Gym closures and quarantine mandates are forcing people to make big changes to their workout routines. But exercise is especially important now, even when the logistics are more challenging, because it boosts us physically and mentally.
How do you stay fit if you can’t — or don’t want to — leave your home?
Here are some routines using household items like, backpack, broomstick, chair, towel and water bottles:
Backpack squat: 5-10 reps
This squat promotes total-body strength with a particular emphasis on the legs, glutes and core.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Hold the backpack close to your chest, which gives you a manageable center of mass and promotes core stabilization. Squat down between your legs as deeply as possible without pain. Keep your chest and head up with the back straight. Return to the starting position.
Broomstick single-leg hinge: 5-10 reps
The hinging movement promotes strength in your posterior chain (the back of your legs, glutes and back).
From a standing position, hold the broomstick horizontally against the front of your legs, which should be shoulder-distance apart, with arms straight. Begin a single-leg hip hinge by extending one leg behind you and hinging forward with a flat back. Keep the broomstick in line with your shoulders. Slowly hip hinge and stand back up with both feet on the ground.
Repeat exercise on the other leg.
Chair split squat: 5-10 reps per side
The squatting movement promotes total-body strength with a particular emphasis on the quads, glutes and core.
Place a folded towel on a chair. Standing in front of the chair, facing forward, bend one knee upward and put the top of your foot on the towel with the other leg out in front.
Keeping your torso upright, bend your forward knee as you would in a lunge, allowing your back knee to naturally bend toward the floor without touching. Keep your weight in your forward leg, with that leg powering the movement up and down.
Repeat exercise on the other side.
Water bottle shoulder press: 10 to 20 reps
The pushing movement promotes strength in the arms, shoulder girdle and core.
Sitting on an armless chair with your feet flat on the ground, hold a water bottle in each hand with your arms bent at 90 degrees and elbows in line with your shoulders. This is your starting position. Press the water bottles straight up above your head and then return to the right-angle starting position.
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