While we're all stuck inside for the time being, many are trying to find ways to stay in shape, maintain muscle and strength or maybe even improve overall fitness.
So we have 2 choices... Wait it out and do nothing, or make the most out of it and come out even better.
Every problem carries with it an opportunity. Yes, the gyms are closed.. But sometimes taking a step back can be a good thing. You can discover new ways of training, work on some weaknesses. It's a chance to grow.
1.) Follow Along With Great Trainers
Xplicit Fitness Quarantine Workout Series
It helps to know some people in the fitness industry, and I'm lucky to know these guys. Having spent some time as a trainer at Xplicit Fitness in San Diego, CA, I can tell you that these workouts are among the best you'll find to do from home.
Here's a full at-home, 30 minute full body workout they posted to keep their members in shape during the quarantine. Chad (the owner) makes every workout fun and he's a great motivator.
If this leaves you wanting more, they've posted several more of these workouts. Click here if you'd like to check out the rest of the quarantine workouts by the guys at Xplicit.
Other Good Sites:
There are other good sites out there with plenty of home workout ideas. These are a few that people like and that I've checked out and deem worthy of your time and energy.
- Fitness Blender: Lets you filter workouts by difficulty, Gender and body part focus.
- Turbulence Training: Youtube channel with free, easy to follow and effective body-weight workouts.
- Body Rock TV: A huge collection of at home workouts with limited equipment.
2.) Work Out Like an Inmate
I spent over 10 years working in a prison. Being a trainer, I spent a LOT of time watching how inmates in my units work out.
Use what you've got
With no equipment other than a pull up bar, they stay in extremely good shape. Some fill up trash bags with water to use as resistance. Others filled pillowcases with books or soda bottles.
The point is, where there's a will, there's a way. Here's one example I saw a lot:
Perform one set (4 push ups) of the push up variation below, get up to your feet and jog in place. Jog in place only as long as you need to perform another set. Repeat this for a set period of time. For example, 20 minutes (inmates would do it for 1-2 hours)
Keep it Simple
With no equipment, inmates are forced to keep it simple. You can add pull ups and/or some body weight squats and lunges into the mix and get a great full body workout.
Looking for help with push ups or pull ups? Check these two articles out:
3.) Resistance Bands
Resistance bands can be an awesome addition to your workouts, even when you do go back to the gym.
Resistance Bands are:
- Cost Effective
- Adaptable to any fitness/strength level
- Easier on the joints than heavy weights
Resistance bands offer Ascending Resistance, meaning the further you stretch the band, the more difficult it becomes. This is especially beneficial for 3 reasons:
- Most people are weaker at the end range of motion of a movement. Bands can help improve strength all the way through.
- Injuries often occur at the end range of motion. Resistance bands can serve as a "prehab" tool by building strength at the end of the movement.
- Bands can allow you to perform a ton of reps without the joint stress you'd get using weights.
If you'd like to see a list of exercises you can do with resistance bands, check out my article here with 20 muscle building exercises with resistance bands.
4.) Tabata Workouts
Tabata workouts are 2 things: Really short, and really hard.
They're also really simple. To perform a Tabata workout, just follow these guidelines:
- Choose an exercise, preferable a compound movement like a squat, squat jump, push up, or even jump rope.
- Do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds
- Repeat 8 times, for 4 total minutes = 1 Tabata
- Perform one, or several Tabatas to make up your workout
Studies Show Tabata Workouts Work
A Study by ACE showed that a 20 minute tabata workout could burn 240-360 calories, and met the criteria to improve cardiovascular fitness and improve body composition.
Since Tabata workouts are high intensity, It is recommended to perform them 1-2 times per week, allowing your body 2-3 days of rest in between sessions.
If you're looking for home workout ideas, try this out:
5.). Run Sprints
It always amazes me that more people aren't out there running sprints. The benefits of sprinting are tremendous:
- Build Lean Muscle (look at any Olympic sprinter, male or female)
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Get faster
- Improve body composition (burn fat)
- Can be done quickly, and from almost anywhere
Studies show that just 6 sprint sessions can improve performance in athletes. This is because maximum effort sprinting is a very high intensity effort. It pushes your heart rate up to the upper zones, and forces your fast twitch muscle fibers to their limit.
Sprinting can raise your resting metabolic rate, causing your body to burn more calories for several hours or even days after your workout.
How to Work out with Sprints:
To get the most out of a sprinting workout, use interval sprints. This means you'll sprint as hard as you can for a set distance (or time), then walk slowly the same distance (or time) to recover. Then repeat.
My favorite Sprint workouts are 400 meter (1/4 mile) sprints, but 200 meter sprints can also work really well.
30/60's and 60/120's
Another Sprinting workout that works really well are 30/60's and 60/120's. We used these in the military a lot. You simply sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds, and repeat. If that's too easy, then up the time to 60 seconds sprinting and 120 seconds walking.
Since sprinting is very demanding on the body, it is recommended to only do 1-2 sprint sessions per week, so your body can recover properly and you can get the most benefit from your hard work.
Relying on the gym can cause you to miss out on a lot of activities that can improve your overall fitness. It's always good to take a step back and find new ways of pushing your body.
I hope you found some of these ideas helpful, and as always, I hope something here will help you get a little closer to that best version of you!