Home isolation may be a grim fact of life for many of us, but it’s easy to keep up your fitness at home even when you can’t get to the gym.
Home isolation may be a grim fact of life for many of us, but it’s easy to keep up your fitness at home even when you can’t get to the gym.

How to shred and stay fit in a coronavirus lockdown

Home isolation may be a grim fact of life for many of us at some point during 2020 but according to Canberra-based personal trainer Jenna Louise, it's no excuse to start slacking off from exercise.

"Your body is all you need; anything outside of that is an added bonus," she said.

"You can turn any environment into your workout space, and there are no excuses not to get a really good workout when you're home."

Professor Louise Burke, Chief of Nutrition Strategy at the Australian Institute of Sport, said the rate at which people lost athletic performance once they stopped training depended on a range of factors.

"But generally in terms of training, within two weeks there will be a loss of peak performance," she said.

Replicating the intensity of a gym workout program at home was largely a "question of willpower," she said, adding that a home gym or treadmill would sustain fitness for most gym-goers deprived of their usual facilities.

Jenna Louise shows you how to stay fit at home during a coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Gary Ramage
Jenna Louise shows you how to stay fit at home during a coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Gary Ramage

Ms Louise said she had noticed that some people were already staying away from gyms. There have been inconclusive reports about gyms and coronavirus transmission, with the main concern about the virus persisting on surfaces such as seats and equipment.

One report cited by the New York Times suggested the humid conditions of gyms could provide "perfect" conditions for spreading COVID-19, while others stated that gyms were no worse than other public locations, and that appropriate precautions for users (including alcohol hand rubs) were a sufficient health protection measure.

Ms Louise said a basic home workout could be augmented with yoga mats, resistance bands, skipping rope, kettle bells and dumbbells - and that other non-essential but nice-to-have element: a training partner.

"Having somebody else in your training always adds a little extra competition and keeps things fun," she said.

"[My partner] Scott and I will always try and beat each other in what we're doing."

 

Jenna Louise’s partner Scott Evennett provides some resistance for her crunches. Picture: Gary Ramage
Jenna Louise’s partner Scott Evennett provides some resistance for her crunches. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

She described basic push-ups, sit-ups and squats as the "foundation movements" of any home workout, but they can be varied in any number of ways.

She suggested doing a certain amount of reps every minute, on the minute, or setting yourself the target of doing as many as sets as possible in a 10-minute time frame, as two ways to keep things interesting.

The "curtsy lunge" is a good variation to the standard lunge, targeting the glutes and quads, while the hinge-like frog squat provided a great core workout at the same time as increasing your heart rate.

 

Jenna Louise shows off the “curtsy lunge”. Picture: Gary Ramage
Jenna Louise shows off the “curtsy lunge”. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

Ms Louise recommended getting creative with your home interior. Chairs and beds can be used for triceps dips, and canned goods could easily substitute for dumbbells.

While these exercises could be done by anyone with the modicum of fitness, she warned newbies not to try the handstand if it was not already part of their training regime.

 

It’s a rush – but Jenna Louise says the handstand is not for beginners. Picture: Gary Ramage
It’s a rush – but Jenna Louise says the handstand is not for beginners. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

"It's a great way to increase upper body strength, and you can use cushions or pillows as a crash mat," she said.

"It's a lot of fun if you don't mind getting your wall slightly marked up."

 

 

CORONAVIRUS HOME WORKOUT

Upper body:

Push Ups - 3 sets of 15 reps

Tricep Dips - 3 sets of 12 reps, you can use a sofa or chair for this

Bicep Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps, you will need to be creative with what you can get your hands on.

Plank Taps - 3 sets, 12 reps each arm

Forearm Plank Reach Out - 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each arm.

Downward Dog to Push Up - 3 sets of 12 reps

Decline / Incline Push Up - 3 sets of 12 reps

Bear Crawls - 3 sets, to distance or time (depending on space)

Burpee with push up to star jump - 45 seconds on, 20 seconds off.

Full work out may take up to 30 minutes depending on rest time needed

Lower body:

 

Squats are one of the “foundation movements” of any home workout, Jenna Louise said.
Squats are one of the “foundation movements” of any home workout, Jenna Louise said.

 

Squats - 3 sets of 15 reps

Forward Lunges - 3 sets of 12 reps

Reverse Lunges - 3 sets of 12 reps

Single Leg Lunges - 3 sets of 12 reps, you can use a sofa, chair or bench for this.

Single Leg Deadlifts - 3 sets of 12 reps

Glute Bridges - 3 sets of 15

Frog Pumps - 3 sets of 15

Jumping Squats - 3 sets of 15

Calf Raises - 3 sets of 15, using a step at home and for the more advanced lifter, try single leg calf raises.

Frog Squats - 3 sets of 15 reps

Full workout may take up to 30 minutes depending on rest time needed

Core:

 

Our core workout should take most people no more than 15 minutes.
Our core workout should take most people no more than 15 minutes.

 

Holding Plank - 3 sets of 30 second holds

Abdominal Crunch - 3 sets of 12 reps

Knee Tuck kicks - 3 sets of 12 each leg

Knee-to-Shoulder Knee-ins (alternating sides) 3 sets of 12 reps

Elbow-to-Knee Crunches - 3 sets of 12 reps

Full work out may take up to 15 minutes depending on rest time needed



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