Exercises to Do During The Pandemic
I know many of our usual workout routines have been disrupted since March. Many still do not feel comfortable leaving their homes. In a lot of places gyms are still closed. However, during the pandemic it’s important to not give up on our fitness goals. With this being said, it’s essential to find creative ways to stay active and healthy.
Great Bodyweight Exercises to Do During The Pandemic
That’s why I wrote this article – to teach people effective bodyweight exercises that can be done anywhere – even from the comfort of your home! Anytime, anywhere even during the pandemic!
Typically, this is a movement done in yoga. However, it can be paired with most types of exercise.
Start in a high plank. Make sure your arms and hands are under your shoulders.
You should maintain a neutral spine. Meaning, your back is straight including your neck.
Glutes should be engaged and hips should not dip.
If you would like to progress your plank, you can put on ankle weights and/or move your feet closer together.
To regress the exercise, you can move your legs further apart (creating a more stable base) or plank on your knees.
From the plank, bring your hips to the sky. Let the head face towards the floor and release the shoulders. This is called downward facing dog.
You should feel elongation of the spine here. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible in this pose.
Next, go back into high plank for a moment.
Then, get into cobra by dropping the hips and pulling the shoulder blades together.
Look up at the sky.
- Option 1) Keep your legs off the floor in this position
- Option 2) Place your legs on the floor
The plank, downward dog, and cobra can collectively be called Chaturanga, and is meant to be done as a fluid movement. However, the three can be done separately.
Feel free to repeat this movement multiple times. Rep range, set range, and speed depends on fitness level as well as many other factors.
This exercise can be used as a restorative movement as well.
Side Plank With Oblique Reach
This is a great bodyweight exercise that works the abs, arms, and specifically the obliques.
Start in a side plank.
Option 1) One leg is extended on the floor and the other is over the extended leg with the sole of the foot on the floor
Option 2) Stack your legs on top of one another
During both of these poses, drop the shoulders, extend the free arm above the head, squeeze the glutes, and drive the hips up to the sky.
Look up at your fingers.
Now for the oblique reach
While in side plank, bring your free hand underneath you as far as it can go, and then return to the original position.
If possible, allow your body to move a little with you as you reach under yourself. Try to bring the head with you if there is body movement.
Please note, not everyone should attempt the oblique reach. It is not a beginner exercise. Safety and long-term health should always be considered before attempting any movement.
In short, fitness is all about HEALTHILY challenging yourself.
Pushups are an oldie, but a goodie!
Like the plank, make sure your hands and arms are always under your shoulders. Pushups can be done on your knees or on your toes.
Also, like the plank, for more advanced folks feel free to keep your feet closer together. If you need more stability, feel free to keep your feet farther apart. You should be in neutral spine. Glutes should be engaged.
When going down and up, think of your body as a solid board. Meaning, it should move all together as one. No part of the body should be coming up or down before the other.
If you find that this is repeatedly happening, I suggest regressing the exercise in some fashion.
Furthermore, try not to drop the head as you come down. It should remain in line with the rest of the spine for the entire pushup.
Again rep range, set range, and speed depends on fitness level and many other things.
Lastly, there are also different types of pushups you can do!
Tricep Pushups or Diamond Pushups
Keep in mind all of the above as far as form goes. The only difference between a traditional pushup and this type of pushup is that your hands are in a diamond shape.
This forces the triceps to predominantly work instead of the pecs.
This is a pushup I invented (to my knowledge anyway). Again, keep in mind all of the notes from above.
For this type of pushup, simply turn your hands so your fingers point out to the sides.
This will force the biceps to predominantly engage.
Please note, if you feel anything sharp or painful in the wrist, please stop doing this (or any) exercise, and re-evaluate if this exercise is safe for you to do.
The bicep pushup takes a decent amount of strength and body awareness, so it might not be for everyone.
Again, we always want to HEALTHILY challenge ourselves.
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to enhance your workouts during the pandemic!
As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any comments or questions.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
Images via Dreamstime.com