The Great 'Home Exercise' Hunt



  • At my library the fitness DVDs are in with the books are are free to rent for 3 weeks, then you can renew them online 3 more times. After 12 weeks usually want to have a go at something else.
  • lisa110rry
    lisa110rry Posts: 1,794 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    I have a wonderful "free exercise routine" that starts my day with a smile and helps me to wind down after a day at work:-

    She's a 5 1/2 year old crossbreed terrier (well, a mongrel) and a Registered Pets As Therapy dog, meaning we do our civic bit by visiting people in care homes and hospices giving cheer and lifting spirits by chatting and stroking. (Not allowed to post links but the website is petsastherapy dot org)

    Each morning at 06.30 we go for a walk of about 30-45 minutes and meet and greet other dog walkers some of whom have become good friends - each evening at about 18.30 we do the same. On weekends, longer, but never less.

    I may wake up feeling a bit tired but by the time I get to work all's right with the world. OK, I'm not - what do they say? "Buff" but not bad for 54.

    “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.”
    ― Julian of Norwich
    In other words, Don't Panic!
  • agw_3
    agw_3 Posts: 1 Newbie
    Gyms and the exercise industry would want you to believe that machines and weights are the best way to train. Personally, (And I'm not a fitness trainer or medical expert), I think free weights are good, but body weight exercises are best. Though be warned, some of the following exercises can be extremely difficult and you can injure yourself. Here is a basic list of exercises that you can use.
    • Push ups/press ups
    • Pull ups
    • Dips
    • Squats
    • Squat Jumps
    • Wall squats
    • Calf raises
    • Lunges
    • Step up
    • Sit ups and Crunches
    • Plank
    • Flutter kicks and leg raises (these are ab exercises)
    • Jogging/running
    • Skipping (it would be best to invest in a skipping rope for this)

    I mentioned that the above list is only a basic list. Because each item on the list can then be elaborated on.

    For example the Push up or press up can then become a list in itself.
    • Push ups on your knees - Similar to normal push ups but with you resting on your knees - Good for beginners
    • Push ups with body elevated - Rest your hands on an elevated platform so that your upper body is higher than your feet. The higher they are, the easier the exercise. Good for beginners
    • Regular push ups - The normal standard push up that people know. With hands shoulder width apart
    • Wide push ups - same as above except hands a wider than shoulder width
    • Diamond push ups - form a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers. Place palms on the floor, spread legs and do a push up.
    • Dive bomber - hard to explain this. Type it into google and you'll get a good explanation together with a video demonstration.
    • One arm push ups - Spread your legs and use only one arm
    • Plyometric or clap push ups - Do a clap between each repetition by pushing your hands off the floor. Careful, this is difficult and you could very easily land on your face.
    • Push up with feet elevated - opposite of the body elevated. Your feet should rest on something. The higher your feet, the more difficult it gets and the more your shoulders get a workout.
    • Hand stand push ups - Be warned, this is extremely difficult and if you are not strong enough you can seriously injure yourself with this. You could land on your head, neck or shoulder. Do at your own risk. However, if you are strong enough, this would be great for your shoulders and triceps. Better than a using a barbell or dumbbell.

    Everything on the basic list can be done for free, and can also be modified or elaborated on to get several more exercises as I have shown with the push up. Just do a bit of googling and you'll find a lot more. Or just look up body weight exercises. Or look into the fitness regimes of; elite military units (SAS, Navy Seals, etc), boxers, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighters and gymnasts. They all use a large amount of body weight exercise and are some of the best conditioned people in the world.

    If you don't mind spending a bit of money on equipment. The basics would only be a set of weights, pair of dumbbells and a pull up bar. If you want a little more, add a barbell, buy more weights, a bicycle and a membership to the local swimming baths (Only the pool, no need for the gym). If that's not enough, get a kettle bell too.
    You don't need more than this to get in shape.

    Also, if you think this is only aimed at men, it's not. This can be applied to women too, if you don't believe me, check out this website gubernatrix . co . uk. It's mainly aimed at women, but can be used by men too.

    If you think you need to spend a fortune on running shoes, look up Chi running or Pose running. They show you shouldn't really need to spend that much on shoes but focus more on form. Or have a read of this book that has worried a lot of the expensive shoe retailers, Born to run by Christopher McDougall.

    Of course, if you're not very fit, this may all seem very daunting. Remember everyone started from somewhere. Majority of people didn't start fit. But after a bit of dedication, perseverance and discipline, they then became fit.

    I must repeat, I'm not a fitness expert, or a medical professional. Just someone who has doesn't have a lot of money, wants to get into shape, and is on the internet a lot. :) Majority of the good things I have read recommends seeing your doctor first. Then taking it slow and building a foundation of fitness. Once you have that, then you can go a bit harder.

    And remember, the exercises will help you get fitter. If you want to focus on looking better, you'll have to look at your diet too. There are many ways to do this without breaking the bank, but I'll leave that for another time.
  • Nemesis201077
    Nemesis201077 Posts: 53 Forumite
    edited 21 July 2010 at 12:13PM
    I prefer to do exercises which don't involve equipment (or at least the bare minimum) and hate going to the Gym.
    In my Military days we would do lots of circuit training which is ideal for doing at home in the garden, or in the park, particularly if you want to do it with a group of likeminded friends/relatives.
    The idea is that you arrange a circular track and jog around it for a period (depending on level and time available). You then stop at an exercise station and perform an activity for a time period maybe just 30 seconds or so. You then jog the circuit again and after a period you move to the next station and perform the next activity and so on for as long as your excercise period and fitness level dictates.
    At each station you should try to alternate the areas the exercise targets e.g. station 1 upper body, station 2 legs, station 3 trunk, station 4 overall, staion 5 upper body etc..
    I find it useful to print an exercise card on A4 and laminate it to place at each station with a brief explanation of the activity required. A useful list of exercises and the area targetted can be found on but there are many more free resources.
    This regime is a great way to provide a complete workout without being to tiring as you can set how long you jog for, do the activities for and how long you do in total. You can gradually build up the circuit as your fitness improves.
    Don't forget to stretch well both before and after any exercise and take on plenty of fluids.
    You can add equipment to the circuits, such as dumbells, medicine balls, steps etc. which can be in-expensive if you find that the system works for you.
  • I am a big believer in cycling at the mo. Hubby and I decided to dust our bikes off in April (I hadn't cycled for 14 years!) took them to a local bike shop for a service (We looked around, and the shop nearest us has the local police and ambulance service contracts, so we thought they have to be good, and were cheapest) 66 pounds for my bike including panier rack fitted, a lot more for hubbys (that's what you get for having a fancy bike, more to go wrong), we shared out hubbys panier bags, so we have one each, and planned cycloing to work once or twice a week. Now we only drive if it is raining, and are considering trading the car in for a set of waterproofs! I even drop in at the shops on the way home and do some shopping.

    My service has definitely paid for itself, OH's will have before too long in saved petrol, both much fitter and happier. Only a few things I will mention though:

    Wear a helmet! Even if you think you are a good cyclist, not all drivers are good drivers, and I had a full bottle of water thrown at my head the other day. Would have hurt if I hadn't got my lid on.

    Get your bike serviced regularly (or learn to do it yourself), it is not expensive, and you would have your car serviced regularly wouldn't you.

    Cycle smartly, on the road or cycle paths. My theory is that the more people cycle on the roads the more likely the councils are to put in new cycle paths (although I am probably wrong on that one). You soon find even the maniac drivers are more predictable than pedestrians and dogs!

    And the most important thing to remember is that you ARE vulnerable, whereas a little knock in the car won't do much damage, you have airbags, seatbelts and any other number of safety features in cars. On a bike if anything goes wrong there is not much between you and the ground, and the ground hurts! Wear a helmet, wear reflective clothing, don't wear headphones.
    September £10.00 a day challenge £2.50 per day = £75 for the month. £7.84 down £63.16 to go
  • Garnett_F
    Garnett_F Posts: 74 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 21 July 2010 at 1:17PM
    If you're serious about getting fit:

    Take time to read around why they do things the way they do before butting in - generally you're make yourself look foolish questioning most of the stuff - it has been thought out, critiqued, and then anecdotally supported many many times.

    Crossfit exercise regime and a paleolithic/zone diet for ultimate fitness.

    It's addictive, but it will change your life...
  • There is an organisation called Park Run which organise free weekly 5k runs in local parks all over the UK. They are timed also so you can track your improvements and achievements against others you age.

    There is also a good website called Feel Fit which gives you a points target to achieve each week based on your age and ability. You earn points through doing exercise or daily activities such as cleaning the house or walking the dog. They also give you a toning programme which videos to show you how to do each move which changes every two weeks.

    I have used both of the above and lost 1st in 6 months without stepping into a gym/ leisure centre and as they both encourage a healthy lifestyle, I have maintained the weight loss so far!

    Good luck!
  • namakemono
    namakemono Posts: 248 Forumite
    Zuiikin English!

    (disclaimer: post made in jest, you probably won't lose any weight doing what they do but good for a laugh)
  • thefatburner
    thefatburner Posts: 2 Newbie
    edited 21 July 2010 at 1:28PM
    I found this site some time ago and have got my wife to use it as the videos on this site are great and do not require any equipment, just view and follow: ...Note: MSE would not let me put the link in.


  • Get off the bus a couple of stops earlier

    Park your car at the far end of the supermarket car park (weight lifting all those bags)

    Housework - sweeping especially wears me out, as does hoovering the whole house and scrubbing the bathroom.

    While brushing your teeth - close your eyes and stand on one leg, swap legs half way thru. Because you're off balance and can't see, you use all your core & leg muscles to try stabilise yourself (so you dont fall over). It also makes sure you brush your teeth for a decent length of time.

    Steal the kids things - do your kids have a trampoline or hula hoop, join in with them it really burns calories bouncing and the hula hoop is good for getting your heart rate up and fun too.

    Walk the dog - dont have one? well get down to your local animal shelter, they're always after dog walkers. Helps you get fit without having to buy a dog and you're helping the dog by giving it some exercising and socialising it (plus getting the poor thing some love while its looking for its forever home).
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