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Lockdown created many new habits for people; from being sourdough baker extraordinaires to DIY legends of estates, but if there was one thing that many of us took up it was exercise. If before we didn’t have the time to get to the gym, now we had plenty to make our days full of the things that we should be doing regardless of a lockdown.

Exercise is available to anyone as long as you are willing to do it, and have the know-how to avoid injuries, as highlighted here. You only require a few pieces of equipment or no equipment at all in some cases – you can go for a walk if you wanted – but getting out and doing something rather than nothing is good for you.

20 minutes exercise releases endorphins which is great for mental health as well as physical health. So, what are the best exercises to perform at home? Here are just a few suggestions.

Pilates

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You can find hundreds of pilates videos on YouTube as well as apps and even sign up to online classes. Pilates is designed to strengthen your weaker muscles whilst simultaneously relaxing the muscle group. Fantastic for building core strength and recovering after injury, this is a really simple set of exercises that anyone can do.

The great thing about Pilates is that you can do it whenever and wherever, so you cannot find any excuses that you don’t have a gym at home. All you need is just one mattress and maybe some extra equipment if you want, but it’s not mandatory.

Pilates can help you build up some basic strength in your body, but it will help you a lot when it comes to building flexibility and endurance. Most of the Pilates workouts are cardio-oriented so you’ll be breaking some sweat.

Yoga

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Again, just like pilates, you can find hundreds and thousands of videos online as well as zoom classes to get you into the yoga buzz.

Yoga is designed to help stretch muscles whilst helping to deepen your meditation practice, improve your flexibility, and help with balance. If you suffer with anxiety or stress this could really help out with finding simple solutions and giving your body much required rest.

Yoga has tons of health benefits because it’s not just a regular physical activity. There’s a lot of spiritual energy behind it, and things such as meditation and being surrounded by positive vibes only. It’s calming, and it will help you overcome some issues in your life if you’re going through a stressful period.

What’s important is to not underestimate the activity itself because at first it may seem like it is very easy, but some poses and movements can be quite dangerous for a beginner. Don’t jump immediately to the more advanced stuff before you master the basics, as with any other sport. 

Bodyweight

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You can do lots of bodyweight exercises without requiring one piece of equipment.

From press-ups to sit-ups, pull-ups and air squats, giving yourself 10-15-20 minutes of doing something every day that is easy on the joints and muscles, you can build your muscular structure whilst also releasing endorphins to help the mind. It doesn’t take much and again, you can find plenty of instruction online.

If you want to be a bit more serious, you should know that with bodyweight fitness you can achieve quite a lot. You can very easily get the body of your dreams, all you’ll need is to craft your routine or lookup for one on the internet, they’re very easy to find nowadays.

For bodyweight fitness or calisthenics as some would like to call it, you’ll need zero equipment, except maybe a pull-up bar which can be found at many local stores. You must improvise if you’re on a budget and you don’t want to purchase weights or equipment. Two chairs are a great place to do some dips, a table is great for inverted rows, and the list goes on and on. 

HIIT

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Carrying on from the bodyweight groups, you can do online HIIT courses. High Intensity Interval Training is something that fitness gurus like Joe Wicks has pioneered in the last few years.

In 20 minutes you can do a series of exercises that will push your cardiovascular centre whilst also burning calories and building muscle at the same time. Get yourself online and find a program or trainer that you enjoy and spend some time doing HIIT if you’re short on time!

If you don’t care about building muscle and all you want to do is be fatigue-resistant and have the endurance of a stallion, HIIT is what you need. However, there are some very genius ideas online which allow you to do both HIIT and some strength training at the same time.

The point is to do whatever it is that you’re doing for cardio, but increasing the resistance a bit by adding a backpack or some very light objects in your hands. Or, you can just do a HIIT training session by doing exercises such as burpees but with very little rest in-between. 

Resistance bands

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Resistance bands have become a home-stay rage! You can build muscle whilst being easy on your joints.

Resistance bands come in all different resistance weights which means the easier the exercise gets, you can add another band to your workout to make it harder or similarly, if you follow online instructions you can see how to make each exercise more complicated and harder by shifting your feet or bands into different positions.

Resistance bands are a real life-saver during the pandemic, and they can be purchased for very cheap if you find the right place. They can help even the most advanced athletes, as well as those who are just starting.

Resistance bands can be used to make certain exercises easier or more difficult to do, and that’s the great thing about them. They barely take any space so you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping them at home. 

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