Friday, July 16, 2010

Working Out at Home Can Save Time and Money

Working out at home is convenient and can save you a lot of time. The biggest problem most people run into with working out at home is that they feel limited in their exercise selection because they have limited or no equipment at all.

By changing the speed you perform your exercises, you can create an unlimited number of progressions and variations without having to learn a single new exercise. There are three types of muscle action that need to be defined in order to clearly describe tempo. First off is eccentric action, which describes lowering the weight or your body (imagine going down to the bottom of a push-up).

Isometric action describes muscular contraction with no movement at all (imagine holding a push-up at the bottom). Concentric action refers to overcoming resistance (imagine now lifting yourself up to the top of a push-up). The collective process of adding timing to exercises is known as tempo.

These three phases of movement can be modified to burn more fat and build muscle and there is real-world evidence that modifying tempo can lead to great results. The kings (and queens) of bodyweight exercise are gymnasts. Gymnastics involves frequent use of slow eccentrics (demonstrating body control on rings and bars), isometric pauses (iron cross and other holds), and explosive eccentric and concentric actions (flips).

While the average person is not a gymnast, we can still apply these principles to home workout routines to increase the challenge without needing more equipment. For example, rather than do a simple push-up, you can lower yourself over 3 seconds, pause 2 seconds at the bottom, then explosively lift yourself to the top, trying to launch your body into the air. This push-up is much more advanced (and challenging) than a normal push-up.

These principles can be applied to any type of exercise to improve your home workouts. Slow down the eccentric and add pauses to movements to make them more difficult. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and abdominal exercises are a great place to start. Start out slow and experiment with a variety of tempos and pauses to find out what works best for you.
Source: Danny Jobes

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