“If I had more free time, I’d get a six pack”, goes the rhetoric. Well, thanks to the coronavirus, for many people free time is now in abundance. The only problem is: the gym isn’t.
However, we’re here to let you in on a secret: you don’t need a gym membership to get fit. In fact, all you need is a body. And we’re pretty sure you have one of those.
“In my opinion we should all use this time with realistic expectations.” Says Dubai-based trainer and corporate wellness coach, Diego Carrete.
“Learning how to cook, manage our nutrition and focusing on a solid routine and plan of action for when things go back to normal will be much more beneficial in the long run than trying to do the impossible with limited resources.”
Well said, Diego. With that in mind we asked him to prepare us a simple home workout that works the major muscle groups and, crucially, should improve your mindset.
“These exercises are designed to be performed in a strict order, providing minimal rest, which will have a positive impact on your mood.” Carrete assures us.
Indeed, in this time of social-distancing and self-isolation, exercise isn’t just about physical well-being, but mental health, too.
“This is a total body workout targeting the major muscle groups. You need minimal equipment and the workout is applicable to all ability levels.”
Perform each exercise for 40 seconds before moving onto the next, with only the time it takes to move between exercises as a rest.
If you’re a beginner, complete three sets. Four sets for intermediate users, and five sets if you’re really fit.
Lunges will work your legs, core and help improve your balance.
Standing on the spot, step your left leg back and bring your left knee to the floor, bending your right as you do so. Bring your left leg back up and stand up. Now repeat with your right leg. Use your hands to stabilize yourself.
Press-ups and tricep dips superset
Next, it’s time for a superset (two exercises performed in quick succession). Complete 40 seconds of press-ups, followed by 40 seconds of tricep dips. For the dips, brace a chair against a wall and facing away from it, place your hands on its seat. With your legs stretched out in front of you, use your arms to lower your bum to the floor. Push up and repeat.
Single leg chair squats
A great, low impact exercise for the major muscle groups in your legs, chair squats require you to sit down. Something we think we can all get behind.
Brace a chair against a wall. Sit down on the chair and then stand up, keeping your left leg off the floor. Sit down again, keeping that leg off the floor. Repeat for 40 seconds and then switch legs.
With weights in each hand (full, large water bottles will do if you don’t have them) stand with your legs apart and your knees slightly bent. Lean forward at the waist, keeping your back straight. Pull your elbows back behind you and bring the weights up to your chest. Lower and repeat.
If you work at a steady pace, you can have 5 sets completed in 20 minutes. It takes that long to choose what to watch on Netflix.
Diego recommends finishing up with some simple stretches to help improve your posture— especially useful if you suddenly find yourself hunched over a laptop on your sofa.
Have a towel handy. Breathe normally as you stretch.
Stand with good posture holding a towel behind your back. Lift the towel up behind you, holding the ends with both hands. Pull on the towel as if trying to tear it. You should feel a stretch in the front of your chest. Squeeze the shoulder blades together to maximize the stretch.
Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, and then relax.
Repeat 2-3 times.
Simple Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the floor with both legs out straight. Extend your arms and reach forward by bending at the waist as far as possible while keeping your knees straight.
Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
Relax back into the starting position.
Repeat 2-3 times.
Follow Diego at @diegoisfitness