Wellness

At-Home Workouts to Strengthen Your Body and Mind

April 14th, 2020
At-Home Workouts to Strengthen Your Body and Mind

No gym? No problem! Staying at home doesn’t mean you need to abandon your fitness goals. In fact, exercise could be just what you need to get through the coronavirus pandemic. Not only does research show that working out can boost your immune system, but it can also help improve your mental health. So, don’t use gyms closing as an excuse to take a hiatus from self-care. Put on some workout clothes and get ready to get your sweat on. Here is an at-home workout to get you started:

35-Minute No Equipment Workout

While you may want to get right into your work out, warming up is key to preventing injuries and helping you have a more effective workout. So, don’t skip the warm-up. Your body will thank you later.

Warm-Up (5 Minutes)

To get the blood flowing and your body pumped up for the workout ahead, complete each exercise for 30 seconds, twice. 

  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats 
  • High knees 
  • Butt kicks 
  • Mountain climbers 

 Upper Body (10 Minutes)

Complete each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest. 

  • Push-ups
  • Mountain climbers
  • Shoulder taps
  • Plank walk
  • Bicep dip
  • Superman 
  • Arm circles
  • Reverse plank leg lift
  • Bicep curl, using a gallon of milk or juice (45 seconds for each arm)

Lower Body (10 Minutes)

Complete each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest. 

  • Reverse lunges with knee lifts (45 seconds for each leg)
  • Side lunges (45 seconds for each leg)
  • Front kicks (45 seconds for each leg)
  • Squats 
  • Plié squat calf raises
  • Glute bridge dips
  • Wall sit

 Abs (7 Minutes)

 Complete each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest. 

  • Leg flutter kicks
  • Leg scissors
  • Legs in and out
  • V-sit crunch
  • Leg lifts
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Reverse crunch

Bonus Exercise: 

Want a real challenge? Try burpees. Celebrity fitness trainer and wellness expert, Leandro Carvalho says they’re his favorite bodyweight exercise. “The fact that you live in an apartment and you may have neighbors downstairs gives you a reason to do the burpees very quietly. This forces you to be controlled in your movements to not make noise or disturb your neighbors. The discipline required to control your movements and land softly on the ground helps you activate more muscle fibers, movement awareness, concentration, and therefore more benefits and results,” says Carvalho. So, use your neighbors as your motivation to master this challenging yet rewarding exercise.    

 Cool Down (3 Minutes)

It’s tempting to skip the cool-down after a hard workout, but if you don’t want to risk feeling dizzy, experiencing muscle cramping, or being extremely sore tomorrow, you’ll want to take a few minutes to stretch your muscles and get your heart rate back to normal. 

  • Light walking (60 seconds)
  • Standing forward bend (20 seconds)
  • Quad stretch (20 seconds each leg)
  • Bent knee cross-body stretch (20 seconds each leg)
  • Child’s pose (20 seconds)

How to Build an At Home Gym

If bodyweight workouts aren’t enough for you, then consider building your own home gym. You don’t have to spend thousands on a Peleton bike or Bowflex equipment to get a good at-home workout. You can build a great at-home gym just a few items. Fitness trainer Leandro Carvalho recommends the following:

Resistance Bands. The different colors indicate the levels of resistance. Yellow bands can be used for small muscles like shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Green and red bands can be used to work the chest, back, legs, and butt.

Dumbbells. Five to eight-pound weights are effective for toning the shoulders and arms. Depending on your strength, twelve to twenty-pound weights can be used to target the chest, back, legs, and butt.

Doorway Pull Up Bar. This can be used to strengthen the arms, shoulders, and back.  

Yoga Mat. A sweat-proof mat can be used to facilitate yoga poses or other floor exercises. 

Ankle Weights. These help to tone the butt. Beginners can use 2.5 pound-weights, those who are intermediate can use 5-pound weights, and those who are advanced can use two 5-pound weights on one leg, and then switch both to the other leg.

Stability Ball. Pick a size 35” or 45 depending on your height. A stability ball can strengthen your core stability and balance.  

Free Online Workout Videos

Live Workouts with Celebrity Trainer Leandro Carvalho: Easy-to-follow cardio exercises and weight-training with nothing but bodyweight and common household items.

Nike Training App: High-intensity workouts designed by Nike trainers. 

Downward Dog: Yoga-focused app that allows you to tailor your classes to your skill level and preference, allowing you to select the workout length, focus, and even music.  

Corepower Yoga: 30- and 60-minute yoga classes focused on strength. 

YMCA On-Demand: A variety of on-demand classes, including classes tailored for kids and active older adults.