Home Workout Routines to Build Lean Muscle and Strength
Home workout routines are a must-have for every fitness enthusiast. And even if you’re just a part-timer, it’s good to know that you can get a great workout in the comfort of your home.
Let’s face it, there will always be those days when you can’t get to the gym…there are hundreds of reasons why:
- Holidays – gym is closed
- Looking for a quick workout outside of gym hours
- Your turn to watch the kids
- Blizzards -or- Hurricanes
- Funds are tight
These home workout routines are quick, efficient, work all major muscles, and are very effective for building strength and lean muscle. And if even if you can get to the gym one day, these home workouts provide some variety to your fitness plan when you need a break…..
I have designed these workouts as part of the 30on3 Workouts ● simple, proven, powerful
Each workout is 30 minutes in duration, and 3 days a week. So they will fit within your busy schedule.
I also hope to impart my lessons on avoiding injury. If you are 35 or older, you really must be very aware of how to avoid workout injuries. I never had a single workout injury in my 20’s, but when I hit 40 it seemed to be a monthly event…until I learned from mistakes. My pain = Your prevention
All were avoidable, you just have to practice good warm-up, and unique stretches (like wrist stretches to avoid tendon problems in your elbow, and back stretches to keep your lower back healthy). It can happen so quickly, and even a minor injury can put you out for 6 months, and nag you for a year.
Warm-up and Stretching
The first part of your home workout routines is doing proper warm-up and stretching. It’s well worth the 5 minutes it will take you.
- Do 2 to 3 minutes of light cardio in your bedroom or family room (jog in place, jumping jacks, skipping rope). The goal here is to get the blood flowing and warm the muscles. You never want to exercise cold muscles, and again, this becomes more important as you get older.
- Next, do 2 to 3 minutes of dynamic stretching to loosen your now warm muscles. More info on dynamic stretches here.
Now you’re ready for a great home workout routine.
Dumbbell Only, Split Workout Routine
If you plan on doing a lot of home workout routines, it might be a good idea to purchase some dumbbells to give you more options in your workouts at home. This routine will require you to have dumbbells.
Now, you don’t have to have an entire rack of dumbbells taking up the back wall of your bedroom. You can get a great workout by just having 4 dumbbells:
- Men – (2) 20# dumbbells, (2) 40# dumbbells
- Women – (2) 10# dumbbells, (2) 25# dumbbells
These are based on men and women of average strength. If you are stronger than average, add 10 or 15 pounds to each, and if you are weaker, subtract 5 to 10 pounds.
- Maintain control of the dumbbell at all times
- Use your heavy dumbbell for larger muscles: Chest, Back, Legs
- Use your light dumbbell for smaller muscles: Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders
(However, you can mix up the dumbbells for lighter or heavier resistance)
- Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets
- Perform each set 1 rep short of failure
- Perform these workouts (3) days a week, with A days and B days
A days – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Legs
B days – Back, Biceps, Abs, Legs
Here is the home workout routine…
After your workout is a good time to do 10 or 15 minutes of cardio, as any exercise after your workout will burn primarily fat, and not stored glycogen. This is because your glycogen (sugar stored in your muscles) will be the fuel used during your workout, and so after this is depleted your body’s next fuel source is stored body fat.
Additional Home Workout Routines
If you don’t have any dumbbells, or if you are just looking for variety in your routine, bodyweight workouts are also a great way to build lean muscle and increase your strength.
Click here for bodyweight workout routines you can do at home.
Bodylastics are a very unique way to get a great full body workout using resitance bands and exercise bands. The main point is to attach these bands to an anchor point, such as a door, and then perform resistance training. Again, good variety and also effective training.
I had a shoulder injury as an Army Ranger, and my physical rehab consisted of a type of bodylastics to heal my left shoulder – rubber band exercises using a door and multiple angles of resistance. It healed my shoulder, and really improved my shoulder strength over three months of rehab.
Click here for more on Bodylastics home workout routines.
Home Boxing Workouts
Home boxing workouts are one of the best “out of the norm” home workout routines you can do. If you have never boxed, it is hard to imagine how exhausting this sport is. Watching it on TV does not do it justice in terms of what a smoker it is.
I took a semester of boxing at West Point in college, and was in peak shape at the time. We had graded 3-minute bouts at the end of the course, and after 3 rounds I was totally whipped. I gained an incredible appreciation for these heavyweight boxers who go 15 rounds.
Click here for some Home Boxing Workouts.
Quick Home Workouts
There will be those days when you don’t have time for a full workout, even though you know it’s an exercise day in your weekly rotation. Don’t let it go to waste. Here is a workout that can be done in 10 minutes or less, and it targets all of your major muscle groups.
Click here for Quick Home Workouts.
More Individual Exercises
The following links will provide you with some additional exercises for individual muscle groups that you can work into the home exercise routine above:
- Home Chest Workout
- Hyperextension Exercise – this is phenomenal for your lower back wellness
- Tricep Pushups
- Home Back Workout
- Ab Workout at Home
This might be the most important section of all, as there is nothing that can derail your home workout routines like an injury.
They are generally the result of one of 3 things:
- Improper warm-up
- Improper form
- Trying to lift too heavy
So, to avoid injury, always follow these important rules:
- Always take time to properly warm-up with light cardio and dynamic stretching.
- Practice good form during each exercise.
- Don’t go too heavy on the weights you are using. You do have to go heavy to build lean muscle, just don’t overdo it.
- If you sense the first feel of an injury coming, take 2 to 3 weeks off and let things heal. Please believe me…this is sage advice. It will probably save an injury.
- A year ago I was going pretty heavy on biceps for 6 months and seeing good results. Then it started to bother me, but only slightly. I had this sneaking suspicion I might “pop” my bicep because I was lifting heavy. So I took 3 weeks off and it felt great.
- Perform some static stretches at the end of your workout to improve range of motion.
- Always protect the lower back with proper lower back stretches, and never lifting too heavy. This is the single most vulnerable (injury-prone) area of the body.