Staying in shape during the pandemic is totally achievable, and this guide will show you how. Even if you have a small space, no equipment or little time, there are many great options including exercises and workout program options focused on your upper body, lower body, core muscles, chest, etc. Plus, there's high-intensity interval training, cardio, Pilates moves and more. Seriously, no matter your fitness level, these exercises will get your heart pumping and will tone your physique if you make a habit out of working out from home.
Body Weight Workout Basics (10 minutes)
There’s absolutely no excuse not to get started on bodyweight workouts at home because they don’t require you to have any type of gym equipment. With endless options at your disposal start with these basics:
- Squats: good form is everything when it comes to an effective squat. Aim for 3 sets each composed of 12 reps and rest for 60-90 seconds between each set. Squats set a focus on your lower body, shaping your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Squats also improve your balance and mobility.
- Push-Ups: if you’re currently out of shape, start with knee push-ups and once you build more strength move on to full pushups. Aim for 3 sets each composed of 10 reps and rest for 90 seconds between each set. Pushups help build upper body strength and workout your triceps, shoulders, and chest.
- Planks: There are so many plank variations to choose from, but the standard plank requires you to place your hands under your shoulders, a bit wider than shoulder width. Also, make sure your neck and spine remain neutral and that your head is in line with your back. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and engage your core as you hold the position. Planks work your core and a strong core constantly strengthens your entire body and will surely improve your posture as well. Go for longer planks when you are able to!
High Intensity Interval Training Workout (10 minutes)
Otherwise known as a HIIT Workout which is an effective exercise option that combines cardio and strengthens your body at the same time. HIIT workouts also help you burn around 25% more calories than running on a treadmill or cycling, so you benefit more in a shorter amount of time! Roll out your mat & feel the energy with the below moves:
- Mountain Climbers: begin in a high plank position with your arms fully extended then bring your right knee towards your chest then return to plank then quickly repeat the same move with your left knee. Repeat this 20 times and immediately move to the next exercise.
- Jumping Jacks: stand in the middle of your mat with your feet together, then raise your arms out over your head while jumping your feet just past your shoulders. Then return to the closed feet position with your arms on your side. Repeat 20 times and immediately move to the next exercise.
- High Knees: with your feet under your hips move your left knee up to your chest and bring it back down to the floor then switch to your right side. Make sure to move as fast as you can here and move your arms as you go. Do 20 of those repetitions and move on to the next exercise right away.
- Jump Squats: stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, push your butt back and lower yourself down into a squat with your hands in front of your chest. Then, using all your energy, jump off the floor and swing your hands behind your body, land gently on your feet and go onto the next jump squat. Repeat 20 times and move on to the next exercise with no break.
- Burpees: start with your feet hip-width apart at the back of your mat, do a small jump and move your body forward into a plank position while making sure you lower your stomach to the mat, proceed to pushing back up and reversing the same move and begin again! Complete 10 burpees and move on to the final exercise.
- Walkouts: with your feet hip-width apart, start by bending from your hips and reaching the ground so that your hands are on the floor facing your feet. Next, shift your weight onto your hand and walk them forward until your body is straight. Then walk your hands back and stand up straight and do 15 reps in total.
Pilates Workout for Your Glutes and Core (5-10 minutes)
If you’re seeking a more slow-paced workout then this one is perfect for you. Pilates is all about low-intensity training that focuses on specific muscle groups through controlled movements. All you need is a mat and make sure to do each of the below moves for at least 30-40 seconds.
- Hip Circles: lie on your right side and extend both legs out straight and point your left foot out. Lift your foot up a few inches and make a small circle up and back. If you look down at your foot, it should be moving counter-clockwise. Once you’re done, repeat the same move with your right foot.
- Donkey Kicks: tighten your core with knees and hips slightly bent, use your glute to kick your leg back as high as you can. Squeeze at the top. Resist the weight and slowly lower your foot back to the starting position. Complete 10 reps for 3 sets on each leg.
- Fire Hydrants: stand with your legs hip-width apart. Bend your left leg at a 90-degree angle.
- Lean your torso forward and squeeze your core. Lift your leg to 45-degrees and keep the rest of your body still. Bring your leg down to the initial position to complete 1 repetition. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Bicycle Kicks: lie down face-up on your mat with your hands on the floor then stretch your legs into the air and start moving them like you’re pedaling a bicycle. Do your best to keep your legs off the ground throughout the exercise, and also keep your upper body slightly lifted (in a crunch position) to set more focus on your abs. For this move, do it for as long as you can until you can feel the burn in your core!