The perfect home workout

30 March 2020

Sometimes you cannot go to a fitness club or gym to work out even if you would like to. This may be due to time constraints or the fact that all facilities are closed just as now during the Covid-19 crisis.

Fortunately, with some knowledge and imagination, you can get an effective workout at home, even without any exercise equipment. Some tips are to do own body weight exercises, use furniture as equipment (chairs, tables) and make your own home-made weights (with filled backpacks, plastic bags, water bottles). In the end, it is only your imagination that sets the boundaries.

Here you have a home training program, designed by the teachers at IPTA and with illustrations from Exorlive. Try it out the for your next next workout!

About the program

The program is a basic strength training program with seven exercises for the whole body. The exercises are simple but suitable for both trained individuals and beginners.

You can adapt the exercises to your own fitness level and either make them heavier and more demanding (so-called progression) or easier (so-called regression). You will receive tips on modifications or alternatives to each exercise so that you can customize them according to your specific requirements.

Start by warming up for about 5 -10 minutes before each workout. Perform 3 sets of each exercise with 60 - 90 seconds of rest between sets. Alternatively, you can do two exercises in a row and then rest (a "superset"), if you want to be time efficient. The number of repetitions should preferably be between 10-15 (choose the difficulty of the exercises having this in mind)

Bulgarian lunge ©ExorLive.com, IPTA - academy

1. Bulgarian lunges 

Stand on one leg with knees and toes pointing forward. Put a chair about 1 meter behind you and place the opposite leg on the chair. Slowly descend until the thigh is parallel to the floor and you have a 90 degrees angle at the knee. Stop at the bottom for one second and return to the starting position in a controlled movement. Keep in mind is that the knee should go in line with the toes throughout the movement. Repeat as many times as you can and then change legs.

How to adapt the exercise

If the exercise is too easy for you, you can put on a backpack, filled with eg. heavy books. You could also hold something heavy in your hands.

Nordic Hamstrings ©ExorLive.com

2. Nordic Hamstrings curl

Stand on your knees and keep your arms crossed over your chest. Have a friend hold your ankles. If you are training alone, you can fixate your wrists under a heavy bookshelf. Lower your upper body forward while keeping your back and hips straight. Stop before the body reaches the floor and return to the starting position in a controlled motion.

How to adapt the exercise

To make this exercise easier, you can focus on holding back on the way down (in the eccentric phase) and use your hands to push yourself up from the bottom position. The exercise then becomes an eccentric exercise.

An even easier variant is to do a "half Nordic Hamstrings Curl" where the movement occurs in the hip joint instead of the knee joint. You lower the upper body forward until the upper body is parallel to the body and then pull yourself up with the muscles on the back of the thighs. The exercise is like a straight dead lift.

Pushups ©ExorLive.com

3. Push-ups

Stand with your hands on the floor. Hands should be held so wide that the angle of in elbow is 90 degrees in the bottom position. Tighten the abdomen so that the back is constantly aligned with the rest of the body. Slowly lower your body until the chest touches the floor. Pause for one second at the bottom (avoid "bouncing" up from the bottom position). Push back in a smooth and controlled movement.

How to adapt the exercise

To make the exercise easier, you can have your knees in the floor, instead of the toes as in traditional push-ups. Another easy variation is to make the uprights standing against a wall.

Row ©ExorLive.com

 4. Row 

Sit on a chair holding the handles of the rubber band. Start by squeezing your shoulder blades together and then push your elbows toward the lower part of the abdomen. Pause for a second and then return to the start position in a controlled motion.

How to adapt the exercise

If you do not have a rubber band, you can use a table to do the exercise. You can lie under the table and pull yourself up until the chest touches the table. Pause for a second and return to the start position in a controlled motion.

side laterals ©ExorLive.com

5. Side laterals

Hold a moderately heavy resistance in your hands. Raise the arms straight to the side until the upper arm are parallel with the floor. Pause for a second and lower your arms slowly and in a controlled movement back to the starting position.

How to adapt the exercise

It is common to use dumbbells or rubber bands as a resistance for this exercise. If you don’t have that, you could use two plastic bags filled with books as a resistance.

crunch ©ExorLive.com

6. Crunch

Lie on your back with bent legs and your feet on the floor. Support your head with your hands. Roll up "vertebra by vertebra" until only the lower back is in contact with the floor. Pause for a second and return slowly back to the starting position.

back extention ©ExorLive.com

7. Back Extension

Start lying on your stomach. Lift your upper body from the floor. Hold for 1 second and return slowly to the staring position. Be sure to keep your neck straight and your eyes pointing down to the floor throughout the exercise.

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All illustrations in this post belong to ©ExorLive.com