As we are undoubtedly already spending more hours in front of a screen than yours truly would approve of, I will not keep you here long. We are in a span of time right now that requires grit and self-motivation to, at the very least, remain level with what our previous state was prior to this pandemic. We can still have victory in our goals. We can still make gains so long as we have the determination to elevate.
Each of these approaches should be a part of your fitness regimen at some time or another (especially #1). None of the moves require equipment or extensive athletic ability so feel emboldened to get at it. Training at home is an opportunity to revisit our program goals, our seasonal ambitions and just get basic by polishing our foundation training. Feel free to pullout the kettlebell or whatever else you may decide on for your strength days but at no junction should the lack of such equipment be a reason for you to skip a session this week.
Movement and mobility hygiene
Each and every morning I go through about 12-20 minutes of movement work before anything else. In a red-light room with something that raises my spiritual/vibrational frequency softly playing in the background. (Yes, use that hdtv/hdmi chord and laptop). In a very basic and grade school way I begin working out my hips and shoulders with natural movement patterns. Loosening the muscles in my calves and quads to encourage blood and lymph flow; warming up the joints in the knees and ankles with squats and lunges. I then carry out similar exercises that promote proper posture and the promotion of further circulation in the shoulder girdle. Warming up is an art form in my mind and it stands the test of energizing and preparing me for the day at hand.
The list I provide is not exhaustive by any means. In many cases deep breathing and simple movement patterns suffice for a “Morning Movement Hygiene” ritual. All you need is a determination to elevate your efforts and the drive to meet your new horizon.
Squats; lunges; calf raises; hip circles; bird dogs; cat & cow; arm circles and shoulder shrugs & circles; scapula contraction; reverse fly; pushups; lateral raise; front raise; Sun salutations A & B.
Isometric holds AKA “The No Copout”
The day can get away from us pretty quickly as we may not all be able to manage these work-from-home schedules just yet. That doesn’t mean that we have to abandon our fitness obligations. I see it as the perfect opportunity to turn up the quality while reducing the quantity. Isometric holds hit home thoroughly and I suggest you make them your next mid-morning snack.
Squats; lunges; planks; flexed arm hangs; leg lifts; chattaranga dandasana; hand/headstands
All of these exercises can be held in a stationary, non-active position. The intensity and effectiveness can be maximized through time under tension, time of recovery between each set and the efficiency of the tension you put through your body into the ground. Isometric exercises are a great way to get some variety into your cardiovascular training as well so if you can’t muster up a walk you can actually stand in place and make quite an impact on your quality of life.
Hold your chosen exercise for 30 seconds and then march or high step in place or around your place for 30 seconds.
You will not only feel the rush of endorphins under this new stress but you will feel the gains in strength if you sustain this in your life 3x a week. Utilize isometric exercises to build stability and strength.
For the go getters looking to substitute their hard-hitting big box gym days I have something so simple to implement and so effective that you will be taking this with you to the gym post-pandemic life. Here we have time under tension and time for recovery easily mapped out for us in a 2:1 ratio. It is easy to compile a complete circuit of Tabata flows too. You can cycle it in two ways:
- Have four exercises that you will perform for 30 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. Complete the first exercise and move to the next after your 15 second break. Rotate through all of the exercises and take 90 second recovery period and cycle through again
- The other way you could complete this workout and reap its massive benefits is through completing all four rounds of each exercise, then taking the 90 second rest and moving into the next exercise to complete its four rounds.
If it was any more difficult to explain than this you would need even more motivation to begin harnessing your healthiest potential. Be great and stay elevated.