Make your wellbeing a priority, and keep active during Lockdown#2 with a home workout!
Working out from home is obviously very different to being in a gym environment, but it’s still valuable and worth taking the time to do, especially if you are usually pretty active.
When it comes to exercise, something is always better than nothing. Even a little bit of movement is good for your mental health. You don’t have to be the fittest and most dedicated you’ve ever been, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to workout!
Any amount of exercise can help boost your mood and is a well-known way of managing mental health problems, such as low mood and anxiety, which we know are often more prevalent during the winter months.
For some, it can be hard to work out from home. There can be many obstacles to work around, such as children, pets (my cat loves joining in and making everything that little bit more difficult!), the space you have, the kit you have (or don’t have)… I could go on!
Top tips for home workouts.
If you’re used to using lots of cardio equipment, or resistance machines in the gym, you may not be sure what to do at home, however, there is still a lot you can do at home.
Use your body weight!
Squats, Lunges, Push-ups, Core work etc. The three things to focus on to maintain those strength gains you’ve made over the last few weeks are slowing things down, isometric holds and unilateral work (single limb variations). By slowing things down and holding exercises, you will increase the muscles time under tension
Examples of these are:
- Tempo Squat – Slowly count to three as you squat down, pause for a second at the bottom and slowly count to three on the way back up.
- Squat Hold with overhead press – Lower yourself into a squat position and hold it while you do 15 overhead presses.
- Single Leg Chair Squat – Place your right leg out in front of you. Squat down onto the chair and stand back up without letting your right foot touch the floor
You won’t be able to do many of these exercises before the burn kicks in! However, if you do want to invest in some equipment, I would suggest a kettlebell or two and/or some resistance bands as they are the most versatile pieces of equipment.
Give yourself a mini goal.
Something to aim for will really help with that motivation. For example, if you struggle performing a full push-up, give yourself the goal of being able to do five by January. Each week you can track your progress and notice how much stronger you’re becoming.
Have a plan that fits your goal.
It can be tempting to do lots of random free workouts on YouTube etc. But in my honest opinion, random workouts = random results. You need to stay consistent with what you’re doing if you want to see any progress. Having some sort of plan would be a good idea. Keep in mind that muscles have to be balanced to prevent injuries and bad posture.
Find a type of workout you enjoy and meets your goals, and stick to it. There is no point doing 100 squats a day if your goal is to do push-ups. If your goal is general fitness however, 100 squats a day would support this. Most Personal Trainers are also offering home workout plans. It may be worth contacting your gym to see if that’s an option. They can write you a progressive plan tailored to you, your goals and what you have available to you.
Schedule your workout.
Put it in your diary like you would a meeting or a regular visit to the gym. This way you’ll be a lot less inclined to do it. Don’t go searching for the excuses!
Try an online class or PT session.
If you’re not quite sure what to do at home, book a Zoom workout with an instructor or an online Personal Training session. Most gyms are still offering these services so it should be easy enough to find one. It will give you some accountability, and having a class or PT session booked will mean you are more likely to stick to the plan.
Try and find an area that you can clear for your home workouts. Somewhere that you can focus on yourself and what you’re doing. Make sure you can move your arms and legs without crashing into anything before you start.
Wear your workout clothes.
This might sound silly, but If you’re not leaving the house, it might be tempting to hang around in your pyjamas which can make you feel lazy and mean it’s harder to get motivated. Even if you have no plans to leave the house, put on your workout gear and you’ll be more likely to train and stick to your programme.
In my experience, people seem to drink less water when they are home. Staying hydrated helps keep joints healthy and mobile and will help with muscle recovery too.
Keep it simple.
It can be easier to get hurt if you’re starting something new and don’t quite know what you’re getting into or improvising by using large water bottles or bags full of books instead of weights. There is plenty that you can do with your own bodyweight!
As long as you keep yourself motivated and dedicated, pushing and challenging yourself, you’re just as able to see results and improve with home workouts as you would in the gym.
Thank you to Rachel Howard from ‘Strength beyond the surface‘ for writing this blog for us.