Our world faces a common enemy. Unless you’re a scientist or a doctor, there isn’t much you can do to stop the Corona virus.
Yet there are plenty of things you could do for yourself. It’s time to lift down your guard and adapt.
It is possible to maintain shape, even in times like this. Your routine may be broken, but so is the whole world. Billion-dollar revenue companies are shifting to working from home. Don’t tell me you can’t do one simple workout in your living room or a backyard. Being flexible and adjusting to the given situation is the key to success right now.
Staying in shape during the lockdown doesn’t have to be any harder than usual.
Here we present you with 5 simple, no-equipment workouts to keep you fit during the pandemic.
How can I combine these exercises into a workout routine?
The best way of combining these exercises is through circuit training. Circuit training means doing all exercises consecutively – one after another, with no rest between.
The rest is allowed once you finish the whole sequel – in this case, after 5 exercises in a row.
Circuit training is just the right combination of weight training and cardio. Pumping up your heart rate this high isn’t something you usually do on strength training. That’s why the circuit is more efficient, especially during the lockdown when you’re much less active.
Calories are burning (during and after the workout), most of the major muscle groups are covered, and you didn’t spend much time.
Do you see a win-win situation over here? Because we do!
The circuit training plan
- 10 x Pulse squat
- 10 x Pike push up
- 10 x One arm bent-over row
- 15x Dynamic plank
- 30x Jumping jack
Rest for 2-3 minutes after the whole circuit.
Repeat the circuit three to five times, depending on the personal shape.
Do these workouts 3 times a week and voila – you may see the results very soon!
Don’t forget to do a proper warm-up unless you want to lock yourself into a bedroom. And there aren’t many exercises you could do from your bed.
You can run in place, run up and down your stairs, do shadow boxing (fight with an imaginary opponent), and twist and swing your arms, legs, hips, neck, and wrists.
A proper warm-up should last for at least 10 minutes.
Execution of the exercises
Good exercise form is essential for every healthy workout. If you are too tired – go for the easier version.
Still too hard? Skip a few repetitions. You’re not going for Mr. Olympia.
Good form will keep you from injury and will target the muscles right. Play it smart. Tomorrow you may be good to do a full version!
- A bench or 2 chairs
- Dumbbell or milk jug, suitcase, backpack (fill them moderately with books to increase weight)
This is the variation of a well-known, regular squat. With the pulse motion, you will build endurance, strength, and burn more calories.
Muscles involved: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, calves.
- Stand with your feet at shoulder width
- Put your arms straight in front of you
- Sit your butt back into a deep squat – imagine sitting back into a chair
- Keep your back straight
- Extend your legs and raise yourself half the way up
- Looking from above, your knees should be behind the toe level
- Keep your weight back in heels
This was one repetition. Repeat it 10 times. Or simplified – go from standing position to deep squat, and back to half-squat, then to deep squat, etc.
Harder version: When going up, go as fast and explosive as possible (while retaining the proper form), and go down as slow as possible.
Easier version: Stand up after each repetition and rest for a couple of seconds.
Pike Push Up
Even if you don’t have the equipment, you can target all muscle groups. Even the tricky ones – like shoulders. Make sure to follow the form since this one may get tricky. Ideally, find someone to watch and correct you.
Muscles involved: Shoulders, chest, triceps, serratus.
- Put your toes on the bench or a chair
- Hands should be on the ground, shoulder-width apart
- Legs are straight with butt pointing out
- Arms follow the line of a torso
- (In yoga, this is downward-facing dog position)
- Bend your arms until elbows are at 90 degrees and the nose is touching the floor
- Hold for a second and straighten your arms, returning to the previous position
Repeat this 10 times.
NOTE! Take extra care while doing this exercise. The motion should be slow and controlled, or you might end up with your face hitting the ground!
Harder version: Lift your legs up the wall and take a hand-stand position while keeping toes on the wall. Arms are straight. Slowly lower down your body, bending arms, until your nose touches the ground. Extend arms back and return to a straight arms position.
Easier version: Stay on the ground level with feet – don’t lift them on a bench or chair in the first place.
One arm bent-over row
Perfect exercise for engaging the entire back. Focusing on one side at the time helps to isolate the lats.
Muscles involved: Back (lats mostly), shoulders, triceps.
- Put your left knee and left hand on the bench or two chairs that are in the same line
- Torso should be parallel with the ground
- Left thigh and torso are forming a 90-degree angle
- The right leg is on the ground, and the right hand is extended, holding the weight (originally dumbbell, but milk jug, backpack or suitcase could also work)
- Pull the weight up, contracting lats and the back muscles
- Slowly let the weight down, releasing the tension slowly
Repeat 10 times with the right hand. Switch the stance. Do 10 times with the left hand.
Easier or harder version: Decrease or increase the weight you are pulling.
Oh, plank. It’s that exercise that stops time. In this variation, at least you’re having some kind of motion. The time doesn’t stop here but surely is in slow-motion.
Muscles involved: Abs and core, triceps, biceps, shoulders.
- Lay with elbows and toes on the ground – regular plank position
- Arms are forming a 90-degree angle with elbows
- The body should form a straight line all the time (keep this in mind, please)
- Keep your core and glutes contracted
- Slowly lift one elbow from the ground and put that hand in push up position
- Repeat the same with the other hand
- (now you are in a regular push up position)
- Lower yourself back to the starting position, one hand at the time – the hand that was up first, goes down first
Repeat this 15 times.
Harder version: Hold the stance for 3-5 seconds when in plank and push up position.
Easier version: Do a regular plank for 30 seconds.
The final exercise in the round. An opportunity to shake those muscles and keep the blood pumping.
Muscles involved: Chest, shoulders, quadriceps, calves.
- Stand straight with legs together and arms next to the body
- Jump up, spreading legs to be about shoulder-width apart, and opening arms wide
- Jump up and return to the starting position (stance)
Repeat this 30 times.
Harder version: Jump higher and make a little squat as you land.
Easier version: Instead of jumping, alternate sides by stepping in and out.
This workout routine is everything you need to stay (or become?) fit during the hard times of pandemic and lockdown.
When it comes to muscle groups – the whole body is covered. And if you follow the circuit training plan, you’ve got cardio, too!
Good luck with the progress and stay safe.
Jovan Grigorijev is a technology geek during the work shift and health & fitness expert after 5 PM. His stationary job forced him into an active lifestyle, and now he is helping people transform their bodies. Persistent readers might even find a joke in his articles.