The Coronavirus lockdown mean gyms are closed, and you’re at home without the same equipment. Sounds like a good excuse to take a holiday from working out, right? Wrong!
Working out at home is not only possible, it’s easier than you think – even with no equipment at all. And there are loads of benefits:
- Maintain physical fitness during lockdown
- Release feel-good chemicals for mental health
- Learn new techniques
- Train different muscle groups
- Break up your day
So, what’s the secret to working out from home? Using your body as weight (or resistance) in the same way you would normally use machines and weights.
How Do Bodyweight Workouts Work?
One way our bodies build muscle and strength is through resistance. At a gym, the machine or weight you use provides that resistance. In a home workout, all you need to build muscle, burn fat, and improve mobility, is the power of gravity and a bit of floor space.
Of course, this means learning new exercises and focussing on technique. But let’s be honest, you’ve got time on your hands and your body wants to move!
Bodyweight workouts are a great way to stay fit and healthy at home until you can visit the gym again. They might not replace the full range of group fitness classes and equipment you can find at Surge Fitness, but you can still work on your fitness goals from the comfort of your living room.
Where Can You Do A Bodyweight Workout?
We’re calling these “home workout” exercises, but bodyweight exercises are incredibly versatile. You can try these workouts:
- At home (preferably with a yoga mat, but carpet works)
- At the park
- In the garden
- By the beach
As long as you respect social distancing guidelines, the world really is your gym.
Home Workout Exercises to Get You Started
What were your fitness goals before the lockdown started? The good news is, whether you’re building muscle, burning fat, or keeping healthy as you age, you can maintain momentum while working out from home.
Upper Body Strength
An old home workout favourite that needs little explanation. Start with legs extended or on your knees, depending on your fitness level. Focus on technique first and reps second.
- Tricep dips
Sit against a chair or edge of your bed, or a stable platform about knee-high. Put your hands on the surface and extend your arms. Slowly lower again with a straight back until your upper arms are 90° (parallel to the floor) then raise and repeat.
- Shoulder taps
Start in a push-up position. Keeping your body prone and core engaged, tap your left shoulder with right hand. Repeat on the other side and complete a 30-second round to builder shoulder strength.
- Handstand push-up
A more advanced shoulder exercise. Get into a handstand position against a wall. Bend your arms 90° in an upside-down push-up until your head is nearly on the floor, then extend your arms.
Lower Body Strength
- Air squats
A standard squat, without weights. Focus on nailing your form by keeping your back straight and knees behind toes as you squat. If you’re new to squat technique, use a chair to practice ‘chair sit’ squats.
- Squat jumps
Add a plyometric twist to a home workout favourite. Perform a normal air squat, but add an explosive jump as you extend your legs. Aim for 15 reps.
- Single leg deadlift
Start standing up straight with legs together. Raise one leg, then slowly lower your torso and outstretched arms while raising the leg behind you. Return to the start position and replace the raised foot on the ground, switch legs, and repeat.
- Wall sits
With your back flat against a wall, assume a ‘sitting’ position with legs bent 90° so your thighs are parallel to the floor and knees directly over ankles. Hold for 60 seconds, or as long as it takes before your legs turn to jelly.
Start in a low squat with your hands on the floor. Kick your feet out to assume a push-up position. Then bring your feet back to the starting position, and in one motion stand and complete a jump with your hands over your head. For an extra challenge, add a push-up in the middle as you work up to 15 reps.
Start in a similar position to push-ups, but with elbows on the floor directly under your shoulders and forearms flat in front. Engage your core and hold for 30, then 60, and eventually 120 seconds.
- Sit ups
A standard in the home workout regime. Lie on your back with legs bent and hands behind your head. Using your core (not your hands or neck) bring your upper body off the floor and feel the crunch. There are so many sit up variations, like V-ups, sit-up twists, bicycles, reverse sit-ups and scissors.
- Mountain climbers
Start in a push-up position with legs extended. Bring your right knee to your chest, engaging your core, then return to extended position. Repeat with your left knee. Get faster as you get fitter, completing 30-second rounds. Mix it up with crossover (knee to opposite side) or ‘Spider-Man’ (knee to outside) variations.
Mobility and Flexibility
Begin standing up straight with legs shoulder width apart. Step one foot forward and lower the other knee until it just touches the floor. Use the front foot to push off and return to standing. Switch legs and repeat. For variety try a reverse lunge by stepping backwards.
- Walking hip openers
Standing with feet hip-width apart, raise one knee towards your chest. Make a circle with your knee, moving it out and down before returning to the start. Repeat 10 times then switch sides.
We know it can be tough to find motivation for home workouts. That’s why we’re thrilled to bring our members Surge On Demand to keep you moving and motivated during lockdown.
For as little as $5 a week, you get:
- Daily workouts and training tips
- Classes from Surge Fitness instructors
- Weekly nutrition tips and recipes
- Dedicated Facebook community
- Instant access to 100+ Les Mills classes
Plus loads more content to keep your home workouts fresh and challenging. Find out more about Surge On Demand here.
Remember, working out at home is only half the battle. To stay fit during isolation you will need to stay especially focussed on nutrition. That means:
- Cutting out unhealthy snacks
- Consuming the right balance of protein, good fats and carbohydrates
- Getting enough vitamins from your food
- Reducing (or preferably eliminating) alcohol and cigarettes
Surge On Demand subscribers get new family-friendly recipes delivered straight to their inbox every week. And check out our blog for more home workout tips, healthy food ideas and motivation to keep moving during isolation.