Sarah Harradine is a Personal Trainer focusing on strength and functional training, fitness blogger, and massive Marvel nerd. You’ll either find her coaching clients at Train Manchester or appreciating a finely crafted meme or two at home.
There’s no denying we’re a nation of gym-goers. We love the pump, the sweat, and the feeling of achievement after a big leg day (not so much walking down the stairs the day after), so it’s no wonder many of us are feeling lost without our iron paradise to escape to.
Right now our goals might not be running or marathon or getting jacked for summer, but we could definitely do with the boost of endorphins along with the improved heart and lung capacity that a good sweat brings. There are still ways to train during lockdown, so chin up, trainers on, and find some new ways to move.
What Should I Wear to Train at Home?
- An armhole tank
- Gym shorts
- A long sleeve t-shirt
- Compression tights under a pair of shorts (running)
- A vest and shorts set
- A matching couple workout outfit
Whether you’re about understated and comfy or itching to express yourself during lockdown, your front room training kit is the perfect outlet. Loose fit for movement is a good start – try a drop arm hole tank paired with gym shorts for strength training, or add extra stretch for yoga and calisthenics with this vest and short set with Elastane.
You need light, breathable layers for running as spring weather can change fast. Compression tights layered under a pair of shorts helps keep everything in place, while a longsleeve in a contrasting colour looks smart and keeps the chill away.
If you’re feeling extra, you can even match with your Queen with the His and Hers Active collection. Using each other as a squat weight while wearing matching outfits will make for a cute TikTok post, right? #RelationshipGoals
What At-Home Workout Should I Choose?
- Get out for a run
- Train in your front room
- Give your kids a PE lesson
- Try some yoga
- Do something weird
- Practice self care
1. Get out for a run
Noticed that everyone has become a runner all of a sudden? Not only is running a highly efficient, low-equipment way to get fit, running also helps clear your mind, helping you deal well with a stressful time. If you’re new to running, start out steady and intersperse your run with lots of walks. The NHS Couch to 5K app has walk-run intervals perfectly timed and progresses each week, or the Zombies, Run! app puts you at the centre of your own zombie adventure story, so you completely forget just how hard you’re working. After intense exercise you pass through a period of impaired immune resistance, so if you’re a seasoned runner you might want to learn to love the easy run, at least for now – and remember to stay 2m apart from your fellow pedestrians.
2. Train in your front room
You might not have a barbell, a leg press or a rowing machine, but push your sofa out of the way and you can get in a decent workout in your front room. The fitness industry is pulling together at this tough time with well-priced, donate-what-you-can, or even free workouts being posted on a daily basis: The Movement Blueprint have newly launched a minimal equipment plan to download and keep for life, Alex Crockford’s comprehensive, highly-reviewed HomeFit training and nutrition plan is a whole 99p currently, and James of SPARK is running a completely free Facebook group, Lean in Quarantine, with new workouts being posted every day. If you’re not a follow-along-live kind of guy, then just spend half an hour doing low-impact strength moves using home weights, milk bottles, paint tins, or even a small child.
3. Give your kids a PE lesson
Speaking of children, one week into homeschooling and most of us are already tearing our hair out. Take the hard work out of PE lessons by following along with a million others doing The Body’s Coach’s PE with Joe every weekday morning at 9am. Not only is it a challenging workout for the whole family, Joe is also kindly donating all of his ad revenue from these livestreams to the NHS.
4. Try some yoga
Adding yoga into a strength and conditioning routine will help you stay flexible, improve joint stability and manage stress levels, plus it’s the perfect small-space workout – wherever you can roll out your mat, you can do yoga. Ease yourself in with a 10-minute class from teacher Sean Vigue, then as soon as you’ve exhausted YouTube (tough to say how many videos there are, but Google says 901 million, so that should keep you moving for a while) sign up to Fiit TV to follow Richie Norton’s mindful movement flows.
5. Do something weird
Ever wanted to try animal flow or calisthenics? How about learning a cool new move, like a one-handed push-up, a handstand or a pistol squat? Behind closed doors nobody can see your failures, and you may just emerge on the other side a true cali King. Fera are running a weekly calisthenics online class with an accessible pay system so all can join in, plus there are hundreds of thousands of movement tutorials available on YouTube. Choose your challenge and get practising.
6. Practice self care (and self soothing)
If just reading all of these options has you feeling tired, you’re not alone. Experts have said it’s normal for us all to feel weary right now: the stress of staying well ourselves as well as thinking about family, friends, money and work can quickly get on top of you. Caring for yourself by using your brain in different ways is a great stress reliever, so maybe think about learning something new, like a language or an instrument. Self soothing is just as important – that’s stuff like talking to your friends on Houseparty, playing Animal Crossing, and wearing a comfy tracksuit – so don’t feel like you have to be constantly active and productive during this time.
Keeping fit is important to us all for staying healthy and looking after our mental wellbeing, so show the NHS along with all the other key workers how much you care for health by training safely during this tough period. Do what you can now, and look forward to hitting the gym, fit and ready, as soon as they’re back open.