With most gyms in the country closed due to the Corona Virus pandemic and sporting goods stores out of stock, working out may seem like an impossible task. But there are plenty of exercises for you to do at home with little to no equipment. And newsflash: losing your gym doesn’t mean you have to become a long-distance runner. Here, I share my favorite workouts that you can do at home alone or with a friend (while social distancing, of course).
If you don’t have equipment:
Giving up on your workout routine just because you don’t own a home gym is no excuse! There are tons of bodyweight exercises for you to do that will both tone your muscles and get that cardio in.
The Perks: Bodyweight exercises are great for anyone at any skill level, with a range of simple to challenging workouts. They can be done anytime, anywhere, and they’re a great way to strengthen your core or focus on a specific muscle group.
Here are some of my favorite no-equipment exercises to do in my house, in my front yard, or at my local park.
- Squat Jumps
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- Jumping Lunges
- Side Planks
- Tricep Dips
For Legs and Gluts:
- Hip Bridges
- Side Lunges
Taylor’s Tips: Do your cardio exercises on an interval and your strength exercises on reps. That way, you can get your heart rate up during your aerobic work by focusing on speed and quantity while your strength workout keys in specific muscles and centers on quality.
My favorite bodyweight workout:
If you have some equipment:
If you happen to already have a home gym or were able to snag a few items from Academy before they were cleared out, there are plenty of exercises for you to do. Although most exercise equipment is used to build muscle, they can also be a great addition to an aerobic workout.
The Perks: Although some exercises are safer to do outside, there are loads of things you can do with equipment indoors. Using workout gear is a great way to strengthen and tone specific muscles, as well as assess your progress and easily increase the difficulty when necessary.
With so many options for workout equipment, there are unlimited workouts possible. Below are the products I’ve found most useful and the exercises I like doing with them.
In my opinion, there’s nothing better for enhancing arm and back strength than plain old pullups. Start off slow, with just a few reps in a row. If they are too easy for you, feel free to up the ante with more reps or added weight with a weight vest or belt.
Med balls are great because they can be used for strength and cardio simultaneously. For solo workouts, I like using them for slams, side slams, sit-up reaches and squats. When I have a partner, passes are definitely the way to go, whether it’s chest, overhead, or squat and press.
Probably the most versatile piece of exercise equipment, a dumbbell becomes useful in every situation. Whether you want to do a simple weighted squat or make your cardio more challenging, dumbbells have got your back. Although I could never list all of my favorite dumbbell exercises, here are a few of the ones I love: hammer curls, overhead press, lunges, and bench press. Be sure to have several different weights available so that you can increase or decrease as needed.
Workout Bar or Barbell:
Obviously, some of the most traditional strength workouts come from adding weight to barbells. But if you’re like me and don’t have a full barbell rack, then there are other creative ways to use similar items for home exercise. I like to use Everyday Essentials’ Weighted Workout Bars, lighter padded bars that are evenly weighted throughout. Although they are typically lighter than a standard barbell, they are great for higher reps of squats, bench press, snatches, and lunges.
I know not everyone is on the band wagon for resistance training, but when you’re stuck at home and don’t have a lot of room for bulky exercise machines, exercise bands can be very useful. Different bands come with different levels of resistance and have detachable handles. These workouts are also practically infinite, but I’ve found a few that I feel are most beneficial: bicep curls, overhead press, rows (attached to other side of door or pullup bar) and tricep extensions.
Taylor’s Tips: When creating your strength workouts, try to have a key focus on a certain muscle for the day, but don’t forget to throw in a few exercises for the other muscles. For example, if you want to do a superset with weighted squats, be sure to do some dumbbell overhead presses, pullups or planks in between.
My favorite weighted workout:
Mixing it all together:
My favorite was to stay in shape is doing a mix of cardio and strength. I do both bodyweight and weighted exercises, focusing on all areas of my body. If you haven’t gotten off the couch in a while, try doing this just once or twice through. If you’re looking for a challenge, keep going for three or four rounds. Let me know how you like it!
Quarantine is the perfect time to reach those fitness goals you’ve been putting off. Now get moving!