Exercise at home graphic

The coronavirus pandemic means most of us will be spending the next month or two indoors — away from our gyms and go-to exercise locales.

However, that’s no excuse to neglect physical health.

The following is only a list of exercises and does not go over how to implement those exercises in a full, 30-to-60-minute workout plan. As such, I highly recommend looking into types and forms of training after reading this article.

Here are a few basic exercises you can do with no gym equipment.


Bodyweight Squat

Squatting hit nearly every leg muscle while stretching your hips for good measure.  

Proper squat form includes the following: feet places flat on the floor at shoulder length pointed either straight ahead or slightly outward, a straight back and arms raised in front of you either clasped or parallel to the ground.

Squat to the point where your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back straight and your heels on the ground. Let your knees extend past your toes. Then come back up and repeat with the same form.

You can add some weight by holding objects while squatting. Some squatable household items include loaded suitcases, textbooks and filled boxes. 

No matter what, place utmost importance on proper form. Poor form can lead to injury later-on. That applies to every exercise, not just squats.

Lunge/Reverse Lunge

To perform a lung, all you need do is take a step forward and bend the extended knee until your other knee reaches the floor. Afterwards, either bring the rear leg in-line with the extended leg or return the extended leg to it’s starting position.

Repeat that, alternating the leg you extend with each repetition. The reverse lung is the exact same process, except you extend your leg behind you instead of in front.

For both exercises, keep your back straight, your hips forward and your hands on those hips. When you step forward, keep the extended foot flat on the ground and push into your heel. Don’t let your weight shift towards your toes.

You can add weight by holding objects in both hands while lunging.

Upper Body

Push Up

The push up is performed by placing your hands on the floor at should width, straightening your legs behind you, straightening your back, and letting your chest fall to the floor before pushing yourself back into position. As you fall, let your elbows flair around 45 degrees from your torso and keep your shoulders rolled back — as if you were puffing out your chest.

The exercise primarily targets your chest—specifically your middle chest — but also utilizes your biceps, triceps and shoulders.

You can alter the exercise to better target different areas of the chest. If you place your feet on a chair, the exercise targets your upper chest and shoulders more. If you place your feet against a wall, it exclusively targets shoulders. If your places your arms at your side, your biceps receive more attention. There’s also a special variation called the cobra push up, which targets your lower chest and triceps.

If it’s too difficult to perform, there’s no shame in dropping the extended legs and performing the exercise on your knees. This is about getting stronger and healthier, and we all start at different levels.

Add weight by places objects on your back. Backpacks are useful for this purpose.

Seated Pull-up

If you haven’t a pull-up bar, you needn’t worry. If you’ve access to a desk or table, you can perform a seated pull-up alternative.

To perform this one, position your body to where your feet are flat on the floor, your hands can hold the desk’s or table’s edge and your head passes that edge. Then, keeping your feet flat on the floor and your arms flared to the side, lift yourself to where your chin’s above the edge. Lower your body to where your glutes are barely above the floor and repeat.

It’s not a perfect pull-up, but it does hit many of the same muscles — such as your lats, traps, and biceps.

Add weight by wearing a backpack.

Reverse Row

The reverse row is like the seated pull-up. However, you want position your body horizontally for this one.

Clear out some space under your bed, or simply put something under your feet and use the pull-up desk. Get under your desk, table or bed to where your shoulders appear over the edge, straighten your legs and back and grasp that edge. Then, pull yourself up while keeping both upper and lower body horizontal. 

This anther great back workout. Fortunately, it’s also very versatile. If you use a counter top and position your hands towards your face you can turn a reverse row into a bicep curl. If you grasp the side of the desk instead of the center, you can target the middle of your back.

For this, and every other exercise. I encourage further research. You can make it through this situation with your physical health intact, you just need to plan it out right.

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