Working out at home, quarantine edition
When reality hit 6 weeks ago (or was it 8?) that we were about to be quarantined for who knew how long my first thoughts were ‘how much food can I fit in my fridge without being ridiculous?’ and ‘how the heck am I going to keep up with my workouts and fitness goals?’
Turns out I didn’t really need to overstock my fridge or pantry: the world has miraculously not run out of food and grocery stores are still open (I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I thought they would close or run out of stuff … I blame it all on the toilet paper fiasco).
And working out at home has been not only incredibly easy, but I’m actually preferring it to going to the gym or a studio.
I know a lot of people have felt the complete opposite when it comes to their workouts: going to the gym was a pleasant routine; instructors screaming in their mikes a source of motivation; the company of other fitness junkies a comfort.
But I’m just happy that I don’t have to waste 15 minutes driving to a studio, another 15 waiting for the class to start (or sometimes even more because yes, I’m the girl that needs to be there first for some weird reason), and then another 15 getting back home while sitting in my own puddle of sweat….ew.
Now I just put on some semblance of a workout outfit 5 minutes before the workout starts, get to sweating, then shower and have my post-workout smoothie right after.
#blessed am I right?
So here it is, my tips and resources for getting your workouts in and slaying your fitness goals, all while staying home.
1. Start slow
If you’re just starting out or coming back to a workout routine after taking a break, then make sure you easy on yourself. Work out every other day, focus on low-intensity workouts, and prioritize recovery.
Even if you’re not new to working out, doing it all at home can feel uncomfortable and weird, so be gentle and do what you can. Soon you’ll get into a groove and all these weird feels will be a thing of the past.
I’m serious, this makes all the difference in the world. Sit down on Sunday or Monday and write down everything you’re going to do for the week. Keep in mind the body parts you are working on one day and try to give them a break the following day.
Here is an example based on one of my weeks: bootcamp class on Monday, some yoga on Tuesday, legs and booty workout on Wednesday, shoulders and back on Thursday, run on Friday, rest day on Saturday (which can mean a 30 minute walk or a Yin yoga class), and Pilates on Sunday.
3. Have an accountability or workout partner
Do you live alone? No problem. Some really smart peeps invented Zoom, Facetime, Skype, and so many other video conferencing platforms, so it really doesn’t matter that you live alone when it comes to working out with a friend. This really comes in handy if you’re having trouble staying motivated and on track, so if that’s you then call your bestie or your mom and plan your workouts together -keep each other accountable and motivated and it will all be so much easier.
4. Do the workouts you love
Don’t do cardio 3 times a week if you hate it, or pressure yourself into daily HIIT and bootcamp workouts if you’re a yogi junkie at heart.
Look, you’re not doing yourself any kind of favor by forcing yourself to do things you don’t like, and you might even be setting yourself up for failure. Start out doing what you love and soon you’ll find that you’ll want to incorporate different workouts into your routine -but you’ll do it because you want to, not because you ‘need’ to.
Now let's talk about some really good resources that will come in handy when you're planning your workouts.
In my experience (and I’m no fitness instructor or expert, remember that: I’m just out here doing my best and trying to stay in shape) there are 2 categories of workouts you’ll do at home:
the ones you build yourself
and the ones that have you listening to an instructor
If you’re just starting out I suggest focusing on instructor-based classes: they’ll help you gain some momentum, will keep you motivated throughout the workout, and will help you build the confidence that will allow you to build your own workouts in the future.
Here are some amazing free online classes you can try:
@SLTNYC is offering free pilates classes on their IGTV that will leave your muscles burrrning
Balanced Body offers free pilates workouts ranging from work breaks to full workout classes. Many of the classes require bands or a Pilates ring but don’t let that discourage you: there are still some workouts that you can do without equipment, and if need be you can get creative -replace resistance bands with a towel for example, and work that body, girl!
@solidcore is also offering free IGTV classes for pilates workouts
@aarmy is offering free live workouts that are HIIT and bootcamp focused. You’ll be sweating in no time..trust me!
305 fitness provides free dance parties... sorry, classes on their Youtube. They’re literally perfect for those days when you don’t feel like working out, but still want to move and get your blood pumping: put on a dance class and have...the time of your liiiife!
AKT is a dance-based cardio fitness workout that combines HIIT and strength training with choreography. They have free classes on their Facebook Lives, so check out their times and plan them into your schedule.
Modo Yoga provides a wide range of yoga classes via their IGTV and Instagram Live
Y7 is one of my faves: hip hop yoga flow??? Um, yes please! They get down in their lives so check them out.
Stretchlab will help you on recovery days when all you want is to stretch out those muscles and knots in your body. You can find their videos on their Facebook
Once you're more comfortable with working out at home you can start building your own workouts! Here's how you can do this:
find some fitness instructors you love on Instagram. Some of my faves are Linn Lowes, Meggan Grubb, Ruba Ali, and Senada Greca, but there's thousands out there. Just search 'fitness instructor' in IG and go explore!
create a folder in IG for Saved Workouts, and another for the Workout of the Day. The 1st will house all the workouts you stumble upon and want to try, and the 2nd will be specifically for the workout you have planned for the day
when planning your daily workout add 3-4 workouts in your 2nd folder. Try to keep it to a specific body part (legs, glutes, back, etc.). You're going to follow the reps advised for in the videos, but generally you're aiming for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
have 1-2 Tabata exercises ready. Tabata means 20 seconds of cardio followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 4 minutes. You can keep it to just one cardio exercise (like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, jumping squats, etc.) or you can combine 2 or more (it'll look something like this: 20 seconds mountain climbers, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds jumping jacks, 10 seconds rest; repeat 3 more times). Add them at different points in your workout (I tend to do one tabata round for every 3-4 exercises).
schedule the workout in your calendar -just as if you were going to a gym or to a class
make sure you warm up before and stretch/cool down after
Make sure your workout is at least 30 minutes long and that it results in you breaking a sweat and you're golden!
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