Working from home during quarantine means that you’re likely spending a lot of time on the couch—which is comfortable and all, but it definitely isn’t great for your body. In fact, sitting down for extended periods of time without exercise is linked to a number of health concerns. But getting outside and moving around, even for just 45 minutes a day, has a ton of health benefits, including helping to prevent high blood pressure, disordered sleep patterns, diabetes, and depression.
That being said, we are in a pandemic right now, and getting to the gym is not an option for many people. If you want to stay (or become) active, there are plenty of ways to do so without heading to your local
petri dish gym. These five exercises can be done in your backyard, at a local park, or in any other area that allows for safe and adequate social distancing. Designed by Meghan Hayden, an expert personal trainer, the moves are quick and simple—meaning you’ll definitely have time to squeeze them in between your Zoom meetings.
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Hayden studied exercise physiology at the University of Miami and is the director of training at GHOST Brooklyn, a luxury fitness space in Williamsburg. Formerly a top personal trainer at both Equinox and Performix House, Hayden is well-versed in various training techniques and loves sharing them. She’s particularly passionate about resistance, mobility, and injury recovery. You can follow along with Hayden’s customized outdoor workout below.
1. TUT Strength
The best way to strength train with no equipment is to utilize the principle of “Time Under Tension”. As you lengthen the amount of time that stress is placed on the muscle, more needs to be recruited to help get the job done. This mimics the amount of muscle needed to be recruited for heavily loaded lifts, therefore creating similar adaptations and results. For this circuit, move at a slow 4-4 second count to really feel the burn.
Lat Lunge Glides
Kick with your dominant leg and keep your hands straight as they approach the ground. Then, straighten your legs and body upward. Do this for 30 seconds.
2. Power EMOM
If you want to become explosive, you need to train explosively. The recipe is to work at near max intensity for a short duration, followed by a long rest, usually three to five times longer than the exercise bout. EMOM stands for every minute on the minute. Work for only six reps for each move at max intensity, then rest for the remainder of the minute. The faster you go, the more rest you’ll have. Before moving explosively, make sure you start with a solid warm-up that warms up the specific movement patterns and primes you for each exercise.
Jump upwards with legs straightened and land in a squat, bending your knees. Then, use the momentum from the squat to power the following jumps.
Plyo Push-Ups From Bottom
Alt Beast Kick Through
Beginning on all fours with your knees bent, kick one leg below the other and twist your body to face in the direction the leg is pointing. Your kicked leg will be straight while the other remains bent.
3. Full-Body Dynamic Circuit
If you’re someone who loves adventure, has kids, or likes to break it down to your favorite songs, this circuit is for you. You don’t live like a robot, so your movements shouldn’t mimic one. Have fun with this multidirectional circuit that will test your core and athleticism. If these moves are new to you, work slowly and focus on form, then start to speed it up and test yourself. Do three to four rounds with 45 seconds of rest between exercises, and do each exercise 10 times per round.
Push-Up To Forward Kick Through
Do a traditional push-up; then, when your body rises from the ground, hop into a squatting position, and kick one leg forward while keeping the other straight.
Crab Toe Crunch Under Switch Tap
Rotating Plyo Lunges
Squat Jump To Reverse Lunge
Jump with straightened legs and land in a deep squat. Then, step into a lunge on both your right and left legs, making sure to hit both sides before jumping again.
4. Mobility Circuit
Life is unpredictable. Without thinking, we do so much as humans to hunch over, tighten up, and create muscular imbalances. Mobility is a beautiful tool to check in with our body, assess the range of motion, and open back up.
Flexibility is how far our body can move passively, where mobility is how far our body can move with control. The difference between the range of motion our joints can passively and actively move is an opportunity for injury.
This full-body mobility circuit is perfect for your morning/bedtime routine, or as a warm-up before a dynamic workout. Do these moves 1one to two times through.
Shin Box With Step
Forward Long Lunge With Shoulder CARs
Scorpion Reach To Glute Stretch
Half-Kneeling T Spine Rotation
In a kneeling lunge position, hold your arms parallel to each other in front of you and then slowly move one arm to the side, rotating your body laterally as your arms open. Perform ten sets of this rotation, doing ten reps each time.
5. Advanced HIIT
Like efficiency? HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is an amazing way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. After 45 seconds of heart-pumping work, reset for 15 seconds before the next move. 20 minutes later, you’ll be drenched on the floor. Do 45 seconds on, 15 off, one minute of rest between rounds. Four rounds total.
High Knees To Tuck Jumps
Push-Up To Beast Plyometric
Side Plank INT Rotation To Side Crunch
Begin in a plank, then balance on one arm to perform a side plank. Rotate your body and bend one leg upward to meet your raised arm.
Move one leg toward the other in a quick sideways shuffle, but make sure to keep your body facing forward and your legs parallel.
Image: Julia Ballew / Unsplash
All videos courtesy of Ana Snyder
By now, most of us have probably tried at least a few home workouts. With gyms still closed in several states, the art of working out from the comfort of your own home is still essential. But can you still feel the burn with limited or no equipment? Incorporating plyometrics (aka plyos or jump training) can be an easy solution, but if you live in an apartment, that can also be a problem. Your neighbors probably won’t be too happy with you if it sounds like a herd of elephants is about to fall through their ceiling once a day.
The answer to all your problems is HILIT, or high intensity, low impact training. HILIT workouts use short intense bursts of activity followed by brief rest periods that never require jumping movements. You read that right: no jumping.
I’ve been an athlete my whole life and a personal trainer and fitness competitor for several years, and this is the method I’ve used during all of quarantine to maintain my fitness level. HILIT uses little to no equipment, increases your metabolism, and is also gentle on your joints. If you ask me, it’s a win-win-win. If you’re looking for a home workout that burns fat while toning your body, this is it! Here are a few moves you can do for a full at-home HILIT workout.
Low To High Wood Choppers
This is a dynamic exercise that works your obliques and shoulders. To begin, squat, twist your torso to the right, and hold your hands to the outside of your right leg. If you have a dumbbell at home, you can hold that as well. Exhale and swing your arms diagonally across your body so that you end with your arms above your left shoulder. Return back to your starting position to complete one rep. Continue the movement on this side for 30 seconds, then switch.
Standing Supermans strengthen your upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Stand on one leg and extend both your arms out to the side as you bend forward. Let your raised leg stretch all the way behind you as you bring your back to a table-top position. Squeeze your glutes and pull yourself back to a standing position. Repeat the Superman on this side for 30 seconds.
Start in plank position, then bring your left knee up to your left elbow. While holding this position, do a push-up. Alternate your legs back and forth for 30 seconds. Iguana press-ups require more stabilization than traditional push-ups and are excellent for building core stability in addition to working out your chest.
Standing Knee Drive
Stand with your hands behind your head and forcefully drive each knee in towards your chest. For maximum results, move as quickly as you can for 30 seconds straight.
Reverse Plank Leg Lift
Begin by sitting on the ground with your legs bent and your arms behind you—your fingertips should be facing towards your toes. Push your butt up off the ground and begin raising one leg at a time up towards your chest. Keep your movements controlled, squeeze your abs at the top of each leg raise, and always keep your hips lifted.
Squat Hold To Calf Raise
Stand in sumo position (feet outside your hips and shoulders) and sit into a squat. Hold this position for 30 seconds while you raise your heels up and down off of the floor. You should keep your weight in the balls of your feet throughout the movement. Prepare to feel an intense burn in your thighs and calves!
Hip Bridge with Hamstring Curl
You’re going to need to wear a pair of socks for this one! Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet placed hip-width apart. Bridge your hips up into the air and slide your feet forward as far as you can without dropping your hips down. Then pull your feet back in towards your glutes and repeat the movement for 30 seconds. Don’t lower your hips for the entire 30 seconds.
Images: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash