I’m not going to lie; I was pretty sad when they announced the closure of gyms across the UK to encourage social distancing. The immediate thoughts that went through my head were I’m going to lose all my motivation and undo all of the progress I’ve made so far.
The gym is not only where I work out but it’s also my happy place, somewhere that actually makes me want to get up in the morning at 06:00 and go there before work! Mad I know, but it’s the best routine ever to be in and I was really loving it, so you can imagine how I, and every other gym-goer, felt.
Initially, I was bummed out about it but then I realised two points: 1. It’s what needed to happen to help the UK get through this coronavirus period and funnily enough I was going to live without the gym, whereas some people sadly won’t make it through. And 2. It’s actually given me more motivation as it’s made me switch up my workouts, think outside the box and I’m even more determined to not let this hinder my goals or to gain any weight through this!
There are actually so many exercises you can do at home and I thought I’d share with you some of them – no gym equipment needed (apart from a trusty little suitcase)!
Full Body Home Workout
– Suitcase Edition
I put together this workout when the dumbbells that I ordered were taking forever and I really wanted some extra weight as I was missing it from the gym.
I decided to use my suitcase as you could fill it to your desired weight for different exercises which was an absolute game-changer – it’s actually surprising how much you can do with a suitcase! I know I’m starting to sound a bit crazy, but I was surprised at the burn I got from this.
Squat & Press
Fill the suitcase to quite a heavy weight. Hold the suitcase at shoulder height, squat down whilst pausing at the bottom, return to standing and squeeze the glutes and then press the suitcase above your shoulders. Repeat this for 12 reps, have a little break and repeat 4 times.
Keep the suitcase at a heavy weight as this is the best exercise to grow that peach!
Use the sofa as a “bench” to rest your shoulder blades on. The suitcase should be rested on your lap. Push your glutes towards the ceiling to form a bridge, really squeeze them and hold for a few seconds at the top. Repeat this for 12 reps. For an extra burn, do 1 and a half reps. Repeat this, 4 times.
Hold the suitcase in front of you and jump into a lunge. Then, switch your forward foot whilst jumping to land into the opposite leg lunge. Repeat this, 20 times (10 per leg) for 4 sets.
Leg Raises with Chest Press
Lie on your back while holding the suitcase on your chest. Lift your legs to just before a 90 ° angle and at the same time press the suitcase so your arms are straight. Return to the starting position but with your feet slightly above the floor so they aren’t touching. Repeat this for 40 seconds with 20-second rest in between. Repeat the cycle four times.
Extended Arm Sit-Ups
Lie in a sit-up position with your knees bent and your arms stretched over your head holding the suitcase. Raise the suitcase over your head and sit up and then slowly back down to the start position, keeping the suitcase off the floor at all times.
To make it easier, ditch the suitcase and just do it with your body weight instead. Make sure you aren’t using your arms as leverage to get up and instead concentrating on using your core muscles to get up. Repeat this for 40 seconds with 20-second rest in between. Repeat the cycle four times.
No explanation needed.
I aim for 40 seconds of these and repeat for 4 rounds with a 20-second rest in between.
*It is important while we can’t lift as heavy as we normally do, to concentrate on slowing the tempo and contracting the muscles – it’s all about that squeeze! You can try one and a half reps or holding at the negative for around 3-5 seconds to ensure you’re still burning those muscles out, despite the lighter weights. Also, try increasing the number of reps you do if you aren’t feeling like it’s working. On the last 3 or 4 reps, dependant on how many you are doing in total, you should really start to struggle.
You can also use other items which you find around the house and adapt the exercise to fit. For example, books make a great weight for lateral or front raises where a lighter weight is required.
Tip: You can also squat people! I’ve actually started to hip thrust, my boyfriend, as he weighs around 75 kg which is the perfect weight for me.
Let me know how you’ve been getting on with your home workouts or if you give this suitcase one a try! Just remember to have fun while you’re doing it as let’s be honest, I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be squatting a suitcase in my lounge.