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British mom Gemma Howden, 28, wanted to lose weight but couldn’t afford the gym or expensive equipment, so she turned her home into a boot camp and lost an incredible 140 pounds in eighteen months! Her methods included using food tins as weights, running up and down the stairs, hurdling over the children's stair gate and jogging on the spot in front of the television. Taking inspiration from Gemma’s methods, which saw her drop from 266 pounds down to 126 pounds, we have some great tips on how to create your own boot camp routine and shed the pounds without even leaving your house!
To keep things interesting, we recommend that you change up the order and the amount of times you do each section for, but ideally aiming for a minimum total of 20 minutes at least three times a week. To give you some ideas, we have designed a boot camp routine for you to get you started, but once you know it well enough, you can mix it up a little so you don’t get bored - and to keep your body and metabolism guessing, making them (and you) work harder!
First, before your routine, you should always perform some simple stretches. Start by raising your arms out to the sides and then lift them up over your head a few times, then stand on one leg and bring your other foot up to your bottom, grabbing your ankle to really pull it in. After a few of those on both sides, twist your waist to stretch your back then swing your arms round your body to loosen them up.
1. Jump Rope: 2 minutes
Your ceilings may not be high enough for you to swing a jump rope around indoors, so do the same moves but without the rope; stand with your legs slightly bent, your arms bent, and your hands out to your sides. Begin jumping, leaving only a few inches between your feet and the floor as you hop. At the same time, rotate your shoulders and arms as if you are jumping rope, but without the rope.
2. Alternate-leg Extensions: 1 minute
Holding a bottle of water or a tin of food between both hands, stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and turned out to 45 degrees. Bend knees; push butt back and squat (keep knees over ankles), bringing the weight to floor between feet. Push into both feet and rise back up, extending left leg back and arms overhead to the right. Return to center squat, touching the weight to the floor; repeat on the opposite side to complete 1 rep, and then continue this move for a minute.
3. Advanced Plank: 1 minute
Place your elbows on the floor, then stretch your body out behind you and put your toes on the bottom step of a flight of stairs. Pull your stomach muscles in and keep your back flat. Hold this position for about 60 seconds – if you can’t do it all at once in the first try, have a breather and continue until the minute is up.
4. Overhead Triceps Extensions: 2 minutes
Hold a bottle of water or a tin of food in both hands and lift your arms above your head. Lower your forearms behind you by bending your elbows. Avoid allowing the weight to hit the back of your neck. Raise the weight overhead again by extending the elbows. Repeat.
5. Push Ups: 30 seconds
Get in traditional push-up position, with your feet a few inches apart, your arms straight, and your hands near your shoulders (it's fine to start on your knees until you get stronger). Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Keep your abs tight and drop your body straight down by bending both arms. Return to starting position and repeat as many times as you can in 30 seconds
6. Diving Push Ups: 30 seconds
Begin in Push-Ups starting position, then widen your feet about 11/2 feet and point your butt toward the ceiling. Lower your body to the floor slowly by bending your arms and slightly dragging your chest across the mat. Press your body upward until your arms are straight and your lower back is arched backward. Reverse the move to return to butt-in-the-air position and repeat as many times as you can in 30 seconds.
7. Jumping Jacks: 2 minutes
Stand with your legs together and your arms down at your sides. Keeping your arms and legs straight, separate your legs about 3 feet and raise your hands above your head in one jumping motion. Return to the starting position and repeat the move for 2 minutes.
8. Knee-Lift Jogging: 1 minute
Jog on the spot, but lift your knees up in an exaggerated way to really work the muscles in your butt.
Repeat this whole routine twice and you’ve reached your 20 minute minimum! Once you get the hang of all of the exercises, try to build up doing more reps within the time, hold tins of food in your hands while you’re jogging and doing jumping jacks, or add in some moves of your own, such as running up and down the stairs like Gemma Howden did. The main idea is for you to keep the routine motivating and interesting, so have fun with it and watch the pounds come off, as if you were at a real boot camp!
Are you inspired by Gemma’s success? Let us know what you think below!