Now, I’m no gym bunny but I do like to work out. Not only is it good for my physical health, it’s really good for my mental health too. In fact, if I’ve not done any exercise for about three or four days, I definitely feel my mood change. Sometimes I need to push myself a bit to do something physical if I’m not really in the mood, but I always feel so much better afterwards.
I have a gym membership and try to go around three times a week but obviously Coronavirus has meant the gym has closed so I’ve found some alternatives. I’m doing Couch to 5k again as originally I did it all on a treadmill and, believe me, running outside is a whole different ball game.
We are lucky in the UK that we’re allowed out once a day for exercise – I know many other countries aren’t. Also, I can’t run every day – plus I like to mix things up – so I’ve been trying out different home workouts. These are five of my favourites. You don’t need lots of space, most don’t need any equipment and they’re all on YouTube and free!
Five tried and tested home workouts
Low impact full body Hiit workout
This is a 30 minute workout by Maddie of MadFit. She has 2.7 million subscribers on YouTube so that gives you a sense of how good her workouts are!
She has loads of workout videos, ranging from high intensity to stress relief. There are also yoga/stretch workouts and workouts to songs. I did the 30 minute low impact, full body Hiit workout. No equipment is necessary, although I used my yoga mat.
There are 30 different exercises for 30 minutes – no repeat exercises. You get 45 seconds to do the moves and then a 15 second rest – that’s it. There’s a very clear timer on display so you can see how much time is left on each move. I’d say it’s an intermediate level workout – my highest heart rate was 127. My legs were shaking a bit after when I walked down the stairs but the next day there weren’t really any aches or pains. Weirdly there was no warm up or cool down.
Verdict: great for small spaces. There’s no equipment needed and no jumping (so no annoying your neighbours). I really felt like I’d had a great workout.
PE with Joe
Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, has been doing live workouts every Monday to Friday at 9 am on his The Body Coach TV YouTube channel. PE with Joe is so much fun and a great workout!
I’ve done quite a few of them now – some live and some not. There is a fair bit of jumping around – just so you know. There are 10 exercises with 30 seconds for each move, then a 30 second rest. Once the ten are done, you get 2 minutes to rest before repeating them. There’s a 5 minute warm up and a cool down after so the workout totals about 30 minutes.
As much as I enjoy the workouts, the shout outs to people joining in can get a bit annoying! But obviously the kids love them so fair due. And people join from all the world so it’s pretty cool. If you have kids, this is a fun workout to do as a family. There’s always a ‘spot the difference’ game too and every Friday is a fancy dress workout.
There is a timer, although you can’t really see it that well but there are three beeps when you have three seconds left of an exercise. Although it’s aimed at kids, trust me this is a workout! My heart rate has gone over 130 many times. I’ve also ached the next day….
Verdict: a really fun workout that will get a sweat on!
Well + Good Pilates 15 minute full body workout
Now I’m not one for yoga but I do love Pilates. Unfortunately my gym always has Pilates classes at times I can’t go so I’ll probably continue with Pilates workouts on YouTube when the gym does open again. Obviously you don’t benefit from the teacher adjusting you though if your position isn’t quite right…
Well + Good is a lifestyle and wellness channel that features a whole host of videos, including workouts by guest instructors. I did the 15 min full body Pilates workout with Chloe Gregor. This is a great option for when you want to workout but you don’t want to do cardio. Also, it’s only 15 minutes so very easy to fit into your day.
There are 4 moves for your core, 8 for glutes (absolute killer!) and then 4 plank moves. The highest my heart rate got was 109. The next day I had some aches from muscles I clearly don’t exercise enough! There is a timer but it’s not set for individual moves but rather the total minutes of the workout.
Verdict: great for those days when you don’t fancy cardio. Love how Pilates works muscles I don’t normally exercise!
Full body kettlebell workout
I bought a 6 kg kettlebell years ago and I enjoy using the 8 kg one at the gym, so I thought I’d do a home workout with my kettlebell. I chose Heather Robertson’s 20 minute full body kettlebell workout on her YouTube channel – which has over 400k subscribers.
There are 10 exercises, which are repeated. She didn’t explain at the beginning how it worked though so it took me a couple of exercises to realise that the first 20 seconds is her demonstrating the exercise, then the remaining 40 seconds of the minute is to do the move. So you do 40 seconds and have only a 20 second break.
It was pretty high intensity, with my heart rate reaching 125. The next day my arm muscles were a bit tender. It was a good workout! Obviously this needs a kettlebell but she has lots of non-equipment and no jumping workouts on her channel too.
Verdict: I enjoyed learning some new exercises to do with my kettlebell!
Core and lower back strengthening workout
This is a 7 minute workout on the Adidas Runtastic YouTube channel to help strengthen your core and help with lower back pain.
There are 6 exercises that you do in one go, then a 1 minute rest, and then you repeat the 6 exercises. It’s good for knee and lower back pain – so good for runners!
Although it’s not particularly strenuous, the core exercises got my heart rate up to 99.
Verdict: a great workout to help focus on your core and reduce lower back pain. It’s only 7 minutes so easy to fit in to a busy day.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and I’ve given you some home workout inspiration! Share any home workouts you love in the comments below.
Lauretta Wright3 years ago
Thanks for doing this Kirsty – I have lower back pain so I’ll be looking into the 7 Minute workout. And I love pilates (I’m the same as you – not really a yoga fan), so I’m going to check that out too. A great (and very useful) post xx
Kirsty Marrins3 years ago AUTHOR
Thanks Lauretta, glad it was useful! Hope you find a Pilates class online that you love!
Sophie Hill2 years ago
I love this! Thank you for sharing as I find it so hard to find the best home workout routine. There’s so many out there it can be hard to choose! I’ll definitely take those tips on board!
Kirsty Marrins2 years ago AUTHOR
Thanks Sophie! Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you find a home workout you enjoy.