By: Sara Shulman
With most of the country still under lockdown, and no specific end in sight, getting back to your regular gym routine may not be in the cards for a while. But, that doesn’t mean you should lower the intensity of your workouts or workout less than before. With a little bit of creativity, at-home workouts can be just as effective and fun as your normal routine. Plus, working out at home means you can do your workouts on your own time and at your own pace.
Try some of the ideas below to help vary your workouts.
If you’re used to working out inside, switch things up and head out. With the weather getting warmer, an outdoor workout is sure to invigorate. Working out outdoors has also been proven to lower depression and improve your mood. Up your cardio by heading out for a long run or bike ride, or do a bodyweight circuit in your backyard. Use props from your garage for odd-object work or as weights. You can even incorporate sprints and fast paced cardio into the mix.
If you’re working on a circuit workout, breakup rounds with a sprint around the block or add a cash-in or buy-out to your workout of a longer paced run or farmer’s carry. You only have to do that once at either the beginning, end, or both and will help up your cardio game.
No equipment, no problem. There are endless amounts of workouts you can create with bodyweight movements alone. When creating a full body circuit make sure to incorporate an upper body push/pull movement, squat or lunge, ab exercise of your choice, and a high intensity cardio movement to break things up, think burpees, squat jumps, or jump rope.
Choose 5-6 movements and set a time and or rep count for each and just follow the circuit till the clock runs out. If you’re used to heavy lifting at the gym and don’t have weights at home, set higher rep counts and keep a fast pace.
Vary your workout style:
When you don’t have your regular equipment around it’s important to make sure your body doesn’t adapt to doing the same thing over and over so make sure to vary your workout style as well.
Tabata training is super-fast paced, short, and heart pounding. A single Tabata consists of 8 rounds, 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest between rounds. It’s a total of 4 minutes so if you’re looking for a burner this is a great style to choose. You can also double the time for more intensity — 8 minutes total, 40 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest between rounds. Tabatas are also great for hitting one body part super hard, like abs or legs. A plank or squat Tabata will leave your muscles twitching.
AMRAPs, as many rounds or reps as possible is another style to help vary your workout. Decide on 4-5 movements and set a rep count for each. AMRAPs can then be set to a specific amount of time or rounds, either works and can help in changing your pace. If you’re doing 5 rounds of a circuit for time, you want to finish as fast as you can. If you’re working off the clock, you’ll want to get as many rounds and reps of your circuit in the allotted time.
EMOM interval training is good for pretty much any type of programming, aerobic, power, anaerobic, or skill work. The idea is to perform a specific task in one minute’s time. EMOM stands for every minute on the minute. EMOMs are great because they take a lot of the thinking out of the workout since the timer is telling you when to rest and when to work. If you’re doing an 8-minute EMOM of 10 burpees every minute on the minute, you may finish with 15-20 seconds rest for the first few minutes but as you tire, only get 5-10 seconds rest between minutes. Either way, the clock is moving and you have to keep up. Keep in mind, EMOMs are meant to have built in rest, so don’t over program your minutes.