For too long we’ve been led to believe that muscles are only built at the gym! But that’s not always true. There may be times in life when going to the gym is neither a choice nor an option. Even if you love the gym, illness or travel can keep you away from it. As a fitness enthusiast, you’re probably worried about losing all of your gains that you’ve had after sweating it out in the gym. Well, you don’t have to worry because you can maintain the muscle mass you’ve worked so hard to build. You just have to choose the right exercises that you can do at home or when you are not at the gym.
To figure out how to maintain muscle mass without hitting the gym, HealthShots connected with fitness guru Aminder Singh of Team Aminder fame.
The importance of maintaining muscle mass
Maintaining muscle mass is not only important, but it becomes a mandatory requirement, especially as we age. Singh explains that it’s because as we grow we gradually start losing muscle mass. Worse, we end up accumulating more fat. As we cross the age of 40, muscle breakdown occurs at the rate of 7%. It fires up to 15% by the time we hit 60! The expert says that a reduction in muscle mass at this age means a complete loss of strength, as we cannot even move a single limp without the help of muscles. Thus, muscle mass exercises are the only preventative solution to maintaining strength as you age. Neglecting your muscle mass can lead to an increased risk of serious health problems such as osteoporosis.
Exercises to build and maintain muscle mass at home
We know that push-ups work your chest, triceps, shoulders and many other muscles, in addition to increasing your upper body strength (beginner’s guide to doing push-ups at home). But there’s more you can do to maintain your muscle mass at home. Here are some of the exercises you can do at home!
1. Lateral leg raise
For each leg, do 5 lifts with your toe bent, 5 with your toe pointed, and 5 with your toe pointing toward the ceiling. These are core and lower body exercises that help build muscle mass.
2. Water bottle loops with a 5 kg water bottle
Hold a 5 kg or 1 liter water bottle in each hand, stand with your feet apart and wrap the water bottles towards your shoulders, palms facing inward. This exercise strengthens your forearms and biceps.
3. Water bottle shoulder overhead is squeezed with 5kg water bottles
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a 5 kg water bottle in each hand. Lift the water bottles and take them above your head, pause for a few seconds, then lower your hands. This exercise works all of your triceps and shoulders, says Singh.
4. Front of the shoulder lifts with a bottle
Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart and hold a bottle of water in each hand. Extend your shoulders and elbows to raise the water bottles upwards. This exercise targets your biceps and shoulders.
5. Pelvic exercise
Lie on the floor on your back, then lift the hip and squeeze it. You need to hold each squeeze for a few seconds and then release it. This helps strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which further improves your bowel and bladder control.
6. Rowing exercise
The rowing exercise is done by holding any grill and pulling the body towards the grill. This works your back and arms and helps build strength throughout your upper body.
7. Walk in place
As you walk in place, raise your knee to hip level and swing your hands as you do when walking outdoors. Marching in place is a simple and effective exercise, says Singh. It helps burn calories, improves your cardiovascular fitness and also increases the strength and endurance of your leg muscles.
You also need to focus on good nutrition to maintain muscle mass. Increase your protein intake by consuming foods like chicken, fish, and eggs. Also, rest well and get an optimal amount of sleep each day!
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