The Stuck-At-Home Workout
HEALTH & FITNESS
Winter’s going to derail your regimen, if it hasn’t already. This high-intensity circuit will keep you from losing a step (and your mind) before the roads clear.
By Todd Soura
If you’re not questioning why you live here, among the mountains of slush, the black ice, the frigid nights and the fleeting sunlight, you’re not human. And then, as if your seasonal affective disorder needed any more fuel, your workout regimen’s derailed by: a) snow b) ice c) cold d) all of the above. It was inevitable. The sooner you accept that and hatch a backup plan for the next time, the easier this next month or so is going to pass.
This high-intensity circuit is unfazed by winter’s cruelty. The next time you’re pinned at home, find a space that you can move around in comfortably. That’s all you need. The rest is on you.
You’ll be done in less than 30 minutes, but you’ll be spent afterwards. High-intensity intervals torch calories and keep on burning them for up to 24 hours after you finish. Over time, when combined with lower intensity weight training, they’ll stoke your resting metabolic rate so that you’ll be burning fat and toning muscle even while you’re binge-watching “Girls.” For our purposes here, they’re your cabin fever remedy.
Don’t rest between exercises or rounds unless you have to. Start with three rounds. Once you build up your stamina, go for five.
1) Jumping Rope: 30 to 45 seconds. If you don’t have a jump rope, or you don’t have enough room to swing one, pretending is enough. An added benefit: Jumping rope helps your lymph glands expel toxins, which is good for the immune system.
2) Burpees: 10 to 20 reps. (If burpees are too challenging, do 30 squats instead.) Start in a standing position, then lower into a squat. Put your hands on the floor, shoulder-with apart, and kick your feet back so that you’re in a push-up position. Do a push-up, then return to the squat position. Jump straight up. It should be one fluid motion.
3) Plank: 60 seconds. Get into a straight-arm plank position, then lower yourself onto your forearms. This interval’s going to serve as active rest.
4) Mountain Climbers: 30 to 45 seconds. Start in a push-up position. Keeping your upper-body totally still, bring your right knee to your right elbow. Return to the push-up position, then repeat on the left side. Rotate quickly.
5) Alternating Lunges: 15 to 30 reps. From a standing position, step forward with your right leg, then lower your left knee to just above the ground. Both legs should form a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position, then step forward with the left leg and repeat. That’s one rep.
6) Bicycle Crunches: 30 to 45 seconds. With your back flush against the ground, tuck your hands behind your head. Lift your legs off the floor and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Move your legs as though pedaling a bike—bring the right knee toward your chest and straighten your left leg, then vice versa. Simultaneously, crunch your upper body forward and bring your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Rotate quickly.
Todd Soura is the owner of the Doylestown-based Action Personal Training.