December 11, 2019

Getting a good workout at home

Think you need to join a gym to get a good workout?

UW Health Sports Performance specialist Alison Regal disagrees. Regal, who works with athletes of all ages and abilities in the state-of-the-art Performance Center that houses her program, says you can get a complete workout at home, even if your time, space and equipment are limited.

"You really only need a room the size of a bedroom or small office," she said. "For equipment, start with a dumbbell and resistance bands. If you add more equipment, you'll have more options for exercises."

Regal suggests structuring a circuit training that emphasizes a variety of movements, as athletic versatility is an important component of physical health.

"You want to address strength, power, endurance and stability in every workout," she said.

Here are Regal's suggestions for how you can do that, offered with the proviso that it's always a good idea to consult a qualified trainer to make sure your form is correct and the exercises you choose won't exacerbate any injuries or structural weak points.

A sample circuit

Try to build a 10-minute circuit, incorporating a blend of the following exercises in seven-set reps or 20-second holds. Rest for 15 or 20 seconds between exercises, and complete the circuit four times, for a total of 40 minutes.

  1. Movement that promotes endurance: Examples include running in place with high knees, skipping in place, and mountain climbers.

  2. Plyometric exercises for power: These are explosive movements for both the lower and upper body, like squat jumps, split squat jumps, lateral bounds, lateral jumps and clap pushups.

  3. Strength builders: Examples include pushups, lunge variations, dead lifts, and dumbbell exercises including bent rows and shoulder presses.

  4. Stabilizers: With these exercises, you find a position and hold it, and then move to another position. Examples include glute bridges, airplanes, planks, bird dogs and dead bugs.