By Maridith Yahl
Now that the cold weather is here, there is no need to stop fitness routines. Continuing and creating exercises, with or without gym equipment, is easy to do at home. Joe Stotlar, personal trainer, and owner of Iron Rig Fitness Center in Florence says there is always a way to get a good workout in at home for every fitness level.
After Stotlar left the Marines, he had friends tell him he needed to be a personal trainer, they wanted him to show them how to get fit. He avoided it for a while but finally gave in and has not looked back. Certified with International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutritionist and Exercise Therapist, he has been a trainer for almost nine years now, three of those owning his own gym.
Iron Rig Fitness Center is a 24-hour access gym. Stotlar offers a variety of styles in fitness training including, bootcamp classes, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and obstacle course racing, to name a few. The vast amount of equipment makes it easy to find a variety of exercises to enjoy. They have the traditional cardio machines and other like rings, monkey bars, bands and more to provide variety.
While the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of activity a week, they say do not worry about the numbers, just move more, and sit less. There are many possibilities to an in-home workout whether you do or do not have equipment.
Make an exercise regimen at your level so that is appropriately challenging. Working with bands and kettle bells are very versatile, Stotlar says. “You can adjust the tension on them by how close your hands are together or what you have it attached to,” he says.
“There’s a lot you can do at home, even body weight exercises,” says Stotlar.
Doing air squats, jump squats, lunges, jump lunges are all good. By adding weights, you are making it more challenging. He says adding weights is better than doing more repetitions.
“If something is too easy there is always a way to make it harder. When you get too good at one thing or it doesn’t feel challenging enough, just take the next step,” he says.
A friend of his tried a workout he called the “Impossible E.” Every minute, for 10 minutes, he tried doing 25 pushups and 25 air squats. He only made it through the first four minutes.
“Something like that is two simple exercises, but if you challenge yourself to do that many, that quickly, it gets really exhausting. But it can be a fantastic workout for 10 minutes,” he says.
He suggests alternate exercises, 25 pushups one minute, 25 air squats the next. Or lower the number, doing 10 pushups and 10 air squats. There are many ways to take this exercise and others, adjusting them to the right level.
If there is no equipment in the house, no problem. There are plenty of options for exercises. Squats and pushups are two examples of many exercises not needing equipment. Stotlar also suggests doing a bench dip using a piano bench or kitchen chair. Abdominal exercises like sit-ups and leg lifts, are more options.
He says to use your imagination for weights.
“If you wanted to do things like bicep curls, fill up a gallon jug or steal the milk out of the fridge. There’s always a way you can do something with minimal equipment,” he says. “You could always take your kid and hold them on your chest while you’re doing sit-ups,” says Stotlar.
“If you’re trying to get the heart rate up you might do things like high jumps, or running in place, to high knees, jumping jacks, or burpees,” Stotlar says.
Activities like vacuuming and sweeping, walking circles around the house, stair climbing, and dancing are all on the AHA list of indoor exercise suggestions.
Some high impact exercises can aggravate and hurt the knees. There is always a solution for that too.
“A squat probably hurts more to go below the 90-degree parallel, so just work the upper part of the squadron, you’re at least getting something out of it,” he says.
In jump squats you do not have to jump. He says adding weights is just as good. Instead of box jumps, do box steps.
If you do not know what an exercise is or how to do it, Stotlar suggests looking it up online. There are plenty of sites to read descriptions or see demonstrations. The AHA is a great resource to find exercises for any level of fitness.
Staying at home brings plenty of opportunities for exercising.
The AHA says to find what you enjoy and do it.
Remember to think creatively, take it to your level, and work with what you have.
“You don’t have to necessarily do full on [exercises], there’s always an adjustment option that you can do for any exercise,” Stotlar says.