Saying we are in uncharted waters these days is the understatement of the century. COVID-19 has curtailed many of the freedoms we typically take for granted. With so many of us bound to our domiciles, how is everyone occupying their time?
Extensive social media trolling indicates binge watching is big (thanks, Joe Exotic!). More people are channeling their inner Guy Fieri and cooking for themselves. And if the scarcity of kettlebells and dumbbells on Amazon is any indication, interest in home fitness is booming.
Hunting for free workouts with minimal equipment? Turns out the best source is right under your nose, on your phone, because top-notch trainers are posting awesome options on Instagram. These routines are helping people stay not only physically fit but also mentally stable.
“Times like these can definitely be tough and depressing and working out can really improve your mood,” notes three-time American Ninja Warrior contestant and home fitness guru Angela Gargano. “It can be super simple — the hardest part is scheduling it out and making some sort of routine.”
Gargano is one of many IG fitness trainers whose workouts we have tried and loved. Here are five excellent accounts — plus sample workouts and equipment — that will whip you into shape from the safety of your living room.
What We Love: This New York-based Performix House trainer and and pull-up pro is as innovative as they come. “My workouts are unique because I use tools you can find at home like brooms and towels, emphasizing that you don’t need flashy stuff to get strong,” Gargano explains. In her best recent post, she demos a killer seven-move workout using only a frying pan.
Pro Tip: To challenge yourself at home, “work on mobility and stability exercises, she advises. “Things like balance and time under tension are simple yet effective.”
Go-to Gear: Simple is also the key when it comes to Gargano’s choice of equipment. “A pair of mini-bands and a broom are enough to get in an amazing workout.”
Synergee Mini Bands: $32O-Cedar Corn Broom: $30
What We Love: Chicago-based fitness expert Gideon Akande’s energy is infectious and just what you need when it comes to training at home. You can join him at 6 p.m. EST daily for highly creative workouts on Instagram Live.
Pro Tip: “Home training doesn’t need to be glamorous and Instagrammable,” Akande points out. “Instead, think effective and efficient! Use variations to spice up your home workouts. Don’t just hang onto bodyweight squats. How about squat holds, pulses and jumps for variety?”
Go-to Gear: “I recommend workouts and full exercise programs like those found in the iFIT technology featured on NordicTrack home equipment,” Akande says. “The iFIT elite trainers take athletes of all fitness levels through cardio and multi-planar resistance training so you can safely and effectively build muscle, improve cardiovascular endurance, while elevating body mechanics and awareness.”
NordicTrack S22i + 1-Year iFit Membership: $1,999
What We Love: Ex-CrossFit Games competitor Miranda Alcatraz and her husband, CF Games qualifier Julian Alcatraz, have dialed in their programming to allow you to train from anywhere. “Our goal with the Street Parking Members is to provide training options, education and community support,” Miranda says. “Having the option to work out at home and the resources to do it can really help take away any excuse and give people the consistency they need to see and maintain lasting results.”
Pro Tip: “Just start moving,” Miranda says of getting into home fitness. “It will feel different at first and can sometimes be hard to get started. Once you are moving it becomes much easier to keep moving. After a while, many people will say they couldn’t imagine it any other way!”
Go-to Gear: “Dumbbells are so diverse,” Miranda observes. “They provide an external load — which is important for building strength — but are cost effective and don’t take up much space! We provide four versions of the workout daily for our members and two of them only require a pair of dumbbells!”
ELEVENS Adjustable Dumbbell Set: $140
What We Love: Comptrain is the brainchild of arguably the best CrossFit trainer in the game, Ben Bergeron. Dude worked with Katrin Davidsdottir when she won back-to-back titles, so you know he’s legit. Now he’s programming killer at-home WODs. My most recent favorite includes dumbbell squat cleans and burpees.
Pro Tip: Watch his IGTV videos, and you’ll quickly realize that a solid training program begins with being a better person. Nowhere is that clearer than in this video where he discusses the power of positivity, something we could all use at this time.
Go-to Gear: As an avid CrossFitter who has followed Bergeron’s Comptrain programming at my local box and now at-home, I’ve noticed there’s always an “odd object” version. For example, a solid sandbag will go a long way. You can do most movements that you’d normally do with a barbell — and get even more of a benefit due to the sandbag’s imbalanced nature.
FITSHIT Medium Sandbag (50–105 lbs): $66
What We Love: When an Instagram handle includes the word “Swoledier,” you had better believe you’re in for gnarly workouts. Eric Leija rules Swole nation, and if you’re looking to gain access to his kingdom, hit the combination kettlebell bodyweight workout above.
Pro Tip: When it comes to your training at home, think unconventional and ramp up the intensity. Use nontraditional bodyweight and kettlebell exercises in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) format to challenge your body. It will be tough at first but push through and you will see results.
Go-to Gear: Leija uses a multitude of equipment that may seem a bit atypical but really, it’s all about the kettlebells. They are cost effective, don’t take up much space and they offer a ton of variety when it comes to your training.
Train Smarter At Home with WHOOP: Let’s face it — there’s so much fitness tech out there that the simple act of choosing the right product seems like more effort than the workout it’s supposed to record. And what do you even do with all that data once you have it — math equations? No thanks. Instead of stressing out over arbitrary numbers, wouldn’t you prefer information you can actually use? That’s the idea behind WHOOP — a membership-based fitness tracker that not only eschews traditional metrics like footsteps or calories to give you the information you can actually benefit from; it gives you all that information in terms you can actually understand. WHOOP gives you sleep, recovery and training recommendations in plain English as soon as you’re out of bed each morning — all you have to do is wake up. Learn More: Here
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