At Home Workouts
By Contributor Tracy Fu, Crossfit Athlete
With the ongoing restrictions on gyms, group fitness and team sports, many of us are finding it challenging to stay committed to our physical wellness. Since most of us are working from home, the line between work hours and personal time can be blurred. I used to go to the gym at noon every day, which gave me structure and a much-needed mental break from the office. Now, it’s easy to skip breaks or watch 45 minutes of Netflix while eating cheddar popcorn for lunch (I may have done that once or twice).
Many of us don’t own gym equipment and if you have tried shopping for any during the lockdowns, you know that availability is lacking and prices are exorbitant, but it’s amazing what you can do using things from around the house. With a few key pieces and easy DIY, you can get a REALLY good sweat on at home. Here are some of my favorite pieces of lockdown fitness equipment. Adjust the weight, as necessary:
Take an old backpack (preferably one with a top handle) – you can even buy a used one from Goodwill or Kijiji. Fill it with heavy stuff! Use books, full plastic water bottles, dumbbells, sandbags or gravel bags (available at hardware stores). Being able to adjust the weight by 10 or 15 lbs will make it versatile. This piece of equipment alone can give you a GREAT full body workout. Give these movements a try.
- With both hands on the top handle, swing the backpack for an American or Russian kettlebell swing.
- Wear it on your back and take your dog for a walk or run/walk some stairs. For a real challenge, carry it any way other than on your back and run a lap around the block. Rest between laps.
- Use it for sandbag squat cleans (Google this for proper technique).
- Lay on your back and do chest presses.
- Wear or carry the backpack for weighted squats and alternating lunges.
- Use the top handle for bicep curls and or tricep extension.
Dining Table Pull Ups/Bodyweight Rows
Make sure you use a sturdy table for this one. To start, lie on your back underneath the table. Plant your feet on the ground with your knees bent. Grab the table with an overhand grip, engage your abs and pull yourself up until your chest touches the edge of the table. Keep your elbows tucked in close to your ribs. As this gets easier, move your feet further away from your body until you can do reps with your legs straight, then use something to elevate your feet off the ground to make it even more challenging. This is a GREAT exercise for strengthening your back and biceps.
Work your triceps while you watch TV! Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of your couch with your palms facing down and your fingers facing forward. With your legs either planted in front of you with knees bent at a 90 degree angle or extended straight out in front of you (more challenging), push your body up until your arms are almost fully extended, never locked – keep a micro-bend, and lower yourself back down until your arms are at a 90 degree angle.
About the Author
Being active has always been an important part of Tracy’s life. She was named “Athlete of the Year” in high school and after suffering a few injuries she shifted her focus to weight training in the gym. In her early 20s she became inspired by the sport of bodybuilding and started on her journey towards strength and muscle building under the guidance of a competitive bodybuilder. In 2018, Tracy started Crossfit and has been committed to her progress and improvement in that sport. She is a huge proponent of lifting heavy and building muscle for physical wellness, especially for women. Tracy has worked in commercial real estate for over 15 years and for three years of that also ran a small business. She continues to balance her work and training schedules while allocating time to other personal development. Follow her on Instagram @tofu_inyyc
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