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The top 5 fun & easy ways to exercise when locked down

The top 5 fun & easy ways to exercise when locked down

Just because we are locked down, doesn’t mean we should forget about our health and fitness. In fact it is more important than ever to stay active and keep moving to stay mentally and physically strong.

With gyms shut and no outdoor bootcamps, there aren’t as many options as usual. But never fear, there are still so many simple, easy and fun ways to keep training. So here are my top 5 fun and easy ways to exercise when locked down.

1. Skipping

We have all done skipping when we were younger. It is such a great simple cardio workout as well as building strength in your legs, butt and ankles.

You can grab a cheap skipping rope from so many places and trust me, it won’t take long to be skipping like you did as a kid.

For some ideas, try skipping for a minute and resting for 30 seconds. For some variety, try skipping one leg at a time, side to side, with high knees, skip backwards, crossovers and double-unders. You only need about 10 minutes to really get the heart racing.

2. Boxing

Boxing has got to be one of the best all body athletic workouts you can do. There are so many benefits to boxing – fat burning, improves your fitness, increases your strength, agility and power plus it is a brilliant way to reduce your stress!

Just get some pads and gloves (you don’t need to spend a fortune), grab a partner and get going. Jabs, crosses, high punches, uppercuts, and hooks are the main punching moves. Mix it up with some body weight moves such as squats, lunges, wall sits, step ups, sprints, jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, planks, crunches – the combinations are endless.

If you don’t have any boxing gloves don’t worry, do some shadow boxing instead or use a pair of light weights – you will still get a challenging all body workout.

3. Run or walk

We may only be able to exercise within 10 kms of where we live, but you can cover a lot of ground in that distance.

This is the ideal time to go for a big walk in your neighbourhood – it is the best way to get to know your area (you may be surprised what you discover). Keep a brisk pace and aim for 10,000 steps in a single session.

If you are up for it, pick up the pace and go for a run –try Sydney Park, Centennial Park or around the foreshores of Glebe. Or if you want to keep away from the crowds, take the back streets or industrial areas.

Aim for 30 minutes – if you can’t run for that long, then run for five minute and then walk for one minute and repeat. Then try and run for a bit longer next time. As long as you are moving, you are always improving.

4. Find some stairs or a hill

Stair climbing or running up a hill is one of the most effective ways to work your lower body while building cardio endurance and torching fat. It targets all the major muscles – especially the legs and butt, plus you just can’t cheat stairs or a hill.

There are many stairs at the local train stations and Erskineville Oval. Sydney Park has a huge hill that will leave you breathless by the time you make it to the top (plus you get an amazing view).

Try sprinting up and walking down to recover and repeat. Mix it up with walking lunges, back pedalling or side squats going up – whatever you choose, this will get you fit fast!

5. Kettlebells and dumbbells

You don’t need to spend much money on equipment. A couple of kettlebells and some dumbbells is all you need. By using weights, this is going to open up a world of so many more exercises.

Bent over rows, tricep extensions, swings, bicep curls, chest presses, deadlifts, deadrows, renegade rows, tricep presses, hip thrusts, shoulder presses, lateral raises, forward shoulder raises, uprights rows, Russian twists – I could go on and on. And once you have mastered the basic body weight exercises, weights will add an extra dimension to them such as lunges, squats, calf raises, glute bridges and so forth.

There is no limit to the amount of equipment you could get (such as suspension bands, slam balls, battling ropes, bands, agility ladders, bars, plyo boxes, BOSU balls and stability balls). But in my opinion, start with some basic weights to suit your level of strength and fitness.