Motivation to Exercise at Home
By: Lindsay Johnson
FitPros has been a remote work company since 2016, so before the order not to leave our San Francisco home went into place this week, I had my routine - wake up, coffee while checking email, then workout before 10am. Yet, a few days a week I had to dig super deep for motivation.
Prior to the COVID-19 apocalypse I would drag my booty to the gym, and at least then once I got there I would get the workout done. Today, I looked at my exercise band, looked at my workout clothes and said to myself “I just don’t want to!” There may have been a childlike foot stomp too (HA). Somedays that is absolutely okay, but I know long-term that I won't be physically or emotionally healthy if I frequently give in to that voice.
Even as a certified Personal Trainer who knows how to workout, I find exercising at home to be a challenge. Not because I don’t know what to do for exercise, but because it’s easy to get distracted and difficult to stay motivated and get sweaty when you’re used to being cozy in your home. Sweat and cozy just don't mix!
If it’s a new thing to workout at home and hasn’t become a habit yet, it will take time to adjust. One helpful thing to keep in mind is that new habits take at least 21 days to stick. The best thing you can do is set yourself up for success by devising a plan. Here are a few steps:
Put the intention in your mind before you go to bed the night before: If you’re prepared mentally you’re more likely to follow through.
Decide exactly what time: Things may come up and/or you may let a reason change the time, but if you make a conscious decision to block a time and let your family, housemates or remote co-workers know, then you’re more likely to commit to that time without being disturbed.
Prepare the place in your house where it’ll go down: Clearing out a space at home, even if you don’t have equipment will help you visualize doing the workout there, and it will be easier to jump right into the exercise during your scheduled time.
Know what you plan to do for the exercises in advance: Having a plan always leads to great success. Even if you shift off course, at least you have guidelines and ideas to build off of. Later in this read I’ll give you some foundational movements you can do at home.
Have a rebuttal ready for the voice that will say “I don’t wanna”: It’s SO easy to give into the voice that says “I have work to do” or “I should do this first.” Memorize your WHY you know it’s important that you get in exercise. For example, “I want to be healthy and here for my family for years to come” or “I don’t want joint pain and aches” or “I want to look at my physical best”... whatever the goal is for you, have that WHY top of mind - I suggest to write it down and tape in on your fridge or mirror!
So, now that you’re pumped up what do you do for exercise?
As a Personal Trainer I had the opportunity to train many people who had varying capabilities. Some had injuries, some worked out frequently, but the majority would do something physical maybe 3 times a week. No matter what their skill level there are foundational bodyweight exercises that are staples to every workout plan:
Bodyweight exercises can be modified for whatever fitness level you are. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned athlete, bodyweight exercises can be incredibly challenging and beneficial. Progressing on the foundational exercises mentioned above is straightforward, so you can keep challenging yourself and building strength. Here are a few dynamic movements to get you started:
Set up on your forearms with your weight supported on your toes and shoulders over your elbows, body straight.
From your forearms push up to a straight arm plank with your core locked so a straight line forms between your head, glutes and heels.
Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms.
Then back down to a forearm plank and repeat!
Side note: I like to think I’m strong and I do push ups on my knees to ensure I have good form in my back and core. Form is ALWAYS most important to avoid injury!
This one will get your heart pumping too! From the plank position hop your feet forward to your hands.
Stabilize your feet in the Squat position then raise your hands off the ground.
From the Squat stand upright while squeezing your booty and engaging your core.
Sit back into the Squat position then place your hands back to the floor and hop back to the starting plank position. Repeat!
Lie down on your back with your arms and legs outstretched and your hands and feet lifted just above the floor.
Begin the exercise by simultaneously raising your torso and legs up to touch your feet.
Hold for five to 10 seconds before releasing back to the floor. Repeat!
Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don't keep looking down).
Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn't touch the floor.
Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position. Always engage your core.
Keeping your feet secured, move your hips up and down so that your knee goes from the 90-degree angle to straight, multiple times then switch to the other leg in front.
5. Tricep Dips
Find a stable piece of furniture in your house. A coffee table that’s ideally just above knee height. A couch works, but slightly more difficult on a soft surface.
Stand facing away from the furniture then place your palms on it, with your fingertips at your back.
Bend your elbows to 90-degrees then straighten them multiple times. All the while keeping your arms parallel to each other.
You may notice that I did not suggest how many repetitions to do. Because my assumption is that those of you reading this are looking for this to be your full workout and not just a warm up, then my recommendation would be go to “burn out” for 3 sets. Meaning do as many repetitions as you can, but if you’re looking for a number to shoot for, try 20 and see how you feel. It’s your workout and I trust that you know in your heart when you’re pushing yourself and when you’re taking it too easy on yourself.
You'll be pleased to know, bodyweight exercises are just as good as throwing around weights when it comes to muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth). The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health research found that hypertrophy "can occur independent of an external load," and, in fact, all it takes to develop is performing exercises through their full range of motion. A bodyweight squat, performed with proper form, can be just as effective as traditional weight training.
The below exercises are meant to be done with a loop exercise band.
If you don’t have one FitPros will snail mail the first 25 people to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Clamshell - Place the band above your knees then lie on your side, with legs stacked and knees bent at a 45-degrees. Rest your head, engage your abs, keep your feet touching then raise your upper knee as high as you can without shifting your hips or pelvis. Repeat for 20 reps on each side.
Overhead Lat Pulldown - Grip the inside of the band with two fingers and raise the band above your head. Pull the band in opposite directions and start to feel the muscle under your armpits engage (those are your lats aka the Latissimus Dorsi)
Lateral Squat Walks - Bend knees slightly and position your feet shoulder-width apart. Your back should be straight, not rounded. Slowly step sideways, one foot followed by the other until you’ve taken 10 steps and then go back the other direction.
Tricep Pull Up - Take one arm over your head, holding the band and then take your other arm behind your back to grab the opposite side of the band behind your back. Keeping the arm behind your back still, raise the arm that’s over your head up and down for 20 reps, and then switch arms
Kickbacks - Step into the band with both feet and keep it at your ankles. Stagger your feet and shift more weight into your front foot. While keeping your upper body stable, slowly kick the back foot up back for 20 reps. Then switch your stance and repeat with the opposite leg.
If the above instructions aren’t enough this page has visuals.
Last but not least, FitPros offers virtual classes, but we’re not a consumer facing company. Meaning your employer would need to make the investment. So, to support employees quickly we discovered this list with TONS of virtual fitness companies that offer free trials.
Just don’t blame us when they try to sell you after :) If you’re an employee who can’t get to a gym given the COVID-19 outbreak, then these could be alternatives to keep your workouts interesting.
Cardio & Strength
Fitness Blender: Free cardio, strength and stretch workout videos
Tone It Up: Daily online workouts with a 7-day free trial
Beachbody: Online classes with a 14-day free trial
ObéFitness: Live fitness classes with a 30-day free trial (use code ATHOME)
CrossFit: Free at-home workout videos, including single exercises and drills
The Sculpt Society: Online cardio and sculpting workouts with a 14-day free trial
NEOU: Various live, on-demand workouts with a 30-day free trial.
P.volve: Streamed functional movement workouts with a 30-day free trial (use code ONEPVOLVE)
Fhitting Room: On demand HIIT and strength workouts with a 30-day free trial
YogaWorks: Online yoga classes with a 14-day free trial
Down Dog App: Free yoga, HIIT and barre classes until April 1, 2020
SkyTing: Online yoga classes with a free 7-day trial
The Bar Method: Online barre classes with a 14-day free trial, plus some free workouts via Instagram
Physique 57: Online barre classes with a 7-day free trial
Barre3: Online barre classes with a 15-day free trial
Blogilates: Free workout videos, challenges and plans
Pilates Anytime: Access to over 3,000 Pilates classes with 15-day free trial
FitPros also offers live and webinar Health Talks with a Motivational Speaker as well as 1:1 Coaching sessions. If these are of interest to you please forward this blog or email@example.com along to your HR Benefits team and let them know that FitPros can support your wellbeing needs!
Want to learn more about FitPros Health Talks & 1:1 Coaching?
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: (815) 348-7767