*Please note this advice is correct as of 31-03-2020 and will be updated when Government advice changes.
Countries around the globe are closing their borders and putting strict restrictions on their citizens. In the UK, we’re currently in a lockdown situation with the guidelines being as follows;
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
You should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
Keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
Gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this
If you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
Ensure good hygiene whilst out and wash hands as soon as you get home
With these strict restrictions in place, people can no longer go to the gym and some people are unsure about going for a run outside. Going out to run, walk and cycle is a great way to exercise, but the safest advice would be to stay at home whenever possible, so if you are able to exercise at home, then that is the best case scenario.
Exercise has been shown to improve both physical and mental health and at times like these, it is important to do all you can to improve both of these.
If you’re lucky enough to have a home gym or equipment at home, then that’s great, but that is also very unlikely! Therefore, in this article we’re going to be looking at some great exercises you can do at home with no equipment needed.
Click on each exercise to see a video of how it’s done.
With a circuit, you are aiming to do all of the exercises straight after the one without a rest inbetween. If you feel yourself getting too tired, you can add rest breaks in between each exercise, or every second exercise and build up from there.
Jumping Jacks - 30 Reps
Jumping jacks are a great cardio exercise you can do at home with limited space. They’re also a good way to warm up before you get started with other exercises.
To do a jumping jack, simply spread your legs and shoulders apart as you jump.
Bodyweight Squats - 20 Reps
Squats mainly target the thighs (quadriceps & hamstrings) and the glutes. However, core strength & stability, ankle mobility, back muscles, calves, and other factors play an important role when you are doing this exercise.
To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands down by your sides or stretched out in front for extra balance.
Lower yourself by bending your knees until they're nearly at a right angle, with your thighs parallel to the floor.
Keep your back straight and don't let your knees extend over your toes.
Ab Crunches - 15 Reps
A great one to work on your abs and obliques is ab crunches. This is a fairly simple exercise, start lying on your back, with knees bent, feet flat on ground, with your hands behind your head, but not linked togethe.
Then you want to tilt your chin slightly so that there is a small gap between your chin and your chest, Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor and then hold at the top for a few seconds contracting your abs.
Press Ups - 10 Reps
One that most people will know and one that can be done as a full press up, or as a ¾ press up by having your knees on the floor.
To do the full press up, place your hands underneath your shoulders with your arms fully extended, palms flat and fingers facing forward. Keep your legs straight and knees off the floor.
Bend your arms at your elbows, lowering your chest until it's 5cm above the floor and your elbows reach 90 degrees. Keep your back and legs straight at all times, as if your body was a plank.
Lunges - 10 Each Leg
Lunges are a simple exercise which work your quads and your glutes, as well improving your core strength by keeping yourself stable. To do a lunge, one leg is positioned forward with the knee bent and foot flat on the ground while the other leg is positioned behind. Do 10 on one leg and then switch to the other.
Plank - 15-30 Seconds
The plank is a good exercise for your abs and core and will help to improve your posture if done often and correctly. To do a plank, you want to do the following and hold it for 15-30 seconds.
Place your hands directly under your shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width) like you’re about to do a push-up.
Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Your legs should be working, too — but be careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
Neutralise your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Your head should be in line with your back. It’s important to keep your back straight during the plank, if you feel it dipping, then stop doing it. Don’t worry if you can’t do the full 30 seconds, you are better to do a 15 second plank with good form, rather than 30 seconds with bad form.
This beginners circuit routine uses nothing but your own body weight and is a great way to keep yourself active during isolation. If you’re looking to add in some slightly more advanced exercises, you could include Burpees, Bicycle Crunches, Side Planks, Tricep Dips and Mountain Climbers.
For more tips on maintaining your health during isolation, check out another article from us.
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