So, we’re a few weeks into lockdown – and all the signs are pointing towards the fact we’re not going to go back to normal life anytime soon. When gyms do eventually open, it sounds like there will still be some restrictions in place (i.e probably have to book certain time slots etc – so availability will likely be lower). That means creating a quality home workout routine is pretty bloody essential.
We’re really missing the gym (and not only because that’s where Jenny earns most of her money – in the gym!) but also because it was down time for us – it was a time we could just focus solely on working out, and we had a pretty awesome routine going. So the gyms shutting for an unspecified amount of time just threw everything in the air for a bit.
But now really is the time to make the most of the situation. Start seeing the positives in this. You’ve probably always been interested in certain bodyweight goals (you want to maybe do your first pull up, or you want to do 100!) whatever it is, NOW is the time to be able to do that.
Step 1 – Decide on whether you want to use equipment – if so – get it ordered!
Obviously, this will depend on your own personal circumstances, but I would recommend trying to get yourself a set of resistance bands. They sold out in the UK at the very beginning of the lockdown, but they appear to be a bit more readily available now.
The reason I would totally recommend this is because you can train specific muscles which are difficult to train without equipment.
Bodyweight exercises are amazing and really good at making you get really in tune with your body, and make everyday tasks a whole lot easier. They’re also great because nearly all bodyweight exercises are compound movements, meaning you’re using multiple muscles. But - on the flip side – it’s also difficult to isolate certain muscles due to this. Arms for example are notoriously hard to target with bodyweight exercises. You can do certain things like diamond pushups and pull ups. But these are generally not going to be let down due to your arm strength – more likely due to your chest or back strength respectively – so you don’t manage to train the arms as much as you’d like.
Grab a set of resistance bands – and this problem goes away. Even before the lockdown, Jenny and I would make sure we did regular home workouts using a combination of bodyweight exercises and resistance bands.
Any other equipment you get will be nice, but not totally necessary if your goal is general toning up and losing some fat. If you’re wanting something specific like strongman training – then clearly you’re gonna need to get some specialist equipment.
If you have the room, however, and if you enjoy doing weights, then it might be worth getting either a barbell or a couple of dumbbells – or maybe even both as well as some resistance bands.
That all being said – you don’t NEED equipment to create a great home routine. We’ve started doing live bodyweight workouts on Tuesday and Thursdays for anyone who wants to join on YouTube. It’s an awesome workout and we are still able to target some of the areas for you. So, feel free to join in! The link for more info is here.
Step 2 - Now you’ve got the equipment – or decided against it, it’s time to plan when you’re going to do the workout – this will determine WHAT you do
You might be thinking – oh well I’ll do it a couple of times a week whenever I’ve got time. Nah. Stop thinking that way, you actually need to commit a day and time you’re going to do it. This coronavirus life is here to stay for the time being – so make a new schedule, a new routine, a new plan!
Think about it – how often have you said before you’ll TRY and go to the gym three times a week – how well has that worked for you in the past without committing to it. We don’t do it. It’s a matter of life unfortunately, we will tend to always find some excuse or find something more important to do, or we will kid ourselves we will end up doing it three days on the trot at the end of the week.
Commit it to your calendar and your routine. When do you know you CAN do it? Stick to it – even if you don’t feel like it, you’ll thank me later.
Also, when deciding when you’re going to do it – work out how long you can commit to it and WILL commit to it. Be realistic. 5 missed hour-long workouts is infinitely worse for you than 3 completed half hour workouts. The more unrealistic you make it, the less likely you will stick to it. I’d recommend starting slow and building it up. For your first week maybe say I’ll commit to the two totally amazing free live workouts Herbivore Health are putting on each week 😉. Then once you’ve completed that – you can think OK next week I’ll do the free live workouts and also go for a run one of the days *setting a specific date and time you’re going to do it*. It’s easier and better to build it up, than trying to achieve something unrealistic and unsustainable.
Step 3 – Now you know what you have available and when you’re going to commit to doing it, plan a workout accordingly!
Now obviously your workout is going to differ to someone else depending on what your chosen equipment and time is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t apply the same principles regardless.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re only going to do two home workouts a week then it’s worth making one of those a full body workout and the other a targeted workout (legs / abs / upper body). Then you can change what the targeted one is targeting each week.
If you are planning to do 3 or 4 home workouts, it’s great to target different muscles on each of the days. So maybe day 1 do legs, bums and tums, day 2 – Chest and arms, day 3 – shoulders and back. In fact, it just so happens we have uploaded to YouTube the first week of our 12 week programme which follows this split, so you can use the first week free. All you need to do is have some resistance bands. You can find them here. You can just workout with us 😊.
If you’ve got some weights etc, you can still follow the above format. If you have nothing, then again you can follow the same format – it’s a little harder to target, but you can throw a few bodyweight exercises together which target those muscles.
It’s always worth actually writing a plan our yourself, so you know what you’re gonna do. Taking the element of decision out of it when it actually comes to exercising means you’re much more likely to do it, because you don’t have the added effort of planning!
To help with this, I’ve put a list below of different exercises and labelled by Body-weight (BW), Resistance Bands (RB) and Barbell (BB) or Dumbbell (DB) so you can just pick and choose from these.
Pike press up (BW)
Wall Pike Push-ups (BW)
Lateral Raises (DB)
Kneeling Upright row (RB)
Military Press (BB)
Wide Arm Press Ups (BW)
Reverse Fly’s (RB)/(DB)
Bent over rows (BB)
Seated Rows (RB)
Pull ups (BW)
Push ups (BW)
Diamond Push ups (BW)
Pull ups (BW)
Bicep curls (BB) / (DB) / (RB)
Hammer Curl (DB)
Tricep Extensions (RB) / (DB)
Overhead tricep extensions (BB)
Push ups (BW)
Wall presses (BW)
Floor Press (BB) / (DB)
Floor Flys (DB)
Standing Chest Fly (RB)
Bodyweight Squats (BW)
Pistol Squats (BW)
Leg Extensions (RB) (You can loop the resistance bands under the legs of a strong chair)
Hamstring Curl (RB) (you’ll need to loop it around a strong pole/ a chair with someone sitting on).
Weighted Squats (BB) / (DB)
Weighted Lunges (BB) / (DB)
Glute Bridge (BW)
One Legged Glute Bridge (BW)
Alternating Leg Raise (RB)
Glute Bridge with Resistance Band (RB)
Fire Hydrants/Dirty Dog (BW)
Ab Curls (BW)
Sit Ups (BW)
Crunchy Frog (BW)
V Sit Ups (BW)