Work Out at Home with UK Fitness Authority Nana Akua

The TV fitness guru explains why it’s sensible and effective to make working in the new working out and shares six great sets to do at home.

Nana Akua

You may think exercising at home is not effective, but you can actually get as great a workout as you can with any gym. Nana Akua, aka LadyXsize, is a renowned presenter on TV and radio, including the BBC’s “The Health Show” and UK Health Radio, Master Trainer and CEO of fitness brand LadyXsize Ltd.

Here, she shows how you can burn fat and build muscle without resorting to exercising at a club. She also gives tips on how to stay motivated.

Why Working Out At Home Can Be More Effective

Style: Who cares?

It really doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you’re comfortable. Those old glasses, those comfortable yoga pants that have been your favourites for many years, that clashing top that everyone tells you looks horrendous, it doesn’t actually matter!

Equipment free
You don’t need to buy expensive gym equipment to score a slim and healthy body. With some guidance, a home workout can engage as many, if not more muscles than in a gym and by keeping moving you keep your heart rate up. The only equipment you need is your body, and I’ll show you how a no-gym fat burner will get you into killer condition fast. In fact, the design of many gym machines means your body is supported throughout the exercise, which means you might not even be using your core muscles.

Observing how you work
In a gym you may not want to expose your tummy, but it’s actually good to see those muscles working and focus on your movements and position. Also, if a move is difficult, you can stop or take it slowly without feeling people are watching you and thinking you are wimping out. Plus, you don’t have to compare your progress with anyone else. We are all different; we achieve things in our own time and in our own way. At home you can pace yourself and make adjustments that feel comfortable for you.

Time out
You may want to stop in the middle of your workout, we all get emotional at different times of the month and it’s fine. Taking that private moment out whether it be to laugh or cry may get judgemental looks or unnecessary gawking when you’re at a gym, but in your home you’re free to do whatever you choose.  

Save money
Health and gym memberships can become an unbearable cost particularly if you don’t use them. Rather than wasting money on expensive memberships, why not spend it on that perfect dress you’ve been eyeing up or a new lipstick, as a reward for your efforts?

Save time
Then there’s the amount of time spent getting ready to go to the gym, add that to the travel time and the time spent working out, and you can easily say goodbye to up to three hours.

Be yourself
Some clubs are great, but there are many where you see a bunch of preening people who can’t stop looking at themselves in the mirror. If you’re one of those women, then fine, but it’s not the type of atmosphere I enjoy working out to. It can be quite intimidating, especially if you don’t feel that confident with your body. Let’s face it, we all have areas that we would like to improve. The privacy of your own home provides an environment where this is not an issue. Plus, you can make all the grunts and groans you want to get the workout done.

Create your own music library
Music is a great motivator when it comes to working out, but it needs to be to your taste, those rap tracks played at the gym might be perfect for a 16-year-old but completely uninspiring for you. At home you pick the music that motivates you and find tracks that work at the correct tempo for you.

Wider range of workouts
I’ve found I tended to do the same thing every time I went to the gym. At home you can change it up so you don’t get so bored. If you are looking for inspiration, why not try one of my workout at home packages?

6 Super Moves To Do At Home
Here are six super effective moves than can help you trim and tone and work every part of the body and can be done as a short 5 -10 minute workout.

Jogging on the spot
Great for warming up muscles and you can vary the intensity. If you use this as a warm up, jog on the spot for one minute. You can add some dynamic or moving stretches like hamstring curls towards the end of the minute.


Side plank
Get the obliques and deep core muscles working effectively. The most important thing to remember with this move is to get your hips off the ground. Then bring your knee to your elbow. Do two sets of eight on each side.

Star jump and touch the floor
This is a great cardio move, do it at as high intensity as you can but make sure you pause between jumps. To simplify, you can try a half star jump and take out the floor touch.

All fours
This will work your bottom muscles. Squeeze them as you lift your leg up to a slightly wider than 90 percent angle. Keeping the leg bent throughout, you should aim for16 on each leg. 

Sit and hold
Hold this position for one minute, this will really fire your stomach muscles.

Press up to finish
This is an overall strength move, if you struggle to do a full press up, this move can be done with the knee down on the supporting leg. Aim to do eight of these, and as you get stronger, you can progress to 16 and then 32.

Cooling down
At the end of every workout, I always cool down with a series of static stretches starting with the hamstrings by extending one leg forward, weight on your back leg, then flex your foot. You should feel tightness at the back of your leg. Hold that position for 30 seconds, then go on to a quad stretch, that’s the muscle at the front of your thigh. You can do this standing or lying on the floor. Draw your heel to your bottom, grab the ankle of that leg and push through your hip. You should feel a stretch along the front of your thigh. You should do this on both sides and hold for 30 seconds each.

Getting Motivated
People often tell me they find it difficult to get the motivation when at home, so here are some important things to do to make you more likely to exercise.

  • Find a designated area in your home to workout, somewhere that is conducive to exercise, a space out of the way, where the family won’t interrupt you.
  • Decide how much time you have available to workout.
  • To maximise the effectiveness of your workout, you will need to be consistent. There is no point doing it sporadically, it won’t work. So create a workout schedule that fits in with your home life and place your schedule on a wall, somewhere visible. Even better, if you have a schedule that you can tick and feel a sense of achievement when completed.
  • Old habits die hard so make sure your programme is a minimum of 12 weeks. Research suggests the brain needs at least 12 weeks to establish a routine.
  • Have a clear goal in mind. If it’s losing inches, or fitting into that outfit, define your goal before you start and take the necessary measurements.

Finally, your gains are reversible, so even if you have achieved your goal, exercise is a way of life. Implement your routine and make it part of your routine, only then will you realise the full benefits it can bring.

You can find more inspiration on my website, where you can subscribe to ‘Workout At Home,’ my online workout area.

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