Gym closures, offices closing down, and mandated quarantine are obliging us to make big changes to our workout routines. Nonetheless, your physical fitness should remain a key part of your routine. Exercise is particularly valuable to us now as it has proven benefits for mental wellbeing as well as our physical well being. It boosts us both physically and mentally which is very important at a moment in time when even the simple logistics of daily life are being challenged.
It is very easy to fall into a lazy and sedentary routine, however, working on a daily schedule that includes exercise can be very healing and can bring a sense of normality to your day. In times of uncertainty having a plan and setting a routine can be very reassuring. Add exercise to your plan, perhaps schedule an hour in before work, or if you can get out of the house, aim to get at least 10,000 steps.
If you are currently self-isolating with symptoms, or someone in your household has them, you should not leave the house. But that does not mean that you need to stop moving. Use movement and activity as a way to break up your daily routine (only if you feel well enough!).
Top Tips For Working Out From Home
Make a routine and plan ahead
When you are training at home, there are a huge number of distractions around you. You have to be in the right mindset to workout if you want to truly get the most out of it. The simplest and most effective way to do that is to set aside some time for it in advance.
Create a designated fitness area
You don’t need a big home gym, just a designated space for your workouts. Keep any equipment that you have in this space. If everything is organized and in one place, it is much more effective and it helps you to get into the right frame of mind.
Set yourself some goals
Goal setting is crucial regardless of where you are working out. An easy way to lose motivation is to not see results. Set some short term and some long-term goals, having a challenge is a great way to motivate yourself and keep things fun and fresh. You can even set up a fitness challenge among friends and hold each other accountable. With all of the technological advances nowadays you do not have to train alone even if you are at home!
Get some equipment
A yoga mat, a couple of resistance bands and some free weights can go a long way! You don’t need a lot of equipment, just enough so that you can comfortably workout and work on your goals. Bodyweight training is fantastic, but a few tools or toys can help you to keep your workouts varied and fun.
Another crucial component of training at home is keeping things varied. Doing the same workout day in day out, is neither fun nor beneficial.
For some it can be hard to keep motivation levels up when you are working out by yourself. If you struggle with this, perhaps try tuning into live workouts, or join a class on Zoom.
Some Tips For Creating A Seriously Effective Full Body Workout In Quarantine
- Burpees Rule! Burpees can be performed in a small space and require zero equipment. They are also quick and effective! This compound exercise requires all of your muscles to work together as a single unit helping you to work on strength, power, agility and coordination.
- There are many great bodyweight moves – think push ups and squats. Air squats can be performed almost anywhere and by everyone. These exercises along with other bodyweight drills such as mountain climbers, lunges, and push ups form the base of bodyweight training and can be combined in various ways to make several different workouts.
- Add isometric holds for more of a challenge. At the bottom of a squat, lunge or push up hold the position for a few seconds and push your muscles to work a little harder. You can also add small pulses, this turns a simple movement into a more complex move.
- Add a jump to the top of movements to get your heart going. If you are worried about missing out on cardio, kick your heart rate up a notch by adding a jump to movements like squats and lunges.
- Get creative! Use household items as equipment. Use a chair for tricep dips or raised push ups. Grab your broom and work on technique for Olympic and Power Lifts. Cartons of water can be perfect for a farmer carry!
Our 10 Favorite at Home WODs
1. MINI “MURPH”
- 1-mile Run
- 100 Push-ups
- 200 Air Squats
- 1-mile Run
A scaled version of the classic Hero WOD. There are no pull ups and slightly fewer reps. This is by no means easy though!
2. SIMPLE BODYWEIGHT WOD
- 5-10 Rounds for Time:
- 10 Push-ups
- 10 Air Squats
- 10 Burpees
- 10 Air Squats
A simple and well-rounded bodyweight WOD. Adjust the number of rounds accordingly.
3. A SPEEDY 8-MINUTE WOD
- 2 Minutes Max Reps Push-ups
- 1 Minute Rest
- 2 Minutes Max Sit-ups
- 1 Minute Rest
- 2 Minutes Max Air Squats
A quick blast to do at home. Treat each round like an all-out sprint.
4. “FANTASTIC 50”
- 50 Jump Tucks
- 50 Push-ups
- 50 Air Squats
- 50 Walking Lunges
- 50 Sit-ups
- 50 Second Plank Hold
- 50 Burpees
“Fantastic 50” is a longer WOD – perfect for working on endurance.
5. HERO WOD – LOREDO
6 Rounds For Time
- 24 Air Squats
- 24 Push-Ups
- 24 Walking Lunges
- 400-meter Run
A great lower body blast- perhaps add a core drill as a cash out.
6. INVISIBLE FRAN
21 -15 – 9 reps of:
- Air Squats
- Push Ups
Another short, sharp and effective home WOD
- 50-40-30-20 and 10-rep rounds of:
A great benchmark WOD that requires little equipment and little space. If you don’t have a rope, sub the double unders for jumping jacks.
8. TABATA SOMETHING ELSE
20 sec of work, 10 sec of rest, repeat 8 times for each exercise.
- Tabata pull ups
- Tabata push ups
- Tabata sit ups
- Tabata squats
A great and easy format. Take a one-minute break in between rounds and change up the exercises if you don’t have a pull up bar or want a different challenge.
9. GYMNASTIC MASTERY – A more advanced WOD
- 5 Handstand Push-ups
- 10 Pistol Squats
A great WOD to both activate and test your sense of balance.
10. DEATH BY BURPEE
In the first minute you complete one burpee, in the second minute two, and so on. How many rounds can you complete before you cannot complete the required burpees?
A great and effective format that you can use for other exercises too. Try death by air squat or push up!
Some Top-Notch Online Workout Classes
If you struggle to motivate yourself, we have compiled a list of the best online fitness classes you can tune into.
If you want to work on technique, mobility and functional fitness:
GMB’s was founded by a group of top-level gymnasts and martial artists with phenomenal levels of coordination and bodily control. Their forte is streamlining their expertise and simplifying drills in a way that allows anyone to try. This ranges from mobility routines that will help you to redress all the imbalances that you have been nurturing for years, to more ambitious programs that will help you to (re)learn moves such as a handstand or a cartwheel.
MovNat teaches its customers the fundamental methods behind simple exercises. Gradually they increase the volume, intensity and complexity teaching you to be physically prepared for harder drills. Additionally, they offer further slightly unconventional training methods, such as climbing trees, barefoot running and more playful activities. Their ethos is to combine nature with movement.
The Ready State (formerly Mobility WOD)
This mobility program is the brainchild of Dr. Kelly Starrett, a movement and mobility coach for players in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, Olympic gold medalists, and other world-class athletes. This program was put together to help athletes of all levels prevent injuries and increase their mobility and flexibility. He has worked closely with the CrossFit community and has many CrossFit specific drills.
With a simple yoga mat (or even a towel) you can namaste at home and join some yoga classes:
Yogaglo has a massive variety of top-quality yoga classes, encompassing many yoga styles. The teachers are amongst the world’s best. The site offers yoga classes of all styles so everyone should be able to find their perfect practice. Pick between a refreshing restorative class or work a sweaty Vinyasa flow in the comfort of your own home. All new members are given access to a free 15-day trial.
Down Dog is an app that offers yoga for all skill levels, as well as 7-minute workouts, barre, and high intensity interval training. The app is extremely easy to use and offers users a simple way to select classes, based on practice level, length, class type etc.
Yoga with Adriene is a fantastic channel on YouTube, all of her content is free and extremely accessible. She offers a huge variety of routines in addition to detailed videos on technique. Depending on how much time you have, you can choose a quick video (under 10 minutes) or longer session of up to 45 minutes and anything in between.
For more experienced athletes looking for a more intense home workout:
If you need a more intense project to keep your mind entertained in self isolation and want to learn some new skills, such as a one-armed pull up or some advanced handstand work then check Beast Skills! Beast Skills offers some seriously hard challenges but breaks them down into completely manageable progressions.
Created by personal trainer and CrossFit box owner Ryan Fischer offers access to three daily workouts – a CrossFit WOD with weights, a workout for those with little or no equipment and a core and conditioning workout with lighter weights. This is a paid program, but he has a free two-week trial which provides full access.
Jeff Cavaliere is a physical therapist and a strength coach; his ethos is based on “putting the science back into strength”. Cavaliere has an impressive background and keeps his videos simple and effective, providing tips on a range of drills from improving your back squat to core blast workouts. He offers step by step workout programs, providing a path to more muscle, less fat and overall improved fitness.
Looking After Your Mental Health While Self-isolating
Social distancing and self-isolation can be very difficult to deal with. It is normal to feel nervous, anxious or simply bored, if you are concerned about the effect it will have on your mental health, you are not alone.
Exercise is a fantastic way to keep both your body and mind healthy. Here are further tips for taking care of your wellbeing during quarantine.
Phone calls are a great way to keep in touch but using video to help feel a little more connected. Seeing someone’s face can really uplift your mood if you are starting to feel a bit lonely. There is a plethora of free video calling services available – from WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype to Zoom! Use this time to catch up with old friends or people you haven’t heard from in a while, make an effort to check in on those who you know are alone or in need.
There are many positive online communities, where you can meet new people, get inspiration and simple chat about the things that you love! Search for groups involved in causes, music, sports or TV shows that you are passionate about.
Online games you can play with friends Board games are a fantastic way to enjoy time with friends or family. There are plenty of games that you can access online, like Monopoly or Chess, or via apps like Words With Friends 2.
Work on Mindfulness. There are loads of fantastic (and free!) apps you that can help to guide you through breathing techniques and meditation which will help to soothe anxiety and clear your mind. Try Headspace or Calm.
Manage anxiety by getting creative! Learning a new skill can help to boost your mind and relieve any apprehension. If you want to learn a new language, Duolingo is a great free language learning program you can use from your computer or phone. YouTube is also a fantastic option and has countless free online tutorials for almost anything.
Take a break from the news. Tempting though it is to keep checking the news, it can become a bit overbearing and add to your anxiety levels. If you notice this is having a negative effect on your mental health limit how often you turn the news on. It is important to stay informed, but simply limit your intake if you feel that it is weighing on your anxiety levels.
Read a book or watch an uplifting film. Get away from your screen for a bit and escape with a book. It might be the perfect time to join a book club. Distraction can be a great thing, watch something uplifting and take a temporary break from what is going on. Perhaps an old childhood favorite or a good old-fashioned comedy.
Plan your days. A disruption to your routine can be stressful. Spend a few minutes writing down how you plan on spending your day. Setting out (and sticking to) a new routine will provide you with a sense of order and normality. Ensure that you include time to do things that you enjoy too!
Cook something new. Good nutrition is always important, but during these stressful times there is nothing better than a delicious homemade meal. Share your favourite recipes with your friends and family and get inspiration from them. Creativity is a great way to combat boredom!
Reach out for help. It goes without saying that if you are struggling or finding your living situation difficult, please don’t suffer in silence. Speak to someone you love or trust, call a family member, a friend or a helpline for support.
To Sum Up
The next few weeks will hold unprecedented challenges for everyone. Many of us will feel a strong urge to stress eat or just stay on the sofa. By taking a few simple steps you can maintain good health while simultaneously supporting your immune system.
- Research recipes – cooking is a great way to use some creative energy. Perhaps you now have the time to cook something that you have always wanted to try. There are some great articles out there for simple recipes using pantry staples. Share any of your recipes with us here!
- Stay Hydrated! As we may be less active during lockdown, we may not feel as thirsty, don’t skimp on your water!
- Support Local. Preparing three meals a day can be demanding. So, when you need a break from the kitchen support the small businesses near where you live. Everyone needs a little support during these difficult times, and there is no better place to start than within your local community.
- Take short active breaks throughout the day. Short bouts of physical activity can help keep your mind sharp and your body strong. Keep it fun, dance around, play with your kids, do a bit of gardening.
- Relax. Meditation and breathwork can really help you to keep calm.
- Limit or avoid alcoholic beverages.
- Ensure plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of sugar and fat, choose whole grains over refined foods.
- With a little planning, fresh items can be just as good frozen. Freezing can significantly extend the shelf-life of a large variety of foods.
Use this total disruption of your routine as an opportunity to create a new one. Support each other, ask for help when needed and most importantly stay safe.
Share with us any tips that you have found helpful for getting through these challenging times.