1 Piece of Equipment You Need (and Probably Have) to Maximize Your Home Workouts

I'm a firm believer that, with the right mindset and an open space, you can accomplish a good workout pretty much anywhere. Do bodyweight HIIT in your bedroom! Pick up some dumbbells and get your strength training on in the comfort of your den. If you're lucky and have a treadmill or bike, take advantage! (Hills are the best type of treadmill routine for your booty, FYI.) But, depending on who you are and what gets you motivated, working out at home might not be the most productive thing (just think of all the potential distractions!). If you find yourself struggling, we've got some trainer-approved advice for how to fix that.

Johanna Devries, certified personal trainer known as Grow With Jo on Instagram, understands that the struggle is real sometimes, so she gave POPSUGAR three simple tips for making the most out of home workouts. Ahead, check out these tips that will ensure you focus on form, challenge yourself, stay moving until your cooldown stretch, and actually enjoy your sweat sessions.

Work Out in Front of a Mirror
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Work Out in Front of a Mirror

Johanna said keeping a mirror close to her workout space is useful for correcting her form (that's why home workout system Mirror is so effective) — and you likely have a full-length mirror somewhere in your home. As a reminder, being mindful of your form will ensure that you're working the correct muscle groups and getting the most out of your exercises. For example, if you're doing squats away from a mirror, you might not notice that you're breaking your form and leaning your chest forward instead of keeping it upright. It's easier to correct these mistakes if you can actually see yourself doing the moves and making the errors.

Focus on Your Tempo
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Focus on Your Tempo

"Tempo is particularly important because without that measure of tempo, we are just going through the motions and not paying attention to getting full contractions out of our muscles," Johanna said. A great place to start, she advised, is making sure that you're holding the exercise for at least "1-Mississippi." So, for a chest press, you'd hold "1-Mississippi" at the top of the press, she explained, when your chest is most contracted. For a lunge, you'd hold it at the bottom, when your knees are bent.

Also, don't forget about your breathing — exhale during the concentric, or muscle-shortening, part of an exercise when you're exerting yourself, and inhale on the eccentric, or muscle-lengthening, part. For example, breathe out while doing a bicep curl toward your chest, and breathe in when you're lowering the weight back down. Check out more on this here.

Take Advantage of Follow-Along Videos
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Take Advantage of Follow-Along Videos

When Johanna started working out at home, she used a piece of paper with exercises on it, and she "rarely had the motivation to actually do the workouts." Once she found interactive ways, that's what made it interesting and kept her motivated daily, she explained. "Take advantage of all digital forms of instruction when you're at home," Johanna advised. "That's how you will learn more exercises and new ways to challenge your body!"

You can check out our POPSUGAR Fitness YouTube channel to view countless follow-along videos for any kind of workout routine. Also, these exercise apps are great. Some require monthly subscriptions, but others are free.