Playing sports at home – The complete guide – Juste Bien
Do you want to do sports, but the idea of going to the gym makes you demotivated every time? Do you prefer to do sport at home, far from all eyes? Do you dream of having a gym in your house, but it is not big enough for that?
You will be happy to know that bringing sport to your home is indeed possible! For this, no need to transform an entire room into a gym.
You can, for example, bring some equipment that you can easily store in a closet once your workout is over. And if you have a little more space at home, you can also get some real machines like those found in gyms.
In this guide, we list the essential sports accessories at home, but also the best sports machines to buy. We also give you several sports ideas to do without equipment. And if you do not have time to devote to sport, we even give you some tips to integrate sport into all the tasks of your daily life, neither seen nor known!
Some advice beforehand
Before you start exercising at home, here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your workout.
1) warm up
Before any sports session, whether it is practiced indoors, outdoors or at home, it is imperative to warm up. The warm-up will heat your body and thus make your muscles more flexible. This allows you to achieve better performance during your session, but also and above all to avoid injuries.
Stretch your muscles, do flexes, walk, jump,… There are many options to prepare your body for exercise. Allow at least 10 minutes to warm up and make sure you don’t forget any part of the body.
2) Drink water
It is essential to drink water during your workout, but also before and after. Indeed, sport dehydrates us, and it is therefore important to provide water to our body. This has a beneficial effect on our organism, but also to fight against the appearance of possible injuries and health problems.
A lack of water can in particular lead to cramps, a decrease in performance, fatigue or even tendinitis.
So remember to always have a bottle of water on hand, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink!
After the session, it is important to stretch your muscles. This will allow you to avoid muscle pain in the days following your sports session!
These few minutes of stretching will also be a great moment of relaxation after exercise. It will certainly make you enjoy the session you just had even more.
4) Make sure you know the material
If you have never set foot in a gym before starting your home sport, it may be worth considering a few sessions with a sports coach or any other regular in the gym.
Having the right equipment is one thing, but knowing how to use it is another! A coach can explain how to use each machine and each accessory, but can also tell you what movements should not be done.
This is important because many inexperienced people misuse certain sports equipment. However, not only does this not give the expected results, but it could also do worse than good!
If you don’t want to go to the gym, consider hiring a home coach for a few sessions … or asking your sports friends to help you.
5) Find the right exercises
Are you ready for your workout, but don’t know what to do? Don’t panic, there are many resources to help you!
Start by going to YouTube. You will see, it is a gold mine when it comes to sports advice! You will find many videos offering an almost infinite number of sports exercises to do at home.
These videos are generally focused on a part of the body or a goal: muscle arms, have a flat stomach, have firm legs, … You will also find videos offering warm-up and stretching programs.
In short, the hardest part will surely be to select the program to follow!
Another option: you can also train with apps. Free or paid, there are many. Many of them will allow you to record your workouts and track your progress.
The best sports equipment at home
Do you have room at home? Sports equipment is a great option to consider!
These are usually cardio machines. They improve our endurance and burn calories. Although these devices do not offer strength training as such, they also help to strengthen our muscles.
However, they represent a certain budget and a certain amount of space. It is therefore strongly advised not to proceed to the purchase until it has been carefully considered. Do you really need it for your sporting goals? Are you really going to use this device? Won’t it collect dust in a corner, or even serve as a coat rack?
To help you in your choice, here are the 5 best home sports equipment.
1) The exercise bike
The exercise bike is one of the most classic and popular devices at home. It must be said that it contains a large number of advantages: its price is lower than other devices, it takes up little space and you can even read a book or watch TV while pedaling!
However, note that the exercise bike only works the lower part of your body. The top is not used, except for your abs which are slightly used.
The exercise bike therefore works the glutes, thighs and calves. On the one hand, it helps burn calories to lose weight and slim down our bodies. On the other hand, it is also a very good way to build muscle in these body parts. Finally, as a cardio exercise, it also helps improve our endurance.
One of the great advantages of the exercise bike is that it is very easy to use. You therefore normally do not risk taking a bad position!
Note, however, that if you have knee problems, it is generally recommended that you do not use this device.
Finally, if you choose this option, be careful to choose a comfortable saddle bike!
2) The elliptical trainer
Although it is called « bike », the elliptical trainer is not a bike: it has neither saddle nor pedals! This device, which requires you to stand for the duration of the exercise, has the undeniable advantage of being very complete.
While the exercise bike only works your lower body, the elliptical trainer adds your arms, chest, and back to it. All parts of the body are therefore used during exercise.
The elliptical trainer helps to firm the body, especially at the thighs and glutes, and burn fat.
However, it is very bulky and is not easily movable. So make sure you have enough space at home!
Beware of models that are too low-end, ask before buying: consult the comparison sites for the best elliptical cross trainers and take the time to read customer reviews.
3) The rower
Like the elliptical trainer, the rower works all parts of the body. It is done in a sitting position, but that does not mean that the exercise is easier!
Indeed, it works a large number of muscles intensely. Very effective, it is also used by many professional athletes.
However, it is not as easy to use as the exercise bike and the elliptical trainer. It is therefore important to understand how to use it and which posture to adopt. By taking the wrong position while using it, you run the risk of suffering knee or back injuries.
Given its technicality and its intense side, it is therefore to be preferred for those who already have some experience in sport.
4) The treadmill
We no longer present this classic device!
Very popular in the gym, it is more rarely found in our homes. Not only does it take up space, but it also represents a certain budget. Adding to this the fact that it offers the possibility of practicing a sport that you can do for free outside, you can understand why it is unattractive.
However, the treadmill has several advantages. First of all, in addition to running, it also allows you to walk at the speed you want. In addition, the most sophisticated models allow you to change the incline of the carpet, to simulate the rise of a slope.
Finally, it offers the possibility of practicing walking and running even during the winter months or when the weather does not make us want to go outside. Compared to the practice of outdoor sports, it also allows us to control our speed, and it offers a certain damping that does not hurt our joints.
The treadmill essentially works the lower body, from the glutes to the calves. But it will help you burn a lot of calories and lose weight rather quickly.
How to use rice water for hair and skin
5) The stepper
The stepper has the double advantage of being inexpensive and space-saving. You will find some models with a handle, and others that only consist of two pedals, which makes it very easy to store.
The stepper is another device that works only the lower body. However, you can also find models with elastic bands, which will allow you to train your arms at the same time.
It mainly helps to strengthen the thighs and glutes, but it must be used regularly to achieve convincing results. Finally, note that it is to be avoided for people who have knee problems.
8 small accessories for great results
If you do not have room at home, do not panic: there are many accessories that you can store in a closet between two sessions.
The range of accessories is wide and varied. While some help you build muscle, others are made to improve your endurance. Here is a selection of 8 often essential accessories.
1) A floor mat
It’s often a classic when doing home exercise. It allows you to do abs, stretching and other floor exercises without having to endure the hardness of your parquet or the coldness of your tiles.
If you have room at home, you can buy a very thick mat, as found in gyms. Otherwise, you will find many mats that can be rolled up easily after exercise.
However, prefer a carpet that is as thick as possible, because a carpet that is too thin will not be effective enough to forget the floor that is just below.
2) A gym ball
Also called a swiss ball, fit ball or gym ball, it’s a large inflatable ball with almost endless possibilities.
It is mainly used for muscle building in the abs, glutes and thighs. It generally allows you to do exercises very gently. You can start by not fully inflating your balloon, and increase the difficulty of the exercises by inflating it a little more each time.
There are different sizes, to choose according to your own size:
- The 55 cm diameter is reserved for people under 1m70;
- The 65 cm diameter is designed for people measuring between 1.70 and 1.85 m;
- The diameter of 75 cm is to be reserved for the tallest among us, who are over 1m85.
Dumbbells are a must at home sport if you want to tone your body or do muscle building.
If you want to slim your body, prefer light dumbbells, up to 3 kg. These must be used in long series requiring numerous repetitions.
If, on the other hand, you want to increase your muscle volume, you will have to take heavier dumbbells. The weight of these will be determined by your level: the more you evolve, the heavier your dumbbells. These should be used in shorter series.
Their first use is to use them to build muscle in the upper body. However, they can also be used as a weight in other exercises, such as squats.
4) A multifunction bench
The benches generally come together with the dumbbells, when these are used for bodybuilding. Indeed, several exercises will ask you to be carried out lying on a bench. But the benches will also serve you in many exercises without dumbbells.
It is surely the most bulky accessory and it will often be difficult to hide it in a wardrobe. However, if you run out of space at home, there are foldable benches. You just have to check their stability!
No, we are not talking about hair ties! In this case, the elastics, or « resistance bands », are a much larger accessory. Their principle is simple: they serve as resistance when you make a movement, which forces you to put more force into it. So it’s a great way to build muscle.
Many exercises involve elastics. Many of them are aimed at the legs and buttocks, but you can also use them for the arms.
Elastics are a very good alternative to dumbbells, and they have the advantage of being much less bulky and much less heavy. If you’re used to traveling, they could quickly become your favorite traveling companion.
There are several models of elastic bands, with different strengths to adapt to all levels.
Be sure to buy good qualities. You would not want them to crack in full exercise!
The TRX are two non-elastic straps to hang anywhere, as long as the grip is solid. Equipped with handles, the straps allow you to perform more than a hundred exercises using the weight of our body.
You will find exercises for all parts of the body. And as easy as some of them may seem, they are not at all!
The TRX offers an intensive sports session that will make your body muscles work hard. Ideal for muscle building!
7) The jump rope
Jumping rope has its place not only in playgrounds! Indeed, it allows a very complete training: in addition to strengthening our legs, it also muscles our arms, shoulders and abs. It is also widely used by professional boxers.
The jump rope is to be used if you want to strengthen your body and build muscle. It also helps improve our endurance and is a very effective way to fight cellulite.
8) The step
The step is a step that replaces the benefits of the stairs, but not only. There are many step exercises that will work your entire lower body.
If the classic steps are more imposing than most of the accessories on this list, you can find some in small format for the same result.
There are fitness classes that only revolve around the step. You can very well do your own session at home, with lively music in the background!
7 exercises to do without equipment
Do not want to invest in sports equipment? No problem, there are many exercises that can be done without equipment.
In the case of floor exercises, however, we recommend a floor mat … But the choice is yours!
Here is a selection of 7 exercises that you can do with your body as your only equipment, or with what you find at home.
1) The abs
This is one of the most classic exercises, so it should come as no surprise on the top of our list. There are a large number of variations, and you can do them almost anywhere.
Here are some examples :
- When seated, bend your legs so that your knees are at chest height while keeping your feet on the floor. Place your upper body on the floor and put your hands behind your head. Raise your chest so that your right elbow touches your left knee. Lie down again, then try again so that your left elbow touches your right knee. Repeat several times.
- Lying down, lift your legs vertically, feet together. Lower them to the ground, keeping them taut, and try to get as close to the ground as possible. Stay in the position for a few seconds before lifting your legs and trying again.
- Lying with your legs raised vertically and feet together, lift your upper body slightly to try to touch your feet. Repeat several times.
2) The Mountain Climber
This is another exercise that works the abs. This is done in the same position as the pumps.
Once in position, hands outstretched, bring your right knee towards your chest, then stretch your leg again and rest your foot on the floor. Be careful not to move your pelvis during the entire movement. Do the same with the other leg, and perform several repetitions.
In addition to working out the abs, this exercise is also very good for the hips and legs.
3) The pumps
As long as you are in this position, why not take the opportunity to do some push-ups? They mainly work the pectorals, triceps and shoulders.
Try to go as low as possible with your body and keep your spine straight.
4) The board
With your body still on the ground, lean on your elbows. Be careful not to place your buttocks too high or too low. The idea is to keep a straight line with your body, like a plank. Stay in the position for as long as possible.
There are several variants of the board, but this is the most classic. It is a sheathing exercise that works many muscles in the body. Proof that you don’t always have to move to play sports!
Squats are a very good exercise for building muscles in the buttocks, but also the thighs. In addition, they also use the lap belt.
The exercise is simple: when standing, you must lower yourself as if you were going to sit on a chair, and then go back up. To help you go back up, you will need to tighten your buttocks. Repeat several times, taking care not to arch your back.
There are several variants of squat, and the spacing of the feet changes from one variant to another. For more difficulty, you can also do the exercise with weights.
6) The slots
Lunges are another highly recommended exercise if you want to build your glutes, but also slim your thighs. They work the same body parts as squats, but differently.
To do this, in a standing position, place your right foot forward and place it on the ground while lowering yourself, so as to form a right angle with your right leg. Get up and do the same with the other leg. Repeat several times.
As with most exercises, the lunges deploy in several variations.
For this you will need a chair. To avoid injury during exercise, make sure it does not slip!
Back to the chair, put your hands on the edge of the chair (be careful, not on the backrest!). Put your buttocks at the height of the chair, as if you were sitting on it. Then, lower your buttocks to the ground and lift them up. Repeat several times.
This exercise works the buttocks and thighs, but also the arms.
How to play sports when you don’t have time?
Having no time for sports doesn’t exist. Even if you don’t have time to sit down for even 10 minutes for a workout, you can include it in your daily routine. All it takes is a little creativity!
Here are several exercises you can do without stopping your daily tasks. So you have no more excuses for not getting into sport!
1) Climb the stairs two by two
Climbing the stairs is already a sport in itself and if you want to move more in your daily life, choosing the stairs rather than the elevator is always a good idea.
But if you want to make the exercise more complex, mount them two by two. Another option, to vary things a bit: climb the steps on tiptoe.
Guaranteed effect on your thighs and buttocks!
2) Sitting, put your legs horizontally
At the office or anywhere when you have to sit, you can take the opportunity to slim your thighs and work your glutes.
Place your back against the back of your chair and keep it straight. Then stretch your legs and lift them for several seconds. Release and repeat several times.
3) Contract your abs
When you are seated, you can also just contract your abs as much as possible. Hold the position until you feel a burning sensation, then release. Repeat the exercise several times.
4) Put your arms on the table
Still in a seated position, put your forearms on your desk and press down hard, as if you wanted to push them into the table. Hold for a few seconds before releasing, then try again. Repeat several times.
This will firm up your arms.
Try to stand up as often as possible. Whether it is when you receive a call or when you travel by metro, resist the temptation to sit down. Standing can only do you good, especially when you spend most of the day sitting at your desk.
When you are standing, stand on tiptoe and contract your buttocks. Stay in this position for several seconds and repeat several times. As you can imagine, it will firm up your legs and buttocks.
6) carry your bag differently
Whether you have a handbag or a shopping bag, do not carry it on your shoulder or on your arm.
Instead, bend your arm 90 ° while holding your bag, palm up. Stay in this position for as long as possible, then repeat with the other arm.
It’s a great exercise for building your arms.
You are now ready to play sports at home! What are your favorite exercises?