Staying fit and active during COVID doesn’t need to cost a fortune and doesn’t need to take loads of time. In fact, millions of people around the world have turned to home gym options to stay fit, both mentally and physically. Especially if you are busy or don’t like to get up really early in the morning, and with gyms having been closed or just re-opening, DIY options at home are a great option. Staying active at home is a great way to combat stress, anxiety and negative feelings from the pandemic.
You don’t need to hit the gym to get your weights fix in. Bodyweight exercises are great for building muscle and toning, such as:
- Arms: Plank, pushups, tricep dips, burpees, arm curls
- Legs: Squats, lunges, leg raises, calf raises
- Core: Plank, supermans, bridges, crunches
Household items are a great DIY hack to add weights to any of these exercises. Get creative with food tins and water bottles for weights, or anything that’s easy to hold with a bit of extra weight.
For those who want some equipment for their home gym, a set of dumbbells and kettlebells provide everything you need for less than the cost of a month at the gym. Additionally, you might want to add resistance bands to your home gym workout. A set of resistance bands are very cost-effective but you can use anything with resistance for a real DIY hack.
From a cardio point of view, you can still burn fat and get an intense workout at home. Online classes are all the rage since the start of the pandemic, with loads of options available, from HIIT to yoga. Alternatively, home gym kit you might want to take a look at includes indoor cycle trainers to get spinning in the comfort of your own home, or an indoor treadmill. A jump rope, if you have space, is also a great addition to a home gym and jumping rope is an intense workout.
It’s all about getting your heart pumping. For something a bit more fun, give dance classes a go for a full-body workout. For a more relaxing workout, yoga mats (or a soft towel) are a great purchase.
Here are 10 DIY home gym options you can try during COVID.
- Jogging: Jog on the spot to raise your heart rate. If you have a run route outside you might fancy an outdoors run instead.
- Crunches: For a good abs workout, lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Raise your upper torso from the mat to crunch up towards your knees. Lower yourself until the back of your shoulders touches the mat.
- Hip bridges: Bridges are great for your lower back, hamstrings and glutes. Lie on your back. With your hands at a 90-degree angle to the floor, lift your body off the floor to form a straight, diagonal line, from your shoulders to your knee. Hold this position for a few seconds and squeeze your glutes before lowering yourself.
- Step-ups: You’ll need a stepper, or you could use the stairs. Step up and back down for a set period of time until your calves are burning.
- Press-ups: Great for working your triceps, pectorals and deltoids. Try reps of 10.
- Burpees: The ultimate fat burner, start standing up, go down into press-up position, kick your legs out and back in before standing up again. Do this in a fast motion to get your heart rate pumping.
- Mountain climbers: Get your hands and knees and raise your knees like a starting block sprinter. Mimic running in that position, supporting your upper body with the palms of your hands. Keep your back straight. Works your lower body and core.
- Squats: Keeping your back straight, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your legs are at right angles. Add a weight for a more intense squat.
- Plank: Get into a press-up position, but rest on your elbows rather than your hands. Keep your body flat and straight, engage your core and hold for a set period of time.
- Lunges: Step forward with one leg at a time until your knee is bent at a right angle and almost touches the floor. Use a weight to add resistance.
You can always cool down by walking around your home and getting some stretches in, until your heart rate returns to normal.
Even though you are at home, remember good form is important. Breath in deeply, focus on technique and stay hydrated.