Anybody else exploring how to workout from home while the pandemic drags on? There have been over 80 million confirmed cases in America alone, which has made heading to the gym a feared activity.
That’s a startling stat and measures have been stepped up to stop the spread of the disease. The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting almost every aspect of life, including peoples’ training routines.
Staying fit, healthy and strong is no easy feat when you’re not allowed to leave the house. With those hard-earned gains on the line, knowing how to workout at home becomes all-important.
How to Workout at Home
The good news is that doing so is entirely possible. You can work up a sweat and feel the burn, all from the comfort of your own house.
In the need of a good home workout? Keep reading for 7 essential approaches for how to workout from home.
1. Join a Virtual Gym
My best advice for staying strong during the Coronavirus lockdowns is to join a virtual gym. Yes, I mean that you should join a real gym—with real coaches, and science-backed workout programming—that has transitioned to delivering workouts through live video.
Many gyms have seamlessly transitioned to offering small group, instructor led virtual training. This means you can join their classes with the click of a finger from anywhere in the world.
Instead of using a barbell or dumbbells, you’ll use your body or a weighted backpack to clean, squat, press, snatch and more. If you do have workout equipment at home, then you’ll be able to join move advanced training classes.
If you go this route, you’ll benefit from accountability, coaching, and a companionship—all of which will keep you on track with your training goals.
2. Get Back to Bodyweight Basics
COVID-19 has caused panic shopping that’s emptied grocery store shelves of their produce.
Thankfully, though, you can still do bodyweight workouts – if you have the discipline. Gym-goers often forget that moving your body through time and space can be challenging.
They head straight to the bench instead of pounding out some push-ups. They sidle over to the rack rather than smashing out some high-volume, body weight squats.
It’s all too easy to rely upon the iron. But bodyweight exercises can be highly effective. They build strength, endurance, and tone.
Look at anybody who takes bodyweight exercises seriously. They are likely to be strong, toned, flexible, and agile.
Want some tips to make bodyweight challenging? Do single leg (“pistol”) squats for your legs, which are much more challenging that normal bodyweight squats.
Hit pull-ups for your upper body. If you’re advanced at them, vary your grip and knock out a high volume.
For your core, rotate ab exercises because it will work the various muscle groups in your upper abs, lower abs and obliques. To challenge yourself, shorten your rest time between sets.
3. Hit Your Tabatas
Tabata training is a highly effective type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that lasts only 4 minutes.
Specifically, it involves working at a high work rate for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds—a 30 second combo that creates “one set”. To do a full tabata, complete eight sets. Because each set is only 30 seconds long, a complete tabata takes only 4 minutes.
- Workout at a high intensity for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Do 8 rounds
For your work intervals, choose any exercise that will challenge you—squats, push-ups, core exercises, sprints, running in place, etc. You should “feel the burn” during your work intervals.
Tabata training was first introduced by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team of scientists from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Tabata proved that a 4-minute tabata performed 4 days per week will dramatically improve the performance of both your aerobic and anaerobic systems.
So, get after it, because you can’t argue with science.
4. Vary Your Stimuli
This tip leads on from the last. You might find yourself getting bored with basic bodyweight movements after a while.
But keep in mind that there are endless varieties of them to employ, each one providing a different stimulus to your body.
For instance, you can dramatically improve your upper pushing strength by doing a wide variety of push-up variations, such as the ones demonstrated here. Some of these variations will develop greater chest strength, while others will emphasize development of your biceps, triceps, shoulders, or lats.
Educate yourself on the different options and set about mixing things up. Focus your attention on certain movements to match your goals.
Fancy focusing on the lower body, for example?
Well, switching from bodyweight squats to jumping squats will make a big difference. So will alternating between a wide and narrow stance, which will target different muscle groups. Add in tuck jumps and you’ll be puffing away soon enough.
If you’re an advanced lifter, hits sets of “ass-to-grass” single leg pistol squats. Trust me, you’ll be puffing in no time.
The same thing goes if you’re focusing on upper body. Try varying up your exercises. For example, with pull-up, you can do overhand pull-ups, underhand pull-ups, wide pull-ups, and narrow pulls up, to name a few.
Or, if you’re feeling really creative, you can also do side-to-side or lateral pull-ups, both of which I demonstrate in the Instagram video below.
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5. Brave the Burpee
You can’t beat a well-kitted out gym.
They’ve got all the machines and equipment you need to get fitter, stronger, and healthier.
But all that gear isn’t essential to achieving your fitness goals! It’s nice, for sure, and definitely makes gym life easier (or harder, depending on how you look at it).
Yet it’s perfectly possible to see results from the confines of your home too. You don’t need any fancy equipment or state-of-the-art technology.
Sometimes, all you need is a good old-fashioned burpee workout.
You know the ones. Those torturous exercises that get your lungs busting and muscles burning in moments. You need nothing more than a bit of space and a willingness to suffer.
Do as many burpees as you can in 5 minutes. That’s it. You’re sure to be smoked in no time.
Or, time yourself for how long it takes you to do 100 burpees. This workout is a killer (and one of my favorites).
6. Leverage Your Surroundings
Home workouts can be helped with a bit of creativity.
With none of the gym equipment that you’re used to using, being able to think outside the box will come in handy. Take a look at the furniture and household items you’ve got lying around.
Could you repurpose any of it for a workout?
The short answer, by the way, is a resounding ‘yes!’ Leveraging the items in your house will help you add variety to your workouts.
For instance, a chair provides the perfect platform for doing dips. Pile cans or rocks into a backpack and do weighted squats. Lift a gallon water jug above your head as a shoulder press.
Do heavy carries or stair climbs with a bag of dog food. Or, bang out pull-ups off your deck.
You get the idea. Look around, get creative, and use your environment to facilitate your workout.
7. Hit Your Hypertrophy Training
Hypertrophy training is a training approach that uses lighter weights, more repetitions and less rest time between sets—usually only 30 to 60 seconds.
It is often used by bodybuilders and physique competitors, because it builds large, well defined muscles.
This approach relies on tearing your muscles down to the point that when they rebuild they gain additional size.
Given that you don’t need heavy weights for this type of training and can easily stick to short rest intervals (set a stop watch), this type of physique training is something you can do at home.
Of course, hypertrophy training relies on you actually allowing your muscles to grow back bigger and better than before. To do this, you’ll want to pair adequate protein intake, sleep and water consumption with your hypertrophy routine.
Drink lots of water during your home workouts and throughout the day, sleep until you wake up without an alarm, and make sure you understand the principles of nutrition.
Exactly How to Workout at Home
The pandemic wreaked havoc in many areas of life. Self-isolation and social distancing are now essential parts of stopping the spread of this pandemic. Unfortunately, it’s affecting everything from our professional lives to our social lives.
Fitness routines are a prime example of something that’s started to suffer. Thankfully, home workouts provide a handy solution. Hopefully, this post has provided the strategies you need to effectively how to workout at home.