A lot of office workers underestimate just how much their body suffers from sitting 8 hours on a chair every day, especially if they don’t make up for it by working out. And I understand most of them – a proper workout takes anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour, not taking into account the time to and from the gym. While I used “not having enough time” for an excuse for quite a while, a year ago I started suffering from such intense pain in my lower back from all that continuous sitting that I just had to start working out. However, the problem remained – I didn’t always have enough time to go to the gym, which is why I decided to create a small home gym.
Believe it or not, you don’t need all the equipment a gym has to be able to exercise most muscle groups. In fact, I only got a set of 10kg dumbbells, an Olympic bar paired with a bench and a couple of weight plates for the bar. This equipment enables me to perform exercises for every single muscle group, and it doesn’t take a lot of space. Since I’ve started exercising on the regular, most of the back pain is gone, and I feel so much better. In case you’re wondering about my workout regime, it goes something like this.
Never skip leg day. You can do squats without any added weight and still hit the legs well, but holding a dumbbell right in front of your chest or putting an Olympic bar on your shoulders will help you progress more and tone your legs better. In case you didn’t know, legs contain the most muscle groups, and activating them releases the most testosterone which results in faster overall muscle growth. Moreover, you can do dumbbell lunges, either stationary or by lunging around your home. And let’s not forget the dreaded deadlift, which not only targets your legs but also your lower back.
There’s nothing like having a great back workout session after sitting for 8 hours a day. However, in order to do a complete back workout with limited equipment, you need to get creative. A single-arm dumbbell row with one hand on the bench can do wonders for your lower lats. But let’s not forget the king of lower back workouts – the deadlift. Believe it or not, you don’t have to lift heavy on the deadlift to make it effective, and you definitely don’t have to slam the weights every rep. A bent-over barbell deadlift is probably another great workout you can do, as it targets both the lower and upper back equally, and if you have a pull-up bar, you’ll be able to target back muscles more specifically.
Chest and Shoulders
The reason I group these two together is because most of you probably know most of the exercises you can do for them using dumbbells and a barbell. Military shoulder press, bent-over lateral raises, push-press, wide-grip upright rows, seated dumbbell, and barbell presses, etc. are all great exercises for your shoulders. On the other hand, bench press, incline and decline bench press, chest presses and push-ups will have your chest area covered nicely.