Let’s be honest: being stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic sucks—but it doesn’t have to suck the life (or muscles!) out of us.
We figure there are two things that can happen during this time:
- Some of us will use stay-at-home orders as an excuse to eat some extra junk food and skip those workouts (understandably…life is weird right now).
- Others will turn their homes into their own personal gyms, make the healthiest food choices they can get their hands on, and show this virus who’s boss.
Whether you’ve chosen road #2 from the start or you’re ready to get back to the sweat life, we support you and your personal journey.
We know, we know…it’s not the same. You miss strutting your stuff at the gym and getting ripped with thousands of dollars’ worth of fancy equipment.
We get it. So do we.
But right now, we gotta make do and get to doing those at-home workouts.
No matter how much space or equipment you do or don’t have, we’ve got your ass covered (with more than just our men’s workout leggings).
Here are 10 bodyweight exercises to help you get unstuck while you’re stuck at home. (Plus, once we’re set free, keep these on your fridge in case you feel like having a solo workout day or while you’re waiting for the maintenance person to come fix your whatever.)
Push-ups are hands down (get it?!) one of the best chest exercises. They’ve been around forever because they work…if you do them correctly. Here’s how: get into a plank position, engage your abs, and make sure your shoulders are directly over your wrists. Next, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest down to the ground (don’t touch the ground, hover an inch or two above it), then press back up into a plank position. Repeat 10 times. Or 50, or 100 (show off).
Advanced modification: Put one arm behind your back. (F*ck you. But also, you’re incredible and we all hope to be like you one day.)
2. Power jacks
Regular jumping jacks are so 2019. These beefed up JJs can get your glutes and quads ripped. Here’s how to do them:
- Stand with feet close together, head up, shoulders back, and back straight. Keep your arms down at your sides.
- Hop your feet out a little wider than your hips and squat while raising your arms straight up in the air.
- Jump up to a standing position, bringing your feet back together, and lowering your arms down at your sides.
- Repeat for one minute, keeping a good tempo.
Tip: Pay attention to your form. Make sure to keep your head up, shoulders back, and chest out. Also, make sure your knees are over your ankles while in a squatting position. (If you accidentally let out a “bottom burp” while squatting, remember—you’re home alone. Be free. No judgement.)
Sit-ups and crunches are two different beasts. Sit-ups are great for working multiple muscle groups, including the abs, chest, hip flexors, and back. But if you want a chiseled six-pack, crunches are your best friend. Odds are you’ve done lots of them over the years, but good form is a must, so it bears repeating how to do crunches properly.
Lie down on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross your hands across your chest with each hand touching the opposite shoulder. Lift your shoulders up from the floor and feel your abdominal muscles tighten (don’t strain your neck—your head and neck should stay relaxed). Exhale as you rise up and contract your core. Inhale as you lower down, but don’t rest your head and shoulders on the floor. Repeat for one minute or 20-25 reps. Or if your six-pack is already packed, and you’re looking to keep it that way, you’re probably ready to show off again. And we love it.
Never underestimate the power of the perfect squat—after all, they’re one of the best exercises if you want a rock-hard booty. (Everyone likes to have and to stare at a really good set of glutes—that’s just Butt Science 101.) Stand with your feet hip-width apart and engage your core. With your torso straight, bend down at the hips, sending your butt back. Keep bending until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Engage your hips, glutes, and hamstrings as you lower down. Make sure your knees are over—not in front of—your ankles. Squeeze your glutes as you rise back up to a standing position. Repeat 25 times or however many your legs can handle.
5. Walking lunges
If your first thought seeing the title of this section is “Bro, I can cross my apartment’s living room in 3 baby steps and you want me to do walking lunges?”…well, we’re already ahead of you. Here’s the modified version for doing walking lunges at home.
- Stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your hands at your sides or on your hips.
- Step forward with your right leg, bend the right knee, and lower down until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Pause for a beat, come back up, swing the right leg back, and bend down with your left knee, repeating the move on the other leg.
- Keep alternating legs (forward, then back, forward, then back).
Now you’re doing “walking” lunges like a work-out-at-home pro. We’d tell you how many reps to do on each leg, but we think it’s clear by now that we have no idea what’s the right number for YOU. So, you know, push yourself but be safe and sh*t.
Step up your plank game with plank-ups! Starting in a high plank position, lower down onto your right forearm, then your left forearm. Now you’re in a forearm plank. To come back up, press your right palm down on the mat, then your left palm, and use both arms to push back up into high plank.
Advanced modification: Kick it up a notch with side planks. Put your feet together on the mat and twist your body, raising your right arm up to the sky. Make sure your right shoulder is over your wrist and your right foot is stacked on top of your left foot. Starting to shake yet? Yep, that’s the good stuff.
7. Mountain climbers
Just because you can’t climb actual mountains right now…doesn’t mean you can’t do mountain climbers in the safety of your home. This move is good for your core and it’s good cardio. Start in high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and draw your right knee to your chest (make sure to keep your back flat). Bring your right leg back and your left knee to your chest. Keep alternating between legs in a quick, continuous motion.
Alternative: You can do mountain climbers from a standing position by raising your right knee to your chest, then your left knee, alternating quickly between legs. Cross your arms against your chest to make the move more challenging if you’re feeling extra.
8. Inchworm walkout
No, we’re not making any size jokes about your baloney pony here. This awesome move engages your whole body. Stand up with feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Bend at your waist and place your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until you’re in a high plank (engage your core, quads, and butt, and keep your back straight while in plank position). Pause, tap each shoulder with the opposite hand, then walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up.
9. Calf raises
This simple move can give you calves like a Greek god. Standing up with arms at your sides, come up onto your tiptoes and then lower back down. Repeat until your calves are screaming. Then fall to the ground and do some more crunches.
You know them. You hate them. But they work. Also called squat thrusts, this full-body move can get your heart pumping and your abs ripped. Stand with feet hip-width apart and engage your glutes and core. Bend your knees and reach forward to place your palms on the floor, then kick your legs straight out. You should now be in a high plank position with palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, and shoulders stacked above your wrists. Next, jump your feet back in to just below your hands and stand up tall. Repeat in a continuous motion for one minute.
NOTE: Always remember to stretch before and after working out!
Why It’s So Important to Keep Your Body Moving
Exercising is more important than ever right now—both for physical health and mental well-being. Exercising keeps your muscles strong and releases endorphins and other feel-good brain chemicals that can help you stay sane while we wait out this crazy pandemic.
And while it may seem less than ideal to “dress up” to workout at home:
#1. It’s more than okay to look good just for yourself. In fact, you should strive for this level of self-confidence and self-love.
#2. The right workout meggings can make all the difference—just check out the video below.
From the team at Matador Meggings, stay fit and be well. We’re in this together.
DISCLAIMER: MAKE SURE TO CONSULT WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING A NEW WORKOUT ROUTINE. THE WORKOUTS IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE SUGGESTIONS AS ARE THE NUMBER OF REPS/SETS. WE DO NOT CLAIM TO GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE.