fitness

No gym, no problem: The only 4 exercises you really need can be done at home.

Right now, we’re all staying at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

This means lots of changes to our routines, and one of the biggest changes for many is the closure of gyms and outdoor fitness areas.

WATCH: PT and former Bachelor Sam Wood shares his quick, easy exercises you can do next to your couch. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia

If you’re a regular gym goer, social sport player or small group class exerciser, not being able to do your preferred fitness activities will not only affect your fitness levels, but it can have a ripple effect on the way you feel physically and mentally.

We’re going to need exercise and fresh air to feel sane, so we thought now would be an excellent time to revisit former professional athlete turned personal trainer Matt Fox’s advice for how to do a decent work without walking into a gym.

Below, you’ll find four excellent exercises you can do at home, without any equipment, to build a strong body.

1. High knees

“These are literally running on the spot but lifting your knees up high, with your arms outstretched in front of you, try to tap the palm of your hands with the top of your knees,” Fox told Mamamia.

“This is a great exercise that works every muscle in your lower body along with your abdominal muscles, but also is an awesome cardio workout. This one is good because it’s done on the spot and requires no more room than where you are standing. It can replace your run or bike ride if you can’t get outdoors.”

2. Plank

plank
Planks aren't fun, but at least you don't have to go to the gym to do them. Image: Getty.
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Fox explains the plank is a great exercise that works multiple muscles and joint stabilisers.

“Again, people assume this exercise is only focused on one area; the abs and core, but it also targets the quads, glutes, hips, shoulders back and arms. Another amazing benefit of this exercise is that it is extremely low impact so the likelihood of any injury is really small.”

“To perform a plank, place forearms on the ground, parallel to the body and shoulder width apart. Keeping your elbows by the side of your body. Have your legs outstretched straight with the weight on your toes, keeping a straight line from your feet to the tip of your head. Hold that position for a period and repeat,” Fox said.

3. Squats

“Start standing up straight, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, not locked.”

“Lower yourself down as if you were sitting on a chair until your lower legs and thighs make a 90-degree angle. Keep your chest up and eyes facing forward. If you outstretch your arms in front of you, it helps keep you from rounding your back. Push back up through the heels of your feet and repeat,” Fox said.

4. Compound movements in a circuit

“Compound exercises are exercises that require multiple muscle groups to complete. Instead of isolating a single muscle, these compound movements require several muscles to work together at once as a result, which helps the body burn more calories,” Fox said.

“Do the below exercises in a circuit (30 seconds on each exercise with 30 seconds rest between each exercise) and you have an awesome muscle toning and fat burning combination. Repeat three times.”

At-home circuit:

Look at other lifestyle factors.

Fox points out that if you only focus on moving your body and don't look at your life as a whole, then your results are going to be limited, no matter how much you squat.

“This may sound simple but most people find when they actually add up the number of calories they are consuming they are a way off what they thought they would be.”

“To be able to exercise you need energy, and for energy comes food. It's also important to know the amount you are eating so you can make adjustments that align with your body goals,” Fox said.

“Aim to eat a balanced meal or snack before or after a workout to help give you the energy needed to give 100 percent as well as aiding in your bodies recovery."

"Water is also an important factor but often overlooked when people talk about eating. Drink up and stay hydrated.”

This article was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated on April 6, 2020.

Feature image: Getty.

What will you be doing to stay fit at home? Tell us your ideas in the comments below!

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