This year has been challenging so far. It seems like we can’t catch a break, and the most recent development is the Covid-19 pandemic that is shaking up the world right now.
A significant percentage of the world’s population is advised to stay at home and only go out for food, medicine, and banking needs.
Most gyms and sports clubs are closed, and it appears like our exercise options have been cut severely.
But is this truly the case? Are we doomed to lose all of our hard-earned progress in the gym?
No. The truth is, there is always something we can do to stay fit – where there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t let the quarantine be the end of your fitness habits. Stay consistent and exercise.
With that in mind, we’ve put a list of seven incredible exercises you can do while in self-isolation.
1. Elliptical Trainer Sessions
The elliptical (both the classic and recumbent versions of it) is an incredibly valuable piece of fitness equipment because it:
• Trains the entire body;
• It burns a lot of calories and helps with weight loss;
• It brings about the numerous health benefits of exercise;
• It improves our energy, mood, and cognitive function;
• It’s low-impact and doesn’t stress our joints;
• It’s easy to learn and use, so it’s also great for beginners;
The list goes on and on, but you get the point. What’s more, a decent elliptical won’t cost that much, but it will last you for well over five years of regular use.
But, if you don’t have the money or space for a full-sized elliptical, you can also go for the under-desk elliptical, which is a smaller, cheaper, and more compact version that brings about many of the same benefits.
If you’re looking for a simple exercise to develop your chest, shoulders, and triceps, then look no further than the classic push-up.
What’s even better about this exercise is that it doesn’t require any equipment, you can progress on them for a long time, and they also promote shoulder health.
Rehab specialists from all over the world prescribe push-ups in their shoulder programs, as they appear to promote scapular stability, which itself is essential for shoulder health, especially in athletes and other active people.
And if you ever feel like the push-up is too easy, you can always find a more challenging variation such as the close-stance push-up, the one-handed push-up, and the plyometric push-up.
3. Bodyweight Squats
Squatting is one of the most natural things we can do.
Performing bodyweight squats is a great way to strengthen the lower body, maintain our muscle mass, keep our hips and ankles mobile, and burn a lot of calories.
Plus, as with push-ups, bodyweight squats have an impressive overloading potential, as there are always fun and creative ways we can use to make them more difficult.
For example, if the bodyweight squat becomes too easy, you can always:
• Use a timer and see how many squats you can do per minute. Try to improve that number over time.
• Perform jump squats – a great way to spice the classic exercise up, and work on your vertical jump.
• Add an external weight on yourself – a weight vest, a dumbbell or kettlebell, a jug filled with water, your small child, or something else.
4. Glute Bridge
Glute bridges should be part of any decent home training program because they do an excellent job of strengthening a range of muscles in the body – our hamstrings, glutes, adductors, lower back, and abdominals.
What’s more, glute bridges are incredibly easy to learn and are beneficial for weight training exercises like hip thrusts and deadlifts.
And, should the classic glute bridge become too easy, you can always make it more challenging. For example, you can do them unilaterally (one leg at a time), or you can add an external weight on your lower abs (for example, a jug filled with water or an old dumbbell that’s been lying around your home).
If you’re looking for an excellent exercise that builds core strength incredibly well, then the classic plank is for you.
Because the plank is done by holding a static position, you can expect to build great isometric strength not just in your core, but in your entire body. What’s more, the plank develops the rectus abdominis, lower back muscles, obliques, and transverse abdominis (the deep core muscle).
Doing planks while in self-isolation is a great way to prevent back pain from occurring, and it also helps us maintain a good posture that can otherwise worsen due to physical inactivity.
What even better is the fact that you don’t have to invest too much time in doing planks. As little as two to five minutes per day will help you reap the incredible benefits of the exercise.
6. Recumbent Exercise Bike Training
If you have the means to get yourself a recumbent exercise bike, you shouldn’t wait a day longer. The truth is, along with elliptical trainers, the recumbent bike is among the most useful pieces of cardio equipment out there.
Sure, it’s not the cheapest thing you can buy for your home training, but the investment will be well worth it.
Training on a recumbent bike is a great way to burn a lot of calories and prevent weight gain while in self-isolation. What’s more, the recumbent exercise bike is incredibly easy to use, offers excellent comfort while exercising, and does a great job of helping us maintain our lower body strength and muscle size.
7. Pull-Ups or Chin-Ups
Pull-ups and chin-ups are two of the best bodyweight exercises we can do to develop the back, biceps, forearms, and core.
What’s more, being able to do pull-ups says a lot about your fitness level and is incredibly impressive for most people. Here’s an idea:
While in self-isolation, work your way up to twenty straight pull-ups. Then, once things go back to normal, head back to the gym and show people what you’ve been working on.
What’s even better about pull-ups is that all you need is a pull-up bar, which you can get for as little as twenty dollars.