The athlete in all of us is getting restless.
But with all this time, there’s really no excuse to not get a workout in a few times a week. There are so many ways to stay active at home, even without a home gym. I push aside the coffee table and use what I have to get a sweat on. As long as you have enough room to sprawl your body out—alas! You have a gym.
Of course, it takes some creativity. Everyone’s space looks different and we all have our favorite exercises, but here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Have kids? Hold them while you squat for weight training. Bonus: If your kids are different ages, just increase the size of your child for every set. This method also works for bench pressing.
- Use all the cans you hoarded during your panic shop as dumbbells
- Put those dusty textbooks you were forced to buy in college but never read to use. Buff up your triceps by holding the book behind your head at a 90-degree angle and straightening your arms over your noggin.
- You can use your couch for all sorts of things.
- Bulgarian split squats
- Single leg hip raises (with one foot on the couch)
- Step-ups (with socks please – no need to ruin the couch)
- Everyone has access to stairs and we all know they’re a killer workout.
- Clean something really dirty. Elbow-grease always burns my arms out. Bonus: you just cleaned something that probably should’ve been cleaned months ago.
- Do ab exercises during commercial breaks. Well — you’re likely streaming something or fast-forwarding through commercials of a recorded program. This is 2020, after all. So set a 15-minute timer and do three exercises in an hour. Here’s a relatively easy one to start out with:
- Set 1: Straight-leg lifts x 20
- Set 2: 1-minute plank; 30-second side plank each side
- Set 3: 1-minute V-hold
- Since we’re all trying to stay healthy during this quarantine, play an exercise game instead of a drinking game. I’m stealing from Pinterest, but this is my favorite:
- Keep your volleyball skills sharp by peppering in the living room. Careful if you have downstairs neighbors. We’ve had a few broomstick taps from below when we get too crazy.
- If you’re quarantining solo, pepper against a wall or set to yourself as you do crunches. Or roll the ball with your cat. You can also do this if you’re not alone but your quarantine buddies get on your nerves and you need some alone time.
- If you have tile/wood floors and two rags, place the rags under your feet and do ab slide workouts like mountain climbers, slide-outs, knee tucks, etc. Just Google for inspiration (I don’t have enough space or desire to detail each of them).
- 52-Card Workout. This is my favorite. Get a deck of cards and assign a workout to each suit. Then draw the cards one-by-one and do as many reps as are on the card. Jacks= 11; Queens=12; Kings=13 and, depending on if you’re crazy or not, Aces can be 1 or 14. Example:
- Hearts: Air squats
- Diamonds: Dips
- Clubs: Lunges
- Spades: Pushups
Word to the wise: burpees are an infuriating but rewarding addition.
Bonus: FaceTime a friend and do your workout together for camaraderie and motivation, and new exercise ideas.
Disclaimer: Proceed with caution and at your own risk during all of these workouts. I don’t want people getting dizzy on their spiral staircase, passing out, and then emailing me that it’s my fault. Heads up, my friends.
For those of you that just want someone to tell you what to do (as I often do), I reached out to AVP pro and phenomenal personal trainer Jess Sykora. She’s been a trainer for over a decade and started her own business three years ago. She also came up with the title “Quarantrain” which I loved and shamelessly stole.
- Alternating Bird Dogs 2×10/10 (opposite arm/leg out=1)
- Hip Thrusts/Bridges 2×20
- Dead Bugs 2×20 (exactly what it sounds. Lay on your back, arms and legs up, hold for 20 seconds)
*Execute and Repeat each grouped exercises 2-3 times*
- Alternating Back Lunges x20
- Plank to Pushups x10
- Squat Thrusters with Dumbbells x12
- Plank with cross knee tucks x20
- Side Plank hip dips x10/10
- Single leg bridges x10/10
- Lateral Lunges x10/10
- Squat Jumps x20
- Tricep Push-ups x10-20
- Double leg lowerings on back x12
- Russian Twists x20
- Single leg deadlift x10/10
*Repeat sequence 3 times*
- Child’s Pose
- Downward Dog
For more workouts, check out AVP’s 6-Day Home Workout Challenge with April Ross, Casey Patterson, and Emily Stockman, announcers Mark Schuermann and Camryn Irwin, and coach Jen Kessy for their 30-45 minute at-home exercises.
Tune in to Mark’s workout on for a special guest (spoiler alert: me!)). He’ll be leading his version of the 52-Card workout.
I hope you’re all well and finding ways to stay busy at home.
Follow Kim on Instagram @kimesmith21.
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