Strength training is integral to ensuring good health. Most of us would already be well-acquainted with the various equipment in our gyms – barbells, dumbbells, plate-loaded machines and such. However, few commodes boast the space to house a squat rack (those that do – kudos). As such, working out at home can be a challenge at times.

As the COVID-19 situation escalates, gyms have been among the first to get shuttered. Not surprising when one pauses to consider the typical lack of personal hygiene displayed in such areas. The homestead, however, is a much more controlled environment. Even with the absence of your usual equipment, working out can continue as long as you’re willing to get a little innovative.

A full workout involves targeting the various muscle groups and energy systems of your body. Doing so includes the “push” and “pull” muscles of your upper and lower body, and your anaerobic and aerobic capacities. Here is a sample workout you can experiment with:

Air Squats

Credit: Reebok CrossFit One

Squats are called the “king of all exercises” for a good reason. While the legs are the primary movers, the rest of the body contributes in terms of maintaining balance and stability. When done correctly, squats can help to safeguard against knee and hip injuries.

Push-ups

Credit: Reebok CrossFit One

The beauty of the basic push-up is its ability to be scaled for various proficiency levels. Aside from that, the push-up also helps to train core strength the same way a plank does. Slightly elevating the feet (by placing it on a low stool or stack of books) can be done to make things more challenging.

Romanian Deadlifts

Credit: Rogue Fitness

The Romanian Deadlift gets its name from Romanian weightlifting champion and record holder Nicu Vlad, who invented it to strengthen his lower back, glutes and hamstrings. A weighted suitcase can be a good alternative for a barbell and will be slightly more challenging.

Bent Rows

Credit: Rogue Fitness

For those without a pull-up bar at home, using a suitcase for bent over row can be a great way to train the back muscles. A slimmer suitcase is preferable for extending the range of motion and will be easier to grip. Alternatively, water bottles can also function as makeshift dumbbells.

Flutter Kicks

Credit: Reebok CrossFit One

Most core exercises tend to focus on the upper abdomen, leaving the lower abdominals under-stimulated. Flutter kicks are a great way of balancing that out (sometimes painfully so). Like the suitcase carry, be conscious of your movement and avoid swinging your legs up and down.

Suitcase Carry

Credit: The Active Life

Yet another use for the humble suitcase. Carrying a loaded implement for time is a great way to build core and grip strength. Best of all – it’s a simple yet effective movement that anyone can perform. Be mindful to avoid momentum in your motion. Lift and bear the weight without swinging  if you want a proper workout.

Bodyweight Thrusters

Credit: Reebok CrossFit One

Thrusters are a solid combination of strength and endurance exercises. While they’re usually performed with dumbbells or barbells, using your bodyweight can be effective as well. The trick lies in manipulating your work-rest ratio. 1:1 is a good starting point before gradually progressing to 2:1 for a full-on metabolic burn.

written by.
Evigan Xiao
Writer
Evigan is an avid fan of bench-made boots, raw selvedge denim, single malt Scotch and fine watches. When he's not busy chuckling over image dumps on Imgur, he can be found lifting heavy objects in the gym or fussing over his two dogs, Velvet and Kenji. He dreams of one day owning a cottage in the English countryside and raising a small army of Canadian geese to terrorise the local populace.

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