As many of us undergo self-isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, daily exercise is seemingly less feasible than ever.
It’s important to always create a fitness plan that fits your goals and schedule, and right now most of our schedules are jam-packed with a whole lot of time inside the house. Luckily, there are plenty of indoor workouts you can do while social distancing.
Learn more about what you should be eating to boost your immune system.
Gyms and exercise studios may be closed, but that’s no excuse to skip your workout. During these times of self quarantine, brands such as Corepower Yoga, Nike Training Club, Peloton, Planet Fitness, Rumble, Soulcycle and FitOn are extending their free trial periods or waiving their fees entirely to encourage everyone to stay home and do indoor workouts.
The truth is, you don’t need a fancy home gym to get or stay in shape. In fact, you can burn calories and build muscle without any equipment. According to Weight Watchers, body weight workouts can double as cardio and work almost every muscle in your body, especially when you increase the intensity.
Daily exercise is essential for optimizing health. To get you started, we’ve listed a full-body indoor workout that will improve your endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Create some space and prepare to sweat! Share it with your family and friends to encourage them to stay fit while staying safe.
Squatting is perhaps the most effective lower-body exercise to improve flexibility and strengthen your core. If you’re new to the motion, start slow and ensure your form is correct to avoid any injury. Rather than using equipment, the squat uses your weight and gravity as the resistance. Be sure to master the basic form before adding weight or trying new variations, such as jump squats and split squats.
1. Start by standing straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outwards.
2. Place your hands together in a “prayer position” and bend your knees as much as feels comfortable until your hips sink below your knees.
3. Finish by exploding back up to the original standing position.
4. Focus on maintaining balance while keeping your head up and back straight.
5. Complete three sets of 20 reps.
Lunges are a perfect indoor workout because you can do them anywhere and they don’t require equipment. Unfortunately, they’re also a bit difficult to get used to. However, if you consider all the benefits, lunges are worth the unpleasantness. Like squats, lunges are easy to learn and work all your leg muscles to cut down fat and tone your lower body. Since the exercise targets your glutes, hamstrings thighs and quads, it’s an ideal workout for people with back pain. This well-rounded exercise is a must for any indoor workout routine and can be performed in many variations.
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms down at your sides.
2. Take a step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee as you do so, stopping when your thigh is parallel to the ground. Ensure that your right knee doesn’t extend past your right foot.
3. Push up off your right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg.
4. This is one rep. Complete three sets of 10 reps.
Planks are one of the most fundamental exercises that work all the major abdominal muscles to help you develop better core strength and stability. A proper plank will not only increase your balance and strength, over time the exercise can help reduce back pain and improve posture. So whether or not you’re going for six-pack abs, you should be planking as much as possible to get the most out of this beneficial exercise.
1. Place your forearms firms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.
2. Keep your back straight and your hips at the same level as your head.
3. Hold the position without allowing your hips to sag.
4. Do this for as long as possible and repeat up to five times.
When it comes to upper body workouts, the pushup is perhaps the most basic yet effective exercise that suits both beginners and advanced trainers. They are frequently used in the fitness world to measure upper body strength and stamina. While not everyone can support their full body weight at first, there are many options for performing pushups. If you’re looking to target specific muscles, hand positioning is key. For instance, a wider hand placement will use more chest muscles while narrow hand placement targets your tricep muscle. Learn more about different types of pushups.
1. Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
2. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
3. Pause, then push yourself back up, keeping your elbows close to your body during the movement.
3. Complete three sets of as many reps as possible.
While pushups engage several upper body muscle groups, dips target your chest and triceps. In addition to building arm strength, tricep dips also work your shoulders, back and activate your core as you hold your hips off the ground. This exercise is easy to perform at home using a chair or another sturdy surface, such as a stair, railing or coffee table.
1. Sit on the edge of the chair and grip both sides of the seat next to your hips. You should be facing forward with your chin up, legs extended and your heels touching the ground.
2. Lift yourself and slide your body forward enough that your behind clears the edge of the chair.
3. Slowly lower your body downward until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees.
4. Push yourself back up to the start position and repeat.
5. Complete three sets of 10 reps.
Your glutes are the largest muscle group in your body that make it possible for you to walk upright, move and swivel your hips. This is why strengthening your glutes improves every activity you do from running to dancing. The glute bridge exercise is key to increasing your entire posterior chain strength and power, which isn’t only good for you, it also improves your balance.
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and arms straight at your sides with your palms facing down.
2. Pushing through your heels, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line. Your upper back and shoulders should still be in contact with the ground.
3. Pause at the top before lowering back down to the starting position
4. Complete three sets of 12 reps.
It’s no coincidence why crunches have been the staple of ab workouts for decades. The exercise engages your core muscles but primarily stresses the lower abs. While the exercise is fairly basic, people make the mistake of rushing through the motion with improper form, says Jacquelyn Brennan, a personal trainer, and co-founder of Pilates + Coffee in Chicago. Crunches are key for developing core muscles. Try to include them in your indoor workout.
1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your hands placed behind your head or across your chest.
2. Squeeze your abs and inhale.
3. Exhale and slowly contract your abs as you lift your back a few inches off the floor.
4. Return to the start position in a fluid motion.
5. Complete three sets of 20 reps.
No, this exercise will not turn you into a superhero, but it will strengthen your lower back and build support and stability for the spine. The glutes and lower back are the primary muscle groups that engaged in the Superman exercise. Perfecting this movement will help you better perform any movement that requires bending over or sitting.
1. Lie face down on your stomach with both your arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
2. Keeping your arms and legs straight, engage your lower back and glutes as to raise your hands and feet roughly six inches above the ground.
3. Hold for two to five seconds before lowering back down to the starting position.
4. Repeat this 10 times.
Burpees have a notorious reputation for a reason – they are tough! You may hate them, but they are one of the few equipment-free exercises that work your full body. Burpees are an effective way to build muscle, burn fat and improve your cardio endurance. If you’re looking to burn calories fast, you’ll learn to love to hate doing burpees.
1. Start by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms down at your sides.
2. With your hands out in front of you, start to squat down. When your hands reach the ground, pop your legs straight back into a pushup position.
3. Do a pushup.
4. Come back up to the starting pushup position and jump your feet up to your palms by hinging at the waist. Get your feet as close to your hands as you can get, landing them outside your hands if necessary.
5. Stand up straight, bringing your arms above your head and jump.
6. This is one rep. Complete three sets of 10 reps.
You may never look at the stairs in your house the same way again. Believe it or not, climbing stairs burns more calories than jogging. Unlike walking or running, with stair climbing, your muscles are forced to resist gravity and move in a vertical pattern, according to RunSociety. “When you move your body vertically, you place high demands on the lower body. Your leg muscles must repeatedly lift your body against the pull of gravity.” The beauty of stair workouts is they’re a great excuse to go outside if you’re feeling trapped inside. Feel free to incorporate squats and lunges at the base of the stairs in between exercises.
1. Take a few jogs up and down your stairs for roughly ten minutes.
2. Decide on a number to reach if you’re able to track the number of steps you take.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym rat, give these indoor workouts a try and see how you feel. Remember to start slow when trying a new exercise and do not push yourself too hard. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and make sure to give your body time to rest and recover afterwards.
Let us know how you’ve been staying healthy in the comments below.