You thought you'd have all the time in the world to work out and stay in shape while stuck at home during the Covid-19 quarantine. But, just squeezing in 'a' training session has proven to be much harder than you thought. You miss your gym, your workout buddies, and you just don't know where to start. You do have all the time in the world but the workouts just are not getting done.
Our routines are upside down. Children and pets are all over the place. With all this spare time, you were going to be in the best shape of your life. Now you're worried about being stiff and out of shape when going back to work. Will you still have your full "back swing rotation" when you tee it up with your friends, when the golf course opens again? This was (and might still be) the ideal opportunity to get rid of that back pain that has been annoying you for years, and shed a few of those extra pounds around the mid-section. Now, your back is getting stiffer and aching more. The intention is there, but where do you start?
The number one culprit: Lack of routine and structure.
From my experience over the last few weeks, I have realized that lack of routine and structure might be the biggest culprit holding people back from working out at home. Common questions are: "What should I do? When should I do it? Where to start? How long should my workout take?" Instead of it being a stress-relieving tool, the daily workout (or lack of it) is now becoming a huge stressor for many people. Let's take a deep breath and reassess.
Your daily workout doesn't have to take a long time.
First of all, your daily workout doesn't have to take a long time. We know that a back-saving, injury-preventing, performance-enhancing warm-up/mobility routine only has to be 5-10 minutes long to be effective (Although 5-10 minutes is the minimal effective dose, 10-20 minutes of focused effort seems to be the "sweet spot"). Researchers from the famous 7-minute workout study showed that just a daily 7-minute workout done 7 days a week for 6 weeks proved to be very effective. After the six weeks, the researchers found that the participants (ages 18-30) had lower BMI scores, decreased waist and hip circumferences, and lower fat mass and body fat percentage than before they started. These were normal weight individuals who did not change any of their eating habits.
Take the guesswork out of the equation.
Take the guesswork out of the equation by having a go-to routine you can get familiar with and access easily. You finally have half an hour to do a workout, and you start thinking of what you're going to do. Fifteen minutes later, you're still on Instagram caught up in browsing videos, and the workout never gets done. Knowing what you are going to do before you start can make or break the opportunity.
Routine and consistency are workout savers.
Routine and consistency. If you can, schedule regular time to exercise each day. Get up a little earlier than the rest of the family, or do your workout during "nap time" (these are my main two options). If you can't fit it in all at once, break it up into "exercise snacks" throughout the day. These "snacks" refer to "shorts bursts of exercise that you can fit into those bite-sized, free pockets of time you often don't know what to do with." The most important thing is just to get the workout done by the end of the day.
Make it fun!
Make it fun. Involve the family, if needed (and if possible). My 3-year-old daughter is now part of my morning mobility routine. It's become more of a "play session", but it gets the job done. And more importantly, we have fun together and it creates a positive connotation with "exercise" for her to build upon.
Improvise. You don't need much equipment.
Improvise. You don't need much equipment. Most people get discouraged because they don't have any equipment, and they can't replicate what they work out on in the gym or on the field. You can go a very long way with just body weight exercises. Exercise bands are a great tool for adding resistance, as well as variety to your workouts at home. I have a favorite go-to mobility routine which has served me well over the last few weeks at home. It is also a routine some of my clients have used with success over the last few years. I'll share it with you below. It takes me between 10-15 minutes, and I like doing it in the morning. Combined with some foam rolling and time on the rebounder trampoline, it's turned into a daily "play" session with my three-year-old daughter.
For you golfers out there, the routine also doubles up as a handy "Golf Active Warm-up". Get familiar with it over these next few weeks, and you'll have it down by the time you hit the tee again. If you want to turn the mobility routine into a fat-burning, cardio-building workout, I would add some bursts of 20-30 second body weight exercises in between the exercises. For example, I would do mobility routine exercise 1 (90/90 Glute Stretch), followed by 20-30 seconds of push-ups, then straight to mobility routine exercise 2 (90/90 Hip Mobility Drill), followed by, say, jumping jacks. Then, mobility routine exercise 3 (Cat-camel) followed by air squats. You get the picture. You can get this done in less than 30 minutes. Build a routine and keep it simple.
Below are videos demonstrating all the exercises in the mobility routine I talked about. For in depth instructions, please see my instagram channel here.
1.) 90/90 Glute Stretch
2.) 90/90 Hip Mobility Drill
6.) Ankle, Hip and T-Spine Mobility Drill
7.) Standing Hip Circle Mobilizations 8.) Standing Triangle Stretch and Reach
9.) Hip Hinge with Reach and Retract
10.) Modified Triangle Pose: Regular and Reverse
11.) Marnus Move
To your health and crushing your workouts over the next few weeks.
Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.