Let’s talk a little about home workout options and some basics you should focus when doing them.
Many people have been forced to do more home workouts since Covid hit. Or perhaps you’ve opted to continue with them even if your gym has re-opened. This means home workouts, exercises, workout tips, etc. have flooded social media and YouTube more than ever before.
However, not all workouts are created equal.
Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation as well as shitty workouts that aren’t for everyone. Here are my tips for navigating those videos and/or creating your own home workouts.
Know your level and your goals:
When it comes to building workouts, a lot of trainers just focus on intensity and making it hard. Sweat is the measurement of success and if you don’t sweat it wasn’t a good workout. This means there might be many variations of burpees or jumps like jumping squats. If you aren’t used to these movements or don’t have the base level of strength and skill to perform them, it’s important to limit your exposure to them to avoid injury.
Knowing your level means knowing how to scale a workout to a capacity and volume (time, reps, or rounds) to match what you can handle.
Killing yourself in each workout is the quickest way to injury.
To add weight or to not add weight…
The classic home workout means no added weights or equipment, just your body and the wall, chair or floor. However, many people do have some other basic equipment at home like skipping ropes, exercise balls, dumbbells or resistance bands. Having some equipment gives you more variety for the exercises that you can perform, however, they aren’t always needed.
If you’re not used to bodyweight only exercises, this can be a great time to test them out. You’ll likely be presently surprised. That said, if a workout is programmed for no weights, but you do have some, feel free to add them. Again, it’s about finding your own personal challenge and not just following things as is.
Quality over Quantity:
This one is ALWAYS a constant priority in my opinion regardless of where or how you’re working out. However, this can be a great time to take the opportunity to get out of the normal routine and put some extra effort and practice into your movement quality.
Often when we go to the gym to workout we are on a tight timeline. This can result in prioritizing the actual work part of the workout, meaning a quick warm up (if any) maximal time with the weights feeling the burn, then a short stretch (if any) before we rush out for our next thing. We focus on the reps, sets and how much weight we’re using over HOW WELL we are doing the reps.
Working out at home, and likely with a lot less weight, is a great opportunity take some extra time to focus on the quality of EVERY rep you do. Double check your technique, your angles, and your range of motion. Make sure you’re getting the most out of each rep, not just out of each workout.
Recovery and Maintenance:
As I alluded to in the last section, I see a lot of gym prioritization go to the workout itself vs a sufficient warm up and post workout stretch. Especially the stretching! Most people skip it all together or rush through it to get to their next appointment or because it’s “boring”. The only people who do it are already flexible and/or have found the joy in the feeling it gives. Regardless of your approach, stretching and recovery from workouts are just, if not more, important than the workout itself. In fact, I’ll bet you already know this, you just keep letting it slide.
If you’ve been dealing with an injury or even a nagging pain (which is often the warning signal of an injury) take extra time to stretch, roll, massage, and build foundational strength in the sore areas fo your body.
These are just the basics of where I recommend putting the focus in this time of a global shift to home workouts. I have a couple of other resources if you’d like to go further and learn a bit more while you #StayHome.
One option is my ebook: Become Consistent with your Workout Routine. This book is all about the basic principles for working out and are a great place to focus if you find yourself out of your normal routine.
The other options are my Instagram, Facebook, and/or YouTube channels. I’m going to start posting more educational content on those channels to help people stay active, stay healthy and stay sane during Covid life.
Exercise is a great option to let off the excess energy built up from stress and sitting around.
Use it to your advantage with some simple home workouts!