In response to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), gyms and workout studios across the United States are temporarily closing their doors in an effort to help contain the spread of the virus.
So what now? Bring your workouts home with you! Regular workouts are beneficial for immunity and can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways — it's also necessary to maintaining a healthy mindset, especially as many companies are now having their employees work remotely. In all, the benefits are ginormous from physically and emotionally.
Some tips to triple your workout effectiveness:
A. Create a workout space
Setting up a mini “gym” in the corner of a room or in a designated space is a great way to make sure you get the most out of at home workouts.
B. Eliminate distractions
You can be easily distracted by family members, pets, the TV, someone at the door or the phone ringing - which could lead to skipping a workout or cutting it short. Take steps to remove or minimize those.
C. You only need 20 minutes
Get rid of the idea that a workout has to be long and sweaty. All you need is 20-45 minutes, some space to move around and your own bodyweight. It’s not about the length of the workout, but about what you put into it.
D. Gradually increase intensity
At home, you're solely in charge of how much you push your body - and without a pro on hand, you need to make sure you gradually up this in a safe manner.
You ready? No excuses. Let’s go!
1. Dumbbell swing
Sets 3 Reps 10 Rest 60sec
MUSCLES USED: hamstrings, glutes, quads, hips, core, back stabilisers, trapezius, shoulder stabilisers, forearms.
EQUIPMENT: Dumbbell / Kettlebell
HOW TO DO IT: Send the dumbbell between your legs by hingeing at the hips, then push your glutes forwards powerfully so you use hip drive to raise the dumbbell to shoulder height. Reverse the movement to the start and go straight into the next rep.
Three things you need to get right to improve your dumbbell swing form
A.The feet should be placed at just a little wider than shoulder width apart.
B.Your hips are the engine or powerhouse for the movement. (Don’t swing from the shoulders.)
C.During every single dumbbell swing you keep your back flat.
HOW TO DO IT:
- Get into pushup position on the floor.
- Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
- Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
- Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
- Hold the position for as long as you can.
- Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
- When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
Three tips to remember when doing the perfect plank
- Look at the floor in front of you. Imagine holding a tennis ball between your chin and neck.
- Make sure your hips aren’t dropping toward the floor or hiked up toward the ceiling.
- Moving your feet further apart will give you a more stable foundation, making the movement a bit easier.
To avoid plank purgatory, try these challenging and dynamic plank variations:
①side star plank crunch
②low plank arm reach
④low side plank
⑤high side plank knee tuck
⑥low side plank crunch
Jumping rope is a form of cardio exercise that world-class athletes — from boxers to football pros — swear by.
EQUIPMENT: A jump rope
You'll need a four-by-six-foot area, and about 10 inches of space above your head. The exercise surface is very important. Do not attempt to jump on carpet, grass, concrete, or asphalt. While carpet reduces impact, the downside is it grabs your shoes and can twist your ankle or knee. Use a wood floor, piece of plywood, or an impact mat made for exercise.
Jump rope technique:
- Good jumping form includes keeping your shoulders relaxed and elbows in and slightly bent.
- You should have very few upper body movements.
- Most of the turning power and motion should come from your wrists, not your arms.
- While jumping, keep your knees slightly bent. Bounce softly up and down on the toes. Your feet •should leave the floor just enough to allow the rope to pass under.
- Land softly on the balls of the feet to avoid knee injuries.
- Don't jump high or land hard.
- Have patience and start slowly.
4. Hip bridge
Hip bridge activates the muscles in your posterior muscular chain, particularly the glutes and hamstrings and is simple.
MUSCLES USED: Glutes, abs, and hamstrings
EQUIPMENT: Mat if desired
HOW TO DO IT:
①Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down.
②Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
③Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down.
④That's 1 rep, do 10. Repeat for 3 sets total.
A. You're Raising Your Hips Too High
Avoid raising your hips too high. Hyperextending your lower back can lead to strain. Keeping your abdominals engaged will ensure you don't arch your back excessively.
B. Your Hips Sag
If you find your hips are dropping as you try to hold the bridge position, lower your pelvis back down to the floor. When you're first starting out, you may need to hold the bridge position for only a few seconds at a time until you build up strength.
※It's better to hold the correct position for a shorter time than to stay in an incorrect position for a longer time.
Are at-home workouts really effective? Yes, at-home workouts, such as 7-minute and 10-minute workouts, can be considered a minimum effective dose of exercise. But the more active you exercise in your day, the better you will feel, and the closer you can get to your fitness goals!