiovascular training (as outlined in week 1)

Sunday – as per week 1

 

 

Exercise Description:

Click on the tabs below for a description of that exercise

1. Split-Squat (a.k.a. Lunge)

 

Legs at 90 degrees (right angles), be on the toes on the back foot and the heel on the front foot, lower back on ball (if using it), breathe in deep, pull in belly button (BB) and pelvic floor (PF), hold breath and lower down till knee is an inch off floor, come back up and breathe out, reset breathing and belly etc and continue. Do not push off toes on the FRONT foot, as you will stress the kneecap not the muscles. Keep palms up to encourage good posture. Lower down slow, come up fast (but controlled).

Split squat side view - start/finish Split squat front view - start/finish Split squat side view - mid position Split squat front view - mid position
Split squat
side view
start/finish
Split squat
front view
start/finish
Split squat
side view
mid position
Split squat
front view
mid position
2. Two-Leg Hip Extension off the Floor, or Step (harder) or Swiss Ball (hardest)

 

Lie on your back on the floor with legs bent to 90-degrees, feet flat and hands by your sides. Lift backside so it’s one inch off floor.
Breathe in deep, pull in belly button (BB) and pelvic floor (PF), hold breath and lift your backside as high as you can whilst squeezing your butt-cheeks as hard as possible. Breathe out as you lower you bum down until it’s an inch off floor.
Repeat the breathing sequence and continue the set.
Increase the difficulty of the exercise by performing the set with the hands off the floor.
Progress to a 1-Leg version once the 2-Leg version is no longer a challenge

2 leg hip extension - starting position 2 leg hip extension - middle position
2 leg hip extension - starting position
2 leg hip extension - middle position
2 leg hip extension - harder version 1 leg hip extension - start/finish position 1 leg hip extension - middle position
2 leg hip extension
harder version
1 leg hip extension
start/finish position
1 leg hip extension
middle position
Swiss ball hip extension, with head on ball (harder exercise - start/finish position Swiss ball hip extension, with head on ball (harder exercise - middle position
Swiss ball hip extension, with head on ball
(harder exercise - start/finish position
Swiss ball hip extension, with head on ball
(harder exercise - middle position

 

3. Press-Ups (three-quarter length, full-length or ‘negatives’)

 

Lie flat on floor and place hands either side of chest.
Don’t have them too far in front of the body as this overworks your shoulders.
Have feet and knees together, bend knees to 90-degrees and have feet off the floor.
Maintain a straight line from the knees to the back of the head during this exercise.
Breathe in, set belly button, hold breathe as you lower yourself down to the floor then breathe out on the way up. Keep head up during the reps.
Negatives – With this progression, you just perform the ‘lowering’ part of the exercise. Get yourself into the full length press-up position and then set core as usual. Slowly lower yourself down to the floor whilst breathing out.

Full press up - start/finish position three quarter length press up - start/finish three quarter length press up - mid position
Full
press up
start/finish position
three quarter length
press up
start/finish position
three quarter length
press up
mid position
4. Dumbbell Pullovers on Floor

 

Lie on your back on the floor, bench or a Swiss Ball (if available). Have feet flat and legs bent.
Hold a dumbbell or 2 dumbbells at arms length above your forehead.
Breathe in deep and set core, hold breath as you lower the dumbbell backwards until it’s parallel to the ground (i.e. in line with your head).
Your arms will be outstretched behind you at this position, and you’ll feel a stretch under the armpits (i.e. in your lats).
Breathe out as you return dumbbell to start position.

Dumbell pullover - start/finish position Dumbell pullover mid position
Dumbell pullover
start/finish position
Dumbell pullover
mid position
5. Step-Ups (onto your stairs, your sofa, a sturdy box, or workout steps)

 

Place one leg on stairs or steps so that your thigh is parallel with the floor (i.e. 90-degrees). Breathe and set your belly-button and pelvic floor. Step up whilst holding your breath, and breathe out as you return to the start position.
Complete the reps on one leg before moving onto the other.
Hold dumbbells to make the exercise tougher.

Step-up start/finish position Step-up middle position
Step-up start/finish position
Step-up middle position
6. Bodyweight Squats

 

Stand with your heels spaced slightly wider than shoulder-width.
Breathe in deep (inflate the belly), then pull the belly button (BB) in and pelvic floor (PF) up, hold breath and lower down as low as you can whilst keeping good form.
Do not push off the toes as you will stress the kneecap not the muscles.
Curl the toes up slightly so you push off the ball and heel of the foot. This will ensure your muscles are worked rather than the joints.
Start off with arms across shoulders. Hold dumbbells to increase difficulty.

Bodyweight squat - start/finish position Bodyweight squat - mid position
Bodyweight squat
start/finish position
Bodyweight squat
mid position
7. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

 

Stand with feet hip or shoulder-width apart, knees soft, hold dumbbells either side of head just below ears, breathe in and set BB and PF, curl dumbbells up to shoulders and then press them overhead.
Breathe out as you lower them down and uncurl them to the start position.
Reset breathing and belly etc and continue.
Lift weight up fast (but controlled), lower down slow.
If you lock the knees you’ll arch your spine to try and help lift the weight and risk injury.

Standing dumbell shoulder press - start and finish position Standing dumbell shoulder press - middle position
Standing dumbell
shoulder press
start and finish position
Standing dumbell
shoulder press
middle position
8. 1- Arm Dumbbell Row

 

Have feet shoulder-width apart, bend over at hips keeping back flat and head in line with spine. Place one hand on a chair, bench or Swiss Ball, and hold a dumbbell in the other at arms length.
Breathe in and set core. Hold breath as you row dumbbell toward you, brushing your elbow past the side of your body as the arm passes through 90-degrees.
Breathe out as you lower the dumbbell back down.
Start on weaker arm and then switch.
Very important to keep the arch in the low back throughout this exercise.

1 arm dumbell row - start/finsh position 1 arm dumbell row - middle position
1 arm dumbell row
start/finsh position
1 arm dumbell row
middle position

Cristian Ramis
RAMIS Health & Fitness, Westcliff near Southend-on-Sea

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