Healthy body, healthy mind – our guide to keeping active during lockdown…

With a second national lockdown underway and Christmas on the horizon, you may have found yourself getting into lazy habits.  We understand not everyone has the room to maintain a fully-kitted, luxurious home gym that’s why our Business Development Manager and fitness enthusiast, Dom Forgione, is sharing his top 5 exercises for a fun, at-home workout which can be done with absolutely no equipment and with limited space. If you’re looking to keep active and burn some extra calories, why not give these a go?

Standing Squats – Squats are not only brilliant for your leg muscles, they are a great exercise for your whole body. Remember to keep a regular/consistent speed, positioning your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointing straight. Go as low as you can trying to pause at the bottom for a second or so. When you come back up, try not to fully extend, to avoid the risk of injury. If you are finding normal squats too easy, step up a gear and try some squat jumps!

The Plank – Planks can help improve your core strength whilst providing you with excellent stability. Keep your palms and toes firmly planted on the ground remembering to keep your back straight and always your core tight. This is not an exercise you have to do for long, try building it up slowly and get a target time in mind. Aim for 20 seconds first time and move up from there if you can, upto around 1 minute.

Push-ups – Traditional push-ups are extremely beneficial for upper body strength. They work different muscle groups in your arms as well as your pectoral muscles and shoulders. Remember to keep your form and timing consistent. Done with correct form (weight in the arms and shoulders, back straight, bottom down), they can also strengthen your lower back and core. There are many different variations of pushups you can do. Try widening your arms out to the side or narrow push ups with your palms under your chest area.  If you are just starting out, try pushups on your knees, instead of your feet, first.

Leg Raises – Want another great core-strengthening exercise? Leg raises are not only great for your core, but they can also help improve flexibility as they involve constant joint movements. Lay flat on your back, with support underneath your lower back. Then slowly bring your legs up and back down, keeping your legs as straight as you can. Stop just 6 inches before the floor and go back up again. Try to repeat continuously until you can’t continue without touching the floor. A real burner!

Burpees – Ok, save the best to last they say! Definitely the best when trying to improve cardiovascular endurance, but not the easiest exercise, that’s for sure! Do a few of these in a row and you will earn yourself a night of relaxing on the sofa and binge watching that series you love. This is a total body movement and provides plenty of healthy benefits like high calorie burn, mobility and works a number of different muscles. Make sure you know how to do one correctly to try avoiding injury.

These are just a few home exercises you could try to help keep active and are part of my daily routine.  Being physically active not only keeps me in shape, but is also great for me mentally. Please be aware I am not a qualified personal trainer and strongly recommend you make sure you know exactly how to do these exercises and can perform them safely without risk of injury.

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