Working from home means many of us are spending less time moving. When your commute is only from your bedroom to your dining room, you may find you’re a lot less mobile than you were before.
So we consulted a qualified personal trainer to get advice on exercises you can do at home as we head towards a winter of work from home. Melanie Gilder, personal trainer, gave us these tips.
Home Exercise on the Whole
The main thing to remember is that you can get a full body workout at home. I know lots of us prefer to be in the gym, but if you can’t be there right now, then you can indeed keep on top of your fitness from the comfort of your living room.
Switch your routine up. I’m going to suggest 7 exercises below that you can do at home with no equipment whatsoever. But you may not want to do all 7 every single day. If you’re doing something that works the upper body one day, maybe focus on lower body the next day to give that upper body time to recover and vice versa.
So without further ado, 9 exercises you can do at home to help you stay on top of your fitness while we’re spending more time at home.
The Bodyweight Squat
The bodyweight squat is one of the best exercises you can do. It’s a compound movement that engages lots of large muscle groups. So you get a good workout in multiple areas of the body.
They help to increase lower body strength as well as core strength and help to improve flexibility in the hips.
You can do these either in set reps (i.e decide you’ll do 3 set of 20 reps, for example). Or you could just repeat them for a certain amount of time (e.g. 1 minute) before taking a rest and going again.
Some of us groan at the mere thought of burpees. But this equipment free exercise is a calorie burner that will help you to build muscle too. It’s a whole body move and again, one you can vary in terms of reps or time you do them for.
How about seeing how many you can do in a month and then setting out to beat it the month after?
The mountain climber is another full body exercise, though admittedly your core and legs probably bear the brunt. In addition, if you do these fast enough they can double up as quite the cardio workout too.
Push Ups/Press Ups
So the humble press up is quite the exercise. It mainly works your chest, triceps and the muscles at the front of your shoulders (anterior deltoids).
If a full push up is too difficult, you can do them with your knees on the floor as a bit of a modification for beginners and then gradually work up over time to a full push up.
Glute Bridges/Hip Bridges
Glute bridges (sometimes referred to as “hip bridges”) require no equipment and are an excellent workout for the glutes. They can also help to release lower back tension.
They’re easy to do and you can build up rep numbers over time as you increase your strength.
All you’ll need to do a tricep dip is a bench or chair of some sort to lean again. Don’t be fooled by the name though. The tricep dip works more than just the triceps. It works the pectoralis major (the main muscle on the upper chest that people usually just call the “pecs”) and the trapezius which runs from the neck to the shoulder and middle of the back. In addition it works the serratus anterior – the muscle you will find on the surfaces of the upper ribs.
So this is a great workout.
Reverse lunges work loads of muscles include your core, glutes and hamstrings. You can do this with no equipment whatsoever and, if you want to make it more challenging as you progress, you could always pick up a couple of dumbbells if you have them at home.
Other Ways to Keep Active
Working at home is amazing for some and more challenging for others. And many of my clients note that they feel less active when working from home. So as well as these bodyweight exercises, I’d always recommend trying to get out for a brisk walk daily if you can to stay active – and this can be a real benefit for your mental health as well.