The 4 Most Common At-Home Workout Mistakes to Avoid
In 2020, more people than ever have taken to working out at home. From experienced gym-goers and pilates class regulars to those of us who historically have only worn rubber-soled shoes on Saturday morning coffee runs, there are a few ways that home workout routines are difficult to keep up.
One way to maintain our overall health—mental, physical, emotional—is to get regular exercise. This is just a fact, whether you like it or not. So it's important to be real with ourselves and find a way to reasonably incorporate exercise into our daily lives.
We reached out to Tiffiny Hall, trainer and CEO of fitness program TIFFXO, to find out what to watch out for when working out at home. The Melbourne-based expert is no stranger to at-home workouts, and has plenty of inventive ways to approach exercise without resorting to expensive gyms and equipment. So, whether you've signed up to an online program or you're just dabbling in the odd YouTube tutorial every now and then, these are the most common at-home workout mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1: Not being consistent
"It's important to remember consistency trumps intensity," Tiff says. You don't need to do complicated, hardcore workouts every time, nor should you try to do too much at one time in the hopes it will speed up results. Regular low to medium intensity workouts that are fun to do are much more important when it comes to working out at home.
Mistake #2: Overreacting when you miss a workout
According to Tiff, one of the most common mistakes people make when working out at home is overreacting when they miss a workout. "This all-or-nothing mindset doesn't work," she says. You might have a day that gets away from you, where you just feel too busy to work out, or maybe you're not feeling it and give yourself a pass. Then you feel guilty and go twice as hard the next workout, or you give up completely and decide you'll just start again fresh next week (or month, or year). Tiff says it's important that, if you do miss a workout, just resume with your next workout as normal. Don't wait to reset!
Mistake #3: Not setting up a designated workout space
"Set yourself up with a space to workout with your equipment, a yoga mat, towel—clear the clutter away and really make it your own zone," Tiff says. "This will inspire you to workout and help to create a daily ritual."
Mistake #4: Doing it alone
Tiff calls it DIAY—Doing It All Yourself—and it's one of the most common mistakes people make when they're starting their at-home workout routine. She says it's so effective to choose an expert to guide you. "If you don't have an expert home workout program to follow you could injure yourself," she says. "It's important to have a coach you trust, and that they offer a holistic program. That's why I created TIFFXO!"
When it comes to getting started at home, Tiff says it can help to be creative. "You could work out in the backyard and incorporate 100m sprints up and down your street at the end of each round. Or 50 step ups if you have steps in your yard. Or, use a couch for dips and decline pushups. My favourite—grab some paper plates and work them as sliders on the grass outside!"
To help you get started, we asked Tiff to give us five straightforward workouts to try at home. From equipment-free strengthening exercises to simple interval training, here are five ideas to schedule in to your weekly or fortnightly workout schedule:
1. Equipment-free Weight Training: "Bodyweight workouts are the best because zero equipment is required and your body is the best gym!"
2. Interval Training: "You can create workout structures such as high intensity interval training (HITT) where you perform an exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Aim for eight rounds."
3. Strengthening Exercises: "You can do a strength reps-based workout where you choose six to eight different exercises and aim for 12-15 reps of each exercise for three rounds."
4. Mix-n-Match: You can do EMOMs, (every minute on the minute) performing five reps of three different exercises for example
5. Stamina Exercises: "Try an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of three or four exercises." This will help you find your limit for each exercise and plan future workouts accordingly.
If you're looking for a guide to help you through your home workouts, Tiff says it's important to find one that talks you through every step, and covers technique, modifications, and also gives you plenty of encouragement. She suggests starting with one of her HIIT workouts because they don't require any equipment and include low-impact exercises—such as boxing and floor work—with enough modifications that will suit your age, fitness level and skill level.