On days when you’re really busy OR simply just "stuck" at home, it’s easy to give up on working out, especially if you don’t have a good chunk of time dedicated to exercise. I know the feeling! As a jet-setting, global biohacking, lifestyle entrepreneur, there are times when I don't know if I will have access to a gym or a running trail, so below are a few of my new favorite, simple, yet fabulous (I might say) #stayhome workouts for all of us that are in #tightspaces #quarantine #socialdistancing #lackahomegym OR if you just find yourself with 20 minutes to spare one day, clear the living room and have some fun!
In times like these, it is ever more important to focus on our both our physical AND mental health. A few quick workout can truly make ALL the difference. One of my favorite types of working out is #HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training. Several different studios are founded on this genre of fitness. My two top favorites are F45Training and Core Power Yoga. I incorporate both into my daily regimen and each are now offering incredible online workouts, tips and tools to help you stay consistent in your local community (check out the link to my faves highlighted above!). Many of these short fitness routines incorporate a number of micro workouts that are very effective. We've all heard the famous slogans "Quality over Quantity" and "Less is More". The same bodes well in this case... Some people believe you need to workout for a long period of time, but, it is not always necessarily about how long you are exercising. Instead, it is the TYPE of moves you choose to do. In fact, short intense bursts can end up being even better for you than steady-state exercise over a longer period of time.
Research has shown that even just an 11-minute workout that contains one minute of high-intensity, all-out effort is just as effective as a 45-minute-long workout at a moderate pace, according to a study in the journal PLOS One– so you have no excuse next time you’ve only got 30 minutes between work and #Quarantini happy hour (wink wink). Below are a couple micro workouts that are some of my SUPER effective favorites.
SIMPLE #STAYHOME WORKOUTS
1. Stair Sequence
For this exercise, you’ll need one flight of stairs with at least 10 steps (OR grab a chair, ottoman, block, bench...). Walk up and down them, and each time thereafter, make an adjustment. The second and third time, increasingly pick up the pace. By the fourth, skip a step, trying to not hold onto the handrail, and keep hands on your hips while coming back down. The fifth time, lunge to the top. Repeat the cycle over again. Doing the stairs is not only a good cardiovascular exercise, but it also works various muscles, including your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors.
***Injury Prevention Tip: Be sure to focus on your form keeping eyes looking forward, chest up, relax, smile, breathe, while pumping your arms forward, keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle, not bending over your toes.
2. 4-Minute Butt-Kicker
This quick, 4-minute workout involves 40-seconds of ALL-OUT movement followed by 20 second rests. Here’s how it goes:
Squats - 40 seconds
Rest - 20 seconds
Pushups - 40 seconds
Rest - 20 seconds
Mountain climbers - 40 seconds
Rest - 20 seconds
Put it all together: BURPEES!!! Squat, push up position, push up, left leg, right leg.
***Injury Prevention Tip: Tighten your core, squat as though you're sitting low in a chair so you can still see your toes when in a full squat to prevent over extension.
3. Jump Rope Combo
If you have minimal gym equipment, take yourself and/or the kids to the park, the front lawn or makeshift the living room into a fitness studio. Regardless, for a simple, fun and fabulous workout, this one is perfect for you. Here’s what you do:
Repeat this workout for 4 sets. Resting 1-2min in between each set.
***Injury Prevention Tip: While jumping rope, focus on looking up, forward and out while landing on your mid-foot to stay focused, upright and minimize impact on your joints. Same as with squats, when lunging, ensure that you're knee does not bend over your toes to avoid strain on your knee joints.
4. The 4-Minute Tabata
This Tabata workout involves alternating compass squats and "sprawlees" (burpees little brother) for 20 seconds each followed by 10 seconds of rest in between. Remember this is only 20 seconds, so bring your intensity and give it all you’ve got! Here’s what you do:
Repeat 4 times for a full #HIIT workout.
5. Barbell Workout
If you happen to have barbells (or soup cans, bricks, stones or sacks of grain! lol, etc) at home you can try this quick barbell workout. If you are a daily gym goer, but need a quick workout to do, barbell complexes are the way to go. Here’s what it entails:
Rest 60-90 seconds
Repeat for 4 sets of each workout for the ultimate workout.
6. Squats with Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a very underrated, full-body workout and one of the BEST weight-bearing exercises on the planet. This simple move offers cardio and agility and targets every muscle group. Start by doing 30 jumping jacks and alternate each time to incorporate 30 deep squat jacks back to back. After jumping with your feet wide, return to a deep squat to target your calf, thigh, gluteal, and abdominal muscles. With this exercise, you can determine how many sets you would like to do. I would suggest setting a goal each week and ramp it up to increase endurance so you can track your progress.
7. Basic Run
If you’re like me and LOVE straight running or even if you "hate" it, you’ll want to try this rocking running workout that incorporates different intensities of running along with a variation of workouts in between. You can do this outside on the road or trail or keep it indoors on a "dreadmill" or by jogging in place in your living room. Here’s what you need to do:
Minute 1: Light jog - 60 seconds
Minute 2: Medium intensity run - 15 seconds, light jog - 15 seconds, medium intensity run - 15 seconds, and light jog - 15 seconds.
Minute 3: Toe taps on the curb - 30 seconds, squat - 30 seconds
Minute 4: 15 second - light jog, 15 second - sprint, 10 second - light jog, 20 second - sprint
Minute 5: 20 seconds left side shuffle, staying low bringing one foot to the other, 20 seconds run around and jog light backward, staying on your toes, 20 seconds right side shuffle staying low, bring one foot to the other
***Injury Prevention Tip: Relax, Smile and Breathe. Focus on looking up, forward and out, landing lightly on your mid-foot, keeping your chest up and knees behind your toes.
8. Make the Jungle Gym Your Bootcamp
Who says you’re too old to play outside? NEVER! Whenever I am on a run or a bike ride, no matter who I'm with, we will play right alongside the kiddos (or just try to keep up with them!). I’ll do tricep dips off a bench, incline pushups, step-ups, and try to do a pull up (or two) on the monkey bars. By doing each of these little bursts of activity, you will FEEL it as they will add up quickly to make your outdoor walk, run or bike-ride more FUN, simple, efficient, spontaneous and FABULOUS!!