Gym closures and quarantine mandates are forcing people to make big changes to their workout routines. But exercise is especially important now, even when the logistics are more challenging because it boosts us physically and mentally, says Craig Sawchuk, a clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
“It’s easy to be sedentary right now and fall into a habit of grazing and watching Netflix,” he says. “Creating a daily routine that involves exercise can be therapeutic and bring a sense of normalcy to your day,” he says. We’re veering from our normal routine in this column by asking fitness experts to share home workouts tailored to different needs and abilities.
Virtual fitness classes can provide both instruction and motivation. Buying home gear like resistance bands, kettlebells and battle ropes will up the intensity of a home routine, says Chris Vlaun, a Miami-based personal trainer and co-founder of V-Art of Wellness. If money is no object, he suggests investing in streaming equipment such as the Mirror(from £1,000), a full-length, interactive mirror that streams boxing, boot camp, yoga and other workouts. Or try a Peloton bike (from £1,999) or treadmill (from £2,300), or the iFit Coach app, which syncs with NordicTrack equipment (from £550). If you crave a custom workout, personal trainers, including Mr. Vlaun, are now hosting live private training sessions via Zoom.
Mr. Vlaun created this at-home workout for people with space and equipment. Perform each of the six exercises for 20 seconds. Use your transition as rest. For round two, do each exercise for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds between transitions. In round three, do each exercise for 60 seconds and rest 40 seconds, then reverse.
Standing with your feet close together and your hands clasped behind your head, push your hips back to get into a half-squat position. Jump your feet out to the sides, maintaining the squat position. Quickly jump your feet back to the starting position.
Lie on your stomach. Hold a yoga block or shoebox between your hands, breathe deeply and lift your chest, arms and legs off the floor and flutter kick your legs five times. Exhale and repeat.
Start in a push-up position. Lift your hips in the air so you look like an inverted V. Lower your hips back to push-up position, slowly lower your chest close to the floor without touching and push back up to the starting position.
Reverse prisoner lunge
Stand hip-width apart with your hands behind your head and keep a neutral spine. Take a step backward with your right leg. Once your knee almost touches the floor, push back up and forward to your starting position.
Resistance band 100s
Lie on the floor with your legs raised, knees bent at 90 degrees, shins parallel to the floor and a resistance band under the arches of your feet. Hold the ends of the band and keep your arms along the torso. Exhale and lift the legs. Pulse your arms, moving from the shoulders. Repeat 10 times.
Battle ropes jump slam
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in a quarter squat, facing the anchor. Hold one side of the rope in each hand, then lower the battle ropes down to your sides with your arms extended. Lower into a squat, tighten your core, and then explode into the air, jumping high, while raising both hands overhead. As you land softly back down into a squat, slam the ropes onto the ground in a wave motion. Repeat 10 times.