Gym goers - Are you worried about loosing muscle during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Just because you cannot get to the gym, doesn’t mean you should totally give up on your fitness goals as this is actually a perfect opportunity to adapt and even push your body to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Some studies will show this can actually give you greater improvements when you change your workout routine.

If your preferred method of fitness is resistance or lifting heavy things, then it won’t be as easy to keep this up unless you are lucky enough have a home gym setup. But that doesn’t mean your progress will be lost during isolation, it is actually entirely possible to sustain or even build muscle mass with a few key movements.

Studies show that it can take up to 4 weeks to start seeing a decline in strength and muscle mass and even doing some exercise and training can slow down that process. Here are some small tips and exercises including the main body movements.

  1. Backpack - A Backpack will be your friend in isolation. You can fill it with items to make it pretty heavy and wear it on your back for Squats and Lunges. You can also use the handle to do Leg raises, Shoulder raises or lie down and use it for a make shift bench press.
  2. Push ups - everyone knows what a pushup is and you can vary this to hit different points of your body. While working your chest, it will also include your shoulders, triceps and core. You can do these from your knees, progress to your feet and then even move onto raising your legs to challenge the pushup even more. Think about Hand positioning also, putting your hands into the Dimond shape underneath your chest will target different muscles.
  3. Towels - Surprisingly using a towel if you don’t have any resistance bands can really give you that extra burn you are looking for. Try holding each end of the towel in either hand and you can fill it like a hammock with some weighted stuff around the house, now you have some home-made biceps curls. Another movement is to put it around the top of your doorframe and you can use it for some rows to work your back.
  4. Take your time - Slow down your workouts and start focusing and thinking about the muscle you are working. Studies show if you slow it down down and really think and imagine the movements it will have greater results. Taking a pause mid rep can also benefit your workout.
  5. Core - Since core tends to be done on the floor, this is easy to do from home. But your body gets used to exercises, so it is important to push yourself to get results. Try adding some weight when doing sit-ups (I found a big bag or rice does the job) and you can put your backpack on from earlier to add some weight to a plank. Also try putting the towel under you feet (on a non carpeted surface) and then slide your feet towards your hands.

We have an opportunity here to get more creative with workouts and push our fitness into ways that we wouldn’t of perhaps thought of before.

I would love to hear some stories about how you are getting creative with workouts :slight_smile:

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For HIIT / intense cardio style training that you can do in the comfort of your own home, I can attest to the Insanity series (Insanity, Insanity:Max30 etc) as being really tough and would highly recommend. We got them a while ago on DVD, but you can now get them (along with a whole load of other workout series) on monthly streaming subscription from beach-body ( https://www.beachbodyondemand.com/ ). So, if you want a good no-equipment cardio/body weight workout that can get really really hard they are worth checking out.

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