Updated: Mar 29, 2020
I'm on a mission to help keep you, and myself, fit and active during these difficult and some what surreal times!
Over the next twelve weeks, starting on Monday, I will be sending out various off the bike workouts, catering for a cyclists with a variety of fitness levels and experience, to help keep us fit whilst our normal routine is disrupted by the Covid 19 Lockdown. There will be workouts that you can do at home, with little equipment and workouts that require basic equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands.
Here is a list of of equipment that would be really useful to have at home and don’t take up much space.
I’ve used different types of resistance bands over the years, with various degrees of success, but none so useful as these long loops. They are so versatile and take up very little space. I’m even planning a little gym corner in my flat and installing some discreet wall hooks to add more exercises to what I can do at home. The bands come in a variety of widths. I have some very wide bands, up to 20cm. These are too wide to hold comfortably in the hand, but add another another piece of equipment to loop them around, like a barbell, and you’ve added some very high resistance to your workouts (ensure the equipment is sufficiently strong to withstand high levels of force). A range of bands from 1cm to 6cm should be adequate for most workouts. You’ll be surprised at what can be achieved. I consider them an essential item in my kit bag now. Here’s an example of a full body workout just using bands. Those of you that have attended a Velofit Circuits class will see it's very similar. Check out his other videos too, for more conditioning workouts and demonstrations of strength exercises using resistance bands.
DUMBBELLS A traditional item on the training equipment list. I recommend adjustable dumbbells rather than fixed weight. They will give you more options without taking up too much additional space. BARBELL Another traditional training tool. These can take up more space, but are worth the investment if you are serious about increasing your maximum strength. KETTLEBELL These are fixed weight, so you need a few for a full body workout, although there are space saving adjustable kettlebells on the market now.
YOGA/BALANCE BALL Once inflated they do take up space, but if you have a corner, top shelf of a cupboard, or room on top of a wardrobe they are well worth it when stepping up your core strength workouts. AEROBIC STEP Another versatile piece of equipment, these can usually be dismantled and hidden behind a cupboard or under your bed. Great for plyometric sessions, but also can be used as a basic bench for free weight exercises. It's always preferable to use specialist training equipment, but also think about what you have around your home you could utilise, chairs, stools, your bed, sofa, etc. For example, if you live in a house you can use your stairs for Bulgarian squats and step ups, or plyometric exercises like box jumps. Get creative but please use common sense and stay safe! Ensure what you are using is stable and able to easily withstand the force you are applying, and always check the area you are using for potential hazards.
So, are you ready to start week 1?
To help keep yourself motivated set up a workout area where you can easily access your equipment and have plenty of space to move around. If you have to faff about every time your train you may find yourself making excuses after a few weeks. Make it as easy as possible. For those of us not able to work, or are working from home during our lockdown, your normal routine may have disintegrated, and you’re letting days go by without exercises. Try to stick to a routine every day, and a set time and day for different types of training. I also set aside 30 to 60 minutes everyday to put some tunes on and just dance! Being confined to our housing for so long means your activity is restricted. It’s important to keep moving through the day, and not be tempted to turn onto permanent sofa dwellers, for your physical and mental health and well being. Set yourself some goals for the 12 weeks, but also daily and weekly targets. I normally achieve around 15,000 steps a day, with two dog walks, training and just everyday tasks, so I'm setting myself a new target of 10,000 steps a day during the lockdown. What goals are you setting for yourself?