This article was submitted by Andy Brown. Andy started writing about muscle building and weight loss to document his own journey.
The outbreak of Coronavirus has led to social distancing and staying home. Everything has been closed, including gyms. However, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise your fitness. There are still plenty of at-home bodyweight workouts you can do! Exercising regularly also helps build immunity and improves mood, so, even if sitting on the couch seems great right now, getting up and working out could benefit you more than you think. There are several exercises that can be done at home without using any equipment.
Stretching is simple, yet it really benefits your joints and muscles, particularly when you are inside your home or sitting at your desk throughout the day. It makes you flexible and is very easy and quick to do.
Stretching forms a significant part of an effective fitness regime, because it improves the range of motion, calms the mind, and increases blood circulation. This prevents illnesses and injuries, provides you with better sleep at night, and benefits both your body and mind.
You can even do a yoga workout to combine stretching with different types of exercises! You should spend a few minutes stretching every morning. Watch this video to learn a 30-minute stretching routine for beginners that can increase your flexibility. For a full-body dynamic stretching routine, check out this visual slideshow.
Yes yes, I know, you’re thinking that walking is not really an exercise, but that’s not true! Walking is one of the greatest workouts you can do since it does not cost anything and you can easily scale it up or down as per your fitness level.
Walking is perfect for people who don’t like to run or don’t want to do an intense workout, but still want to get some cardio in! According to the Department of Health, 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like walking, for about 5 times a week is quite beneficial for your physical as well as mental health.
Walking can also reduce your waistline and relieve stress. Even if you can’t leave your house or apartment due to social distancing, you can walk on your terrace, in your backyard, or up and down the stairs! In short, walk wherever you can. Just put on your headphones and listen to music or an audiobook and start walking!
Yoga is not just for experts or those who are super fit. Beginners can do yoga workouts from home with the help of online yoga classes, available in the form of both pre-recorded and live classes.
You just need a computer and an exercise/yoga mat. You can go for more yoga practices that focus on the breath because they are great for relieving stress.
Yoga takes around 10 minutes to 90 minutes depending on your commitment and skill level, so you can modify your yoga workout to fit your day! You can find various yoga poses for different fitness and skill levels on the internet.
One of the popular online yogis is Yoga with Adriene. She offers videos for new learners as well as yoga for stress relief, neck pain, and tension. Beginners can also watch this video by Finley Wilson, a UK yoga instructor.
Calisthenics or Bodyweight Exercises
Can you believe you can do bodyweight workouts at home without any gym equipment? Yes, you heard it right! You can also incorporate your household furniture or everyday items into your home workouts such as a dish towel, or even some wine bottles.
You can also try creating your own makeshift gym equipment and weights. For instance, you can use 2 strong chairs to make your own dip bars or use the broomstick to make a barbell.
In order to augment the intensity of your workout at home, you can also use resistance bands. The gym being closed is really no excuse to skip your workout! Some bodyweight workouts you can do at home are:
- Sit-ups: Sit-ups are a great bodyweight exercise that targets the core, stomach, abdominals, chest, lower back, hip flexors, and neck. If you are a beginner, you should start with 10 reps in a total of 2 sets. Take a minute rest in between set
- Push-ups: Push-ups have a lot of benefits. They target your arms, triceps, chest, core, and anterior deltoid muscles (the front part of your shoulders). You can do 12 to 15 reps or as many reps as you can manage with good form with 3 to 5 sets in total. Rest for about a minute in between each rep.
- Shoulder presses: These work your shoulders, chest, core, and triceps. You can fill up a bag or backpack with heavy things to make dumbbells. Do 2 to 3 sets with 12 to 30 reps each.
- Squats and lunges: Squats work your lower body and quads and glutes and lunges engage your core, legs, and glutes. For squats, you can start with 12 to 15 reps in 3 sets of one type of squat. For lunges, do 15 to 24 reps with each leg in 1 set.
- Bicep curls: These build strength in your upper arms. You can use a backpack to do bicep curls at home. Do 12 to 24 reps with 2 sets.
If you want a structured home workout plan, you can check out Official Thenx. Beginners can try this Calisthenics workout program too!
- Shadowboxing: This is a full-body workout that balances and coordinates your upper and lower body and right and left sides. You can do 3 reps of shadow boxing while taking a rest of 30 seconds in between each rep.
- Mountain climbers: This cardio workout has a lot of benefits. It works on different muscle groups in your body and engages your whole body, including core, triceps, latissimus dorsi, and deltoids. Do this for 20 to 30 seconds with 8 reps while taking a rest of 10 seconds in between each rep.
- Running in place or jumping jacks: These exercises will quickly increase your heart rate and help you burn calories and aid with weight loss. You can start slowly and then gradually increase your speed. Run in place for 30-45 seconds and do jumping jacks 15 times.
- Jump rope: Jumping rope is a great way to burn calories while having fun! You can do it almost anywhere, and jump ropes are super easy to buy online.
- Dance workouts: Are you not that excited about working out but still trying to stay active? Try following along to a dance workout video- you’ll be having so much fun you may even forget you’re exercising!
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is about following a particular exercise regime that focuses on varying intensities and speeds during a shorter swim, bike, row, or run. Obviously, these are all a little difficult to do at home, but fear not! You can still do a HIIT workout while social distancing.
Burpees with a push-up are a great HIIT exercise that engages your whole body, including your core, quads, glutes, arms, and hamstrings. Moreover, burpees quickly boost your heart rate, when you add an explosive jump towards the end. Burpee is the king of all exercises that you can do at home. You can do a burpee with push-up as follows:
- Begin by standing with arms by your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down while placing your hands beneath your shoulders on the ground and kicking your legs outwards into a high plank.
- Do a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your chest to the floor.
- Bring back your legs inwards, towards your hands to achieve a squat pose.
- Instantly jump into the air while keeping your arms above your head. Do 20 repetitions of this, rest for 20 seconds, and then repeat.
Or else, you can do as many reps as you can manage for a minute. If you’re a beginner, you can do burpees like this:
No matter you are a beginner or expert, you can try this great full-body workout using just your bodyweight:
- Couch dips: Both couch dips and triceps dips are great for upper-body strength. Beginners can go for triceps dips.
- Split squats: Beginners can go for backward lunges, forward lunges, and regular squats. These exercises have many benefits. They work your hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
- Decline push-ups: All these exercises, including decline push-ups, target the core, pectorals, triceps, and deltoids. Beginners can do regular push-ups and knee push-ups.
- Hip thrusters: You can make this glute strength exercise more challenging by lifting one of your legs in the air.
- Glute bridge: This exercise activates your glutes, particularly if you sit a lot, which is quite common these days while you’re at home. If you’re a beginner, you can keep both feet on the floor rather than on a high surface. To make it difficult, you can raise each leg off the couch towards the ceiling.
- Sit-stand-jumps: Experts can use a resistance band above their knees with a wider stance in order to work glutes better in sit-stand-jumps.
- Planks. Don’t forget to use planks to strengthen your core muscles. Hold on planks for 30 seconds at a time, and then try a side plank for 30 seconds on the right side and then repeat on the left.
Of course, fitness, strength, mobility, and agility are the goal, but you may even lose some weight if you repeat this circuit daily.
You can do strength training at home for your leg muscles with these simple exercises without any equipment
- Squats: You can do 12-24 reps of squats in 2 sets. If you’re a beginner, you can use a chair in the beginning in order to learn the proper squatting form.
- Squat jumps: You can do squat jumps in 2-3 sets of 10 reps.
- Forward lunges: Do 10 to 12 reps on the right leg and then repeat with the left leg. As a beginner, if you need, you can hold on to something to get some support. You can also try reverse lunges.
- Wall sit: Do 2 to 3 sets of wall sits with 10 reps. Generally, you must hold for around 15 seconds to a minute. However, if you’re a beginner, you can start with any duration while maintaining good form.
This workout is great for your upper body without the use of any gym equipment. The exercises include:
- Knee push-ups: Do 3 sets of knee push-ups with 20 to 25 reps in each. Beginners can do regular push-ups or any other variation of push-ups like wall push-ups. Research says knee push-ups are great for building and maintaining strength.
- Knee up-downs: You can do 2 to 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions in each. Regular up-downs are harder.
- Triceps dips: These target your pecs and triceps. Do 2 sets with 12 to 15 reps. You can place your palms on a chair or step to make it harder. However, if you are a beginner, you can do triceps dips on the floor.
- Wall lateral pull-downs: Do 12-16 reps of wall lateral pull-downs. You can also use a resistance band if you want a more advanced version of this exercise.
Let us know how your at home workout goes in the comments!
Andy started writing about muscle building and weight loss to document his own journey. Currently, Andy runs HomeGym101 along with a team of dedicated experts. His goal is to help you build your own home gym.