Our top 8 home workout exercises and 5 fitness apps we love
Posted by admin on May 15, 2020 · Stay Home Hub
Remaining mentally and physically healthy during this difficult time of self isolation and social distancing can be a real challenge. Gyms are becoming increasingly more dangerous to visit and for some of you, that might feel like your beloved fitness program had to come to an end for a while.
Well, we’re here to tell you that is not the case at all, hooray!
Exercise is so important for many of us out there, so we wanted to share our top home workout tips with you, that will help to keep you physically and mentally healthy, with no need (or very little) for fancy equipment!
We’ll also share with you our favourite apps that we’re using to keep fit! And as most of us are now working from home with more time on our hands than ever, there’s no excuse not to get a workout in now and then.
My personal top tip is either to do some form of exercise before you start work (exercise wakes you up and gets you pumped for the day!) or set aside some time during your lunch hour.
If you’re unsure about how to do any of the below exercises, don’t let that put you off! There are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there so have a watch to get your form perfect!
Before you start: Warm Up
Stretching appropriately is crucial before you start. You need to get your body warm and your muscles active, which leads to less risk of getting injured when working out.
You may think that just because you’re not lifting heavy weights or performing complex movements, that you don’t have to stretch – You still do. You should also get some running on the stop of jumping jack in there if you can. Make a point to warm up for 5 minutes before you work out.
Fitify is a really great app for learning how to stretch.
1. Press-Ups (or Push-Ups)
The ol’ faithful in the fitness game. Using entirely your own bodyweight, press-ups are simple and effective. The humble press-up uses different muscle groups and strengthens your shoulder joints in particular.
How to do them:
Your hands should be placed shoulder width apart, fully extended and your back must be flat. Think of a line of string being attached from your head to your heels.
Then simply lower your body to an inch above the floor and explosively drive up till your arms are fully extended.
Congrats, that’s one rep! Do as many as you can and when you feel like quitting, (safely) do a few extra!
Press-ups have a lot of different styles so once they become easy or you already can do quite a few, search for the different variations!
Swap the bag of Skips for a rope! Skipping is the most efficient form of cardio and 10 minutes of skipping equates to 30 minutes of jogging. You’ll need a bigger space to allow the rope to pass around you, and of course a rope, but it’s absolutely worth it. There’s a reason that boxers do it so much!
They’re not expensive either, so have a search on Amazon for one.
3. Bodyweight Squats
Squats are great for increasing leg, core and back strength. Because this movement uses all of these muscle groups, it helps us burn fat and get strong. Bodyweight squats require no equipment, just you!
How to do them:
You want to stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your hips.
Your toes should then be pointed slightly outwards (about 5 degrees).
Look straight ahead of you, and throughout the entire movement stay focused on that spot. Don’t look up or down, as looking straight ahead keeps your back straight and prevents injury/doing the exercise incorrectly.
You then squat down, keeping your core tight (as if bracing for a punch) and make sure that your knees stay behind your toes. Go as deep as you can, with your hips going past your knees (stretching helps increase your depth) and then drive up with your legs.
That’s one rep! Try and do as many as you can safely.
Burpees absolutely melt fat. These get your heart rate really going and require absolutely no equipment!
How to do them:
From a standing position squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and place your palms down.
From there kick your feet back as far as you can while keeping your arms extended. As soon as your feet land jump them back in towards your hands, then jump up into the air.
Land and immediately squat down to go into the next rep.
The plank (and don’t worry, you’re not walking it!) is a great exercise for strengthening your core. Like the press-up, there are a few variations (like the side plank) but to begin with just the simple plank will be a good starting point. This exercise also helps with core strength, back and shoulders, along with arms.
How to do it:
Get into the press-up position, but rest on your forearms rather than your hands.
Make sure your back is straight and tense your abs. Hold this position without allowing your hips to drop.
And no I’m not talking about the ones you get with your chicken nuggets or Doritos! Dips work the arms, chest and shoulders, and can be done using the edge of a bed, chair or table. Just make sure the surface you choose is secure and won’t slip away from behind you!
How to do them:
Stand facing away from the surface and grab it with both hands at shoulder-width.
Extend your legs out in front of you. Slowly lower your body by flexing at the elbows until your arm at your forearm till they create a 90 degree angle.
Using your triceps (the back of your arms, the other side of your biceps) lift yourself back to the starting position.
You may be thinking that you deserve a delicious crunchie bar right now (if you don’t like them, then what’s wrong with you??) but these are great for core strength.
How to do them:
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet off the floor.
Place your hands on either side of your head and push your lower back into the floor as you lift your shoulders a few inches off the floor – make sure your lower back stays in contact with the ground at all times (this is crucial!).
Tense your abs hard at the top point of the movement, then return under control to the start position.
8. Shadow Boxing
I think this is possibly the most fun exercise and you may feel like a bit of an idiot doing it, but shadow boxing is a great way of consolidating your workout as it uses cardio, legs core and arms.
How to do it:
Adopt a fighting stance and bounce on your toes as you throw punches. Dip and weave as much as you like! It’s as simple as that!
If you want a bit more of a challenge, buy some light small dumbbells and hold them while you box.
And there we have it! Your new home workout training circuit! If you like sticking to a routine or aren’t sure how many reps you should do for each exercise as a beginner, here’s my advice:
Press-ups: Start with 10 and then increase as they get easier.
Skipping: Try and go for a minute and then increase.
Bodyweight Squats: Go for 20 reps.
Burpees: Start with 10.
Plank: Start with 20 seconds and steadily increase.
Dips: Go for 10!
Crunches: Again start with 10 but increase as you get stronger.
Shadow boxing: Try and box for a minute!
Here are some our favourite fitness apps:
Fitbit Coach – Workouts in Fitbit Coach are led by professional, enthusiastic instructors (you choose yours before beginning the 8 minute fitness test), who guide you through each movement with clear video instructions. Not sure how to perform a particular exercise? Just tap on it, and you’ll be shown exactly how to do it safely. Don’t worry, you don’t need a Fitbit device to use the Fitbit Coach, although if you do own one, connecting it is as easy as pie. The app can also link to Facebook and Google Fit, allowing you to share your efforts with friends; another great motivation to get up off the sofa and get moving. (Available on both Android and iOS)
Adidas Training and Running by Runtastic – Adidas Training and Running by Runtastic has one major advantage over most home workout apps: it offers a decent range of free features. There are plenty of ready-made workouts to choose from, and if you can’t see anything that appeals, you can create a custom one by selecting body parts and setting a duration. You’re led through workouts by videos and audio narration. There’s little in the way of motivational speaking here; you’re simply told what to do, and for how long. It’ll help to have your phone at eye level the first time you try a new exercise so you can check your form against the video provided. (Available on Android and iOS)
Nike Training Club – Like Adidas Training and Running, Nike Training Club offers an impressive archive of free content. Registration is straightforward, and after entering just a few details about yourself and your current activity levels, you’ll be presented with a helpful set of workouts (complete with timings) that might suit your needs. Can’t see what you want? You can also browse for options by muscle group or workout type (endurance, strength, mobility or yoga). It’s also possible to limit your scope to short workouts, or ones that can be carried out without any extra equipment. Each workout has to be downloaded before you can start (they’re not all included when you install it) so you’ll need an active internet connection. (Available on Android and iOS)
Freeletics – Freeletics provides you with an online AI coach and personalised workouts, that are created to suit where you’re working out from and how much time you have to do so. Your AI coach analyzes your fitness and your goals. The more you train, the more it adapts to you. They also have a really great nutrition app that has tonnes of healthy and tasty recipes, to help you eat the right things to keep fit and healthy. (Available on Android and iOS)
7 minute workout – The app is really easy to use, simply follow along with the instructor, who will teach you the correct way to do each movement. All you will need is a wall and a chair to complete the workout and you can easily log your workouts so you can track your progress. Share a snapshot of your training with friends, after all, there’s nothing like a little healthy competition! (Available on Android and iOS)
If working out with your phone isn’t quite doing it for you, and you rather be able to follow someone on your TV, we’ve still got you covered. There are a HUGE amount of workout channels on YouTube, all offering free content to help you stay in shape. I’m sure you’ve heard of some of the popular ones, like Joe Wicks’ channel ‘The Body Coach TV’, but here are a few more of our favourites:
Those are our top home workout exercises and our favourite places to go for a decent workout! All that’s left to say now, is download or watch one and get moving! We’d love to hear about which ones your using and how you’re getting on so please tweet us or tag us on instagram with your post workout pics and the hashtag: #StayAtHomeClub!
The whole team here at SUPERHOG are also going to be getting involved and we’ll be tracking our progress as well as holding a competition for whoever keeps the most active!