Although gyms are closing in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, that doesn’t mean you can’t still work up a sweat and get those endorphins pumping. Some gyms have decided to live stream workouts so you can join in at home. For example, Blink Fitness is hosting Facebook live sessions at 8 a.m. ET daily that includes workouts and motivational tips. But if you are having trouble making these live stream sessions, that’s okay, we got you covered. We’ll first go over the exercises you should be doing, then how to build your own workout.
Building Your Own Workout
Even though you may not have any equipment, you can still get a killer workout in at home. To get the most from your workout, you should be focusing on compound exercises or exercises that combine multiple muscle groups. These exercises will burn the most amount of calories and build the most muscle in the shortest amount of time.
Here is a list of the best exercises you can do to get a great workout:
That’s it. That’s the list. It may seem short but these key exercises are all you really need to get an effective workout.
Before you start working out, you need to decide on a workout split. Of course you can randomize everything and work out based on how you are feeling that day, but many of us like to have structure when it comes to working out. Here are some common splits:
Every Muscle Once a Week
With this split, each major muscle group is hit once a week. The week is typically split into chest, back, shoulders, legs, arms. However, because focusing on one group usually requires a lot of equipment, this probably won’t be the best for your home workouts.
Push, Pull, Legs
This is an extremely common split because it splits up the body very well. You are also able to hit more muscle groups at one time. This split works for everyone, even if the goal is packing muscle or shedding fat. With this split, you can rest for one or two days before repeating. This split is highly recommended for your home workout.
Like the name implies, this split has you working out your entire body each time. While you burn a lot of calories because your entire body is working, you limit the time you can spend on certain muscle groups. Full-body workouts are great if you are trying to simply lose weight and be healthy.
We recommend following the Push, Pull, Legs split or simply doing full-body workouts. Depending on what equipment you have, it will influence which split will be better for you. If you have to do bodyweight exercises, then an upper/lower or full body split would be best.
A typical workout routine has a set number of sets and reps. For example, your routine might have 6 exercises and for each you do 4 sets of 12 reps. The other common way to workout is called pyramiding, and that’s where you increase the weight each set while doing fewer reps. But like cardio, doing the same thing over and over will reduce the benefit over time. If you feel like you are doing the same routine over and over without much benefit, then try some of these techniques:
- Supersets: Perfect for any workout situation, supersets have you performing two exercises back to back before resting. It may seem strange, but the idea is that you pick two exercises that work opposing muscle groups. If you just did push-ups, you would do a back movement like pull-ups. Or, you can superset an upper body exercise with a lower-body one. Doing this not only saves time and works up a crazy sweat, it sends extra physiological signals for muscle growth.
- Reverse Pyramid: Instead of increasing weight and decreasing reps, start off with a heavy weight and lower reps. Then each set lower the weight and increase reps. You will be surprised by how amazing this works. By the end of each exercise your muscles will be toast.
- Drop sets: These are similar to reverse pyramiding, but you will only do drop sets for an exercise or two, and only a couple sets for each. For drop sets, you will choose a moderately heavy weight that you can lift 8 to 10 times. When you finish the reps, reduce the weight by 20% then immediately continue until failure. Repeat this one or two more times and this is one drop set.
Putting it All Together
Now you have everything you need to create your own killer home workout and keep making your own workouts. If you need a little inspiration, here are sample workouts we created using just the exercises listed above:
- 5-10 Minute warm-up
- Lunges: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Step-Ups: 4 sets of 10 reps doing one side at a time and no rest in between
- Swing and Squat Superset: 4 sets of 10 reps
- 5-10 Minute warm-up
- Pull-up and Push-Up superset: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Narrow Push-Up and Row superset: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Swings: 6 sets of 10 reps
- 5-10 Minute warm-up
- Squat and Row Superset: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Push-Up and Swing Superset: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Burpees: 3 sets of 12 reps
You may be feeling limited in your workouts because you don’t have any equipment. But don’t worry, there’s always a way to include some resistance in your workouts. Here are some ways to incorporate everyday items into your workout:
- The best thing you can do is fill a backpack with weight and workout with it on your back. If any leg exercises were too easy, they won’t be.
- Cases of water and bottles of laundry detergent work great as weight. you can easily use these items for rows, deadlifts, good mornings, presses, and curls.
- Cushions: Cushions can be used to simulate a Bosu ball. Next time you do squats, try doing them while standing on a cushion. The instability works on balance and because of this more muscle fibers are being worked on.
- Pans: Pots and pans can be used for simple exercises like bicep curls and tricep extensions. Got a cast-iron skillet? Even better!
What’s most important during this time staying at home due to Coronavirus is simply trying to be healthy. It can be easy to lounge around in your sweatpants since you are home all day, but this can lead to and promote physical inactivity. Now is the perfect time to build healthy habits and workout in the comfort of your own home.
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