The landscape of personal fitness has changed enormously over the last 20 years. Who can remember when the gym was a place for athletes or bodybuilders, and that was it. There was "keep fit" classes for everyone else. And by everyone else, I mean women who wanted a social catch up with a little bit of exercise.

Fast forward to the post-pandemic world we currently have, and fitness is a hot topic for everyone. 

Before 2020 we had already seen an increase in home gyms, but they were still for the wealthy. But come early 2020, Covid hits and lockdowns are introduced, people begin to realise that their health is worth more than excuses.

What was your favourite excuse?

"I don't have time to get to the gym."

"I can't afford a gym membership."

"I'll start next week."

But when all of a sudden, we were only allowed to leave the house for 1 hour a day for exercise, the world became long-distance walkers, and some even took up running.

Sales of home fitness equipment went through the roof. And not just for the regular gym goers that could no longer get their fix. Everyone was jumping on that bandwagon.

Everything from kettlebells and dumbbells to resistance bands and suspension kits was nowhere to be seen. But let's remember, many people who started working out in the first lockdown had no idea how to do it properly, let alone safely.

YouTube became the new Personal Trainer, which opened the floodgates for bad and unsafe advice, followed by injuries. And we all know what happens then. Injury equals no training equals the same routine of poor fitness.  

Here at GTLN, we want to promote home fitness to our clients and ensure that we keep them strong and healthy for a long time to come. So we have included four basic exercises that you can complete at home, which will work your whole body. The idea is to raise your heart rate slightly but, more importantly, to get you moving and moving correctly.

GTLN 4 RECOMMENDED HOME EXERCISES

1. Kettlebell Squat

Using a kettlebell (https://get-lean.com/collections/gym-kettlebell-weights) stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding the weight with both hands in front of you, down between your legs. 

Slowly bend your knees and let the kettlebell move down towards the floor from this position. Once your bottom is at knee height, stand yourself up to your start position. Complete 12-15 reps over 3-4 sets.

Modification: To make this exercise easier, start with no weight or don't go so low in the squat position. Remember to keep your back straight, and your core is pulled in tight.

Kettlebell Squat

2. Dead Lift

To complete the deadlift, you will need to load the barbell (https://get-lean.com/collections/barbells) and place the bar in front of your feet. 

Place your feet slightly under the bar with the bar close to your shins. With your knees bent and a straight back, hold the bar with both hands just about your thigh distance. Pushing down through your heels, stand yourself up straight, lifting the bar with you. Your top position is stood up straight with arms and legs straight and the bar in front of your hips. To finish the move, slowly lower the bar down towards the floor, following the same movement pattern for the lift. Complete 10-12 repetitions over 3-4 sets.

Modification: To make this movement more manageable, or to perfect the movement pattern before lifting weight, try the same exercise but use a resistance band instead (https://get-lean.com/products/resistance-band-set)

Deadlift

3. Lunge

To complete a weighted lunge, hold the dumbbells by your side (https://get-lean.com/collections/dumbbell-weight-plates) and take a large step backwards. You should now be balanced before both feet with your front foot firming in the floor and your back foot should you on the ball of your foot, with your heel elevated. With your shoulders back and a straight back, bend your back leg and lower your knee towards the floor. Keep your back knee, hips and shoulders in line throughout the movement. Once you have reached the bottom of the movement, push yourself back up to the starting position. Complete 8-10 repetitions on each leg over 3-4 sets.

Modification: This exercise can easily be done without weights. Just place your hands onto your hips and follow the movement pattern as above.

Lunge

4. Bird dog

An exercise to test your core. Start on your hands and knees with a flat back. Pull your waist tight, draw your belly button to your spine, and slowly lift your right arm and left leg off the floor and straighten them both out whilst keeping your torso flat and steady. After holding this position for 3 seconds, slowly return to both hands and knees on the floor. Now change sides and lift your left arm and right leg. Again after 3 seconds, return to the start position. Complete 8-10 reps on each side over 3-4 sets.

Modification: For a simpler version of this exercise, lift either just one arm or one leg at a time. 

Focus on keeping your core tight and progress the exercise to the full version when confident.

Bird Dog

Completing these exercises will give you a full-body workout with your current capabilities and allow you so much scope for progression. Add a little more weight, or increase the number of reps.  

 The world of home fitness is your oyster.

 Stay fit – Stay healthy.

February 05, 2022

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