These days, people are looking for various ways to keep themselves in shape while they shelter in place. Here in Serbia, we’re even spending some weekends in full lockdown. Of course, one of the keys to staying in shape under these circumstances is exercise, but it’s easy to get duped into workouts that aren’t really catering to your needs. If you’re new to this, you might not even be sure what your needs are!
If you go looking for indoor workouts online, you’re likely to find a lot of bodyweight exercises that require little-to-no equipment. Sounds perfect! Except, these aren’t all created equal, and if you’re new to training it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re just getting into home workouts now because you’re in quarantine and you want to burn off some extra energy, picking a workout at random is really a shot in the dark.
Today I’m going to outline a simple, full body workout that will help you stay active right in your own room. This routine will target most of the major muscles in your body. These indoor exercises require no gym equipment or experience – all you need are some common household items and plenty of enthusiasm.
This workout is going to be helpful whether you’re just starting out or looking to stay in shape and burn some extra calories. It’s going to improve your balance, mind-to-muscle connection, and overall athleticism.
I consider this an “easy” workout in the sense that pretty much anyone can manage to do these movements; but don’t let that give you the impression that it’s for beginners only! Even if you’ve been working out for years, you can make this workout more challenging by increasing the volume, slowing down the tempo of each repetition, or by shortening the breaks in between sets.
We’ll be utilizing supersets in this workout. If you’re completely new to this and you’ve never heard of a superset, here’s a quick explanation:
A superset refers to two exercises performed in alternation, one right after the other. In this workout, for instance, you’ll do one set of push-ups and then a set of back extensions immediately after, with no rest in between. Once you’ve done one set of each (a superset), you take a quick break before repeating them again.
If you aren’t in the habit of exercising, performing a superset might be very demanding. Try your best, and if it’s just not working for you, go ahead and do all of your push-up sets first, then move on to back extensions. Either way you do it is fine; supersets are just more efficient and help you burn more calories. Take your time and work up to doing these supersets.
Before getting into the workout, here’s some guidelines:
I like starting each workout with a warm-up. These movements will get your heart rate up and loosen you up properly for the workout ahead:
March in place: 4 sets of 20
Jumping jacks: 4 sets of 30 sec
Lateral leaps: 4 sets of 30 sec
Perform all 3 exercises with no rest in between (basically, a super-superset!). After you finish all 3, rest for 30–45 seconds and then move on to the next round.
Next, it’s on to the main workout:
Push-ups: 4 sets of 8–12 reps
Alternative: “Girl” push-ups (knees on the ground)
Back extensions (aka “bananas”): 4 sets of 10–12 reps
This is your upper body work, make sure to focus on proper form and really try to squeeze and feel the muscles that are involved. Don’t rush through the exercises just to finish the number of reps (this applies to all of the exercises in this workout routine).
Reverse lunges: 4 sets of 8–12 (each leg)
*Alternative: Walking lunges
Jumping squats: 4 sets of 8–10
*Alternative: Box/Stool squats
Perform this as a superset if you’re able, this is a killer combo for your glutes and quads.
If you’re not able to do this as a superset, the same rule applies here: just separate the exercises and do them one at a time.
Knees-to-chest crunches: 4 sets of 12
*Alternative: Knee raises
Hip dips: 4 sets of 10
*Alternative: Heel reaches
I suggest putting a pillow or some kind of a pad under your tailbone when you’re performing knees-to-chest crunches to prevent any pain later on.
Nordic hamstring curl: 4 sets of 8–10
*Alternative: Standing hamstring tension curl
Tricep dips: 4 sets of 10–12
After you finish these, you’re done for the day! This workout can take you anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 (if you’re really out of shape).
Depending on your level of fitness, you can spend some time perfecting this indoor workout. There are many ways of doing so: improving your form on each exercise, switching up the tempo, and eventually keeping the breaks short and sweet.
Just try slowing down the tempo on the push-ups and you’ll see what I mean! You can challenge yourself by counting out 4 seconds as you lower yourself down, and another 4 seconds on your way back up. If you’re able to do 50 pushups at a normal (fast) pace, you’ll be lucky to hit 15 or 20 using this method.
Arguably, this is as close as you can get to a full body workout at home, without spending money on different equipment. I believe that the vast majority of the people will be able to actually do this routine, as it mostly involves very basic and fundamental exercises. And once again, you don’t need any equipment at all.
That being said, this workout will not hit absolutely every muscle in your body – it’s just one of the routines I would suggest doing indoors while you’re in quarantine.
It only makes sense that as you progress and get better at this routine, or any other, you’ll want to switch it up and try different things. When you’re ready to mix things up a bit, be sure to try out some of the no equipment exercises I cover in this post.
If you’re stuck inside like me, be sure to try out this routine and see how you like it. It’s definitely going to burn some calories, make you more athletic, and – if your nutrition is in order – build some muscle too.
Let me know if you tried this workout and how it went!