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Lockdown home training guide Home workouts

Lockdown home training guide

When it comes to building muscle and blasting calories, nothing can compare to the resistance and effectiveness of weight training in the gym.

But for now at least, we need to make do with what we have at home. For many of us, that’s just our bodyweight, while others may have a few basic pieces of exercise equipment at home. And with some ingenuity and creative thinking, you can also use common everyday items around the house to augment your training.

Whatever you’ve got to workout with, you can set up a home-based circuit to get you through the lockdown. Just be realistic with your expectations – it’s not a time to make progress and achieve new goals. The aim is to maintain your fitness and conditioning until we can finally get back to gym.

Planning your home workout

With the right approach, there’s no reason why you can’t get an effective workout at home, even if you only train with your body weight.

Including a few simple and relatively cheap accessories to your home-based workouts will offer a great deal of variety and increase the effectiveness of your home sessions.

In terms of basic equipment, the following items are extremely versatile and beneficial:

  • Skipping rope
  • Stability ball
  • Resistance bands
  • Sandbag
  • A relatively heavy kettlebell
  • Suspension trainer

If you don’t have any of these tools and want to add some resistance, consider these at-home training hacks:

  • Fill water bottles for makeshift dumbbells.
  • Stuff books, papers or clothing into a bag for a makeshift sandbag.
  • Use a towel to add some variable resistance.

How to set up a circuit

Next, create yourself a dedicated space in your home where you can train. If you don’t have a dedicated room for your workout area, look for a spot that has enough space for your basic movements – you ideally want to be able do something like skipping without any interference.

Try to find a space that will be free from distractions so that you can focus on your training. The key to constructing effective home workouts is to combine the right type of exercises with the right programming.

Step 1: Select your main movements

It’s best to select combination movements or complex compound exercises – exercises that combine two or more movements – to form the core of your workout.

Ideal options include

  • Squat jumps
  • Lunge jumps
  • Push presses
  • Squats with curls
  • Deadlifts with rows

Step 2: Elevate the heart rate

A great way to boost the burn and get a cardio benefit is to follow each combination movement with a cardio burst. These moves will keep your heart rate elevated.

Try these:

  • Skipping
  • Shuttle sprints
  • Jumping jacks
  • Burpees

Step 3: Active recovery

As there is less resistance involved in bodyweight training or when exercising with basic equipment, you need to manipulate your intensity in other ways.

The best way to do this during an at-home session is to never stop moving. So instead of taking a break, perform a few less intense movements that incorporate fewer muscles and require less energy than the previous two exercises.

Ideal exercises include:

  • Bodyweight chair or table dips
  • Push ups
  • Static lunges
  • Isometric wall squats

Step 4: Finish the circuit with ab work

To ensure you target the body holistically, it’s important to also include some core work. Ab training is great because it can be intense.

Intense core movements include:

  • High tempo mountain climbers
  • Bear crawls
  • Sits ups
  • V-ups

Less intense exercises ideal for active recovery intervals include:

  • Planks
  • Side planks
  • V-sits
  • Hollow holds
  • Crunches

With this structure, simply repeat the circuits as many times as you want (or can) to get a highly effective workout in 45-60 minutes.

There are also numerous resources online or via home workout apps to give you ideas on how you can mix up the movements and keep things interesting. With this approach and an appropriate diet, you’ll maintain your conditioning throughout the lockdown.

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

When he's not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He's worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

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