As South Africans, we are lucky to have such an array of outdoor activities on offer, and beautiful nature to enjoy them in, from the sea, forests and mountains to everything in between. This lends itself to a culture of sport and fitness, be it surfing, paddling, mountain biking, running and the like.
With the current onset of lockdown, and now a further extension of it, many of us have had to sacrifice what fitness routines we had, along with numerous other things we previously took for granted. Losing fitness and our daily endorphin fix doesn’t have to be the case. As a personal trainer, I realise the huge importance of exercise not only for the body, but the mind too. Here I outline the basic fundamental muscle groups and combinations of exercises for both men and women, which can be done in the comfort of your own home.
For men, upper body strength is important (not neglecting legs), and studies have shown that basic push-ups can improve testosterone production and activate the chest, shoulders, arms and core muscles. Bodyweight squats and lunges with abs and basic cardio, such as star-jumps, burpees, mountain-climbers or step-ups onto a chair or bench are easy to do at home and can elevate one’s heart rate nicely. e.g.
- 20 star-jumps.
- 20 burpees.
- 20 squat-jumps.
- 20 push-ups.
- 20 diamond push-ups.
- 20 ab crunches.
- 20 tricep dips on a chair.
Repeat the above 4-6 times, with a one-minute break in between.
For women, legs, bum and triceps (back of the arm), are all target areas. Most women are what’s called gynecoid or pear shaped, which means they tend to carry any excess weight around the bum and thigh area. In a gym, there are many ways of targeting these areas, from weight training, to band-work and resistance training, to the numerous cardio machines available. During lockdown, however, many people don’t have this equipment at home, so I’m going to highlight a few exercises, to get these areas firing, which only require you, a positive attitude and some determination. e.g.
- 20 burpees, 20 squats, 20 alternating lunges, 20 squat-jumps. Repeat 4 times with a one-minute break in between.
- 30 alternating lunges, 20 tricep dips (off a chair), 30 ab crunches. Repeat 4 times
- 30 plié squats, 30 reverse lunges, 20 diamond push-ups. Repeat 4 times.
- 30 grapevines (curtsies), 60 second plank, 20 regular push-ups. Repeat 4 times.
These are just some basic routines to follow to keep you active during lockdown and stop any lazy habits creeping in. Try to watch your eating too and don’t forget your ‘five a day!’ Have some fun with it all, change things up a bit adding other exercises in (so you don’t get bored), and don’t despair, ‘this too shall pass!’
Written By: Joe Dorrington