With many of us spending a little extra time at home of late, home workouts have never been such a buzzword. It takes us back to the good old days of ‘fluorobics’ with Mr Motivator on GMTV (yes, we’re THAT old).
And we thought that working out at home was all the rage back THEN…
…what did we know?
Move over 1994, 2020 is going to be the year of home workouts.
Take this as a golden opportunity to get fit, keep trim and nurture your mental wellbeing right from the comfort of your own living room.
We have put together a collection of our favourite home workout videos to keep you fit, toned, entertained, stretched, relaxed and full of endorphins; bringing you a variety of videos to suit every exercise pallet.
You will thank us for also throwing in a few free exercise routines to help prevent ‘Netflix-binge butt’ (believe us, in a few months that’ll be a thing!)
Finally, we finish off with some personally recommended fitness apps, to boost the wellbeing of both your body AND your mind.
Aren't we good to you?
So, what are you waiting for? Let's jump in!
To jump to a section, click the headings below.
Still lacking some motivation? Who better to kick of proceedings than Mr Motivator himself? He has returned to UK TV screens to keep Britain fit, now has his own YouTube channel with his 12-minute ‘Daily Dozen’ workouts and hosts live workouts on Instagram.
This is our favourite Daily Dozen workout.
If you’d rather be transported straight back to the ‘90s, here is an awesome VHS (yes, VHS) from 1994 to give you a ‘touch of motivation’.
And, remember, as Mr Motivator says “you’ve got to warm up the body before you start any kind of activity”.
Working from home or being housebound means that your lower body is likely to be getting less movement than it might be used to. This is the perfect time to focus on strengthening and toning this area of your body.
Let’s avoid that saggy ‘Netflix-binge butt’.
To help, we’ve created an invigorating workout using our resistance bands to get your booty moving. The added resistance from our bands gives your workout the extra kick required to tone and build muscle fast.
We have also thrown in some cardio exercises, so grab a jump rope which is included in our new workout kits (coming soon!).
The following exercises are a range of walking, standing and floor-based activities which, when combined into a 20 – 25-minute workout routine, are designed to get your heart pumping and improve your lower body strength.
We all work at different levels, so feel free to adjust the repetitions, resistance band and durations according to your needs.
Remember, no pain, no gain!
Jump Rope for 2 minutes
For the following exercises, depending on how much intensity you want, rest between 30 – 60 seconds between each set
for an extra challenge include various core exercises such as sit ups, planks and stomach crunches.
Exercise 1 – standing
Regular lunges with a resistance band – 20, alternate leg repetitions
Squats with a resistance band – 20 repetitions
Exercise 2 – standing
Knee raises with a resistance band – 10 per leg
Kick backs with a resistance band – 10 per leg
Exercise 3 – walking
Band walk wide sweep with a resistance band – 20 large steps
Band walk lateral (side step) with a resistance band – 10 large steps, each direction
Exercise 4 – floor
Kneeling kick backs with a resistance band – 10 per leg
Kneeling sidekicks with a resistance band – 10 per leg
DO NOT skip this part
After all your hard work, stretch out your lower body by following this video by Sarah Beth Yoga
Another tried and tested (by us!) fitness training resource we would like to recommend is the Freeletics app. We think it is a fantastic addition to any home workout, with options for it to remain free or to pay for a subscription. The app gives you journeys based on your workout goals, for example getting fit, gaining muscle or losing weight. It has a range of different pre-made workout routines that you can choose depending on your goal. We love this app and think it’s a great motivator to get you moving.
If you ever needed an excuse or the time to start practicing yoga, this is it. As our Yoga 101: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners advocates, practicing yoga will give you a whole load of benefits for both your physical and mental health. More than just the physical asana, yoga can be practiced both on and off the mat. Take time to read the Yoga Sutras, practice pranayama and align yourself to the Yamas and the Niyamas.
Meditation can also bring solace and the space to connect with yourself and we share our favourite guided meditation apps below.
New to yoga? Get yourself over to our Yoga for Beginners article to help get you started.
And if you’re yet to roll out your own mat, check out our range of inspirational bio-conscious Plyopic yoga mats.
Of course, one of the many, many benefits of yoga is that you can practice at home.
So, are you at home and keen to join in a class?
You are in luck.
There are a multitude of yoga classes popping up in all corners of the internet, some are recorded, some live, some paid or by donation and some are even free.
If you have a regular yoga teacher, check to see whether they are offering online classes and if not, here are our recommendations for recorded and live yoga classes at home.
Our Yoga for Beginners article recommends our favourite yoga from home videos but here they are again.
Follow Along at Home Series: Yoga with Adriene
You can even stick with her as your practice develops as she has a wide variety of videos.
We love her 30 day challenges which are a great way to develop a regular practice.
Follow Along at Home Series: Brett Larkin Yoga
Feel free to share any of your own recommendations in the comments below.
If you want the experience of practicing along with other yogis at the same time, in more of a real class environment, live yoga classes are currently in abundance. Depending on your mood, intention or style of yoga there will be something out there for everyone.
Experienced Ashtangis, and even beginners, head on over to Harmony Slater’s online yoga class schedule. Harmony is one of three certified Ashtanga yoga teachers in Canada and is currently offering 1-hour themed classes for free! She says that everyone is welcome to join, even if you are new to yoga.
Himalaya Yoga Valley
Himalaya Yoga Valley, based in Ireland and with centres in India, are now offering daily free online classes “to help bring stability and grounding to people in a shaky time.” Join hundreds of people (up to 300 and they do get full!) practicing yoga and sharing their mission of service to the community.
Head on over to their Instagram page to check out the Zoom link in their Bio and weekly schedule, which varies in pace and challenge. The Himalaya Yoga Valley website will give further detail on the various classes they offer.
If you have the opportunity to go out for a walk, run or cycle, there are many apps out there that will track your activity. Most are free to download and offer in-app purchases for more premium features. One great feature of a lot of these apps is that they suggest routes in your local area, so if things get a little ‘Groundhog Day’, go exploring!
The MapMy’s are a range of excellent fitness apps relevant to the sport or activity you enjoy. They provide the ability to track your activity of choice and have a section to explore routes local to your location. The apps also have some awesome challenges to motivate you, challenge your friends and set goals to work towards.
Claiming to be the “number 1 app for runners and cyclists”, Strava is another great app to download to track your fitness. Like others, it gives you the ability not only to track your activity but also to analyse your performance. You can connect and share your workouts and wins with your friends, commenting and offering kudos to their efforts.
At the end of all your fitness activities, when your body is screaming at you, we recommend taking a little time to nourish your muscles. Simply rubbing tired muscles with warm hands or using Plyopic's massage ball sets can help self-massage your overworked and painful muscles and tissues.
If you opt for massage balls, they will help you roll aches and pains into submission in a wide range of body points. Rubbing the Trigger Ball on the soles of your feet, for example, will help ease away the pain of plantar fasciitis and flat feet, commonly caused by excessive running or walking.
Be your own personal massage therapist.
As great as it is to look after your physical health, nourishing your mental health is just as important, if not more so. Meditation is the perfect accompaniment to any fitness regime, be it rigorous or more relaxed. There are a huge amount of online resources available to help with this, which is ever increasing. To give you a starter for ten, we’ve selected a few of our favourites.
Insight Timer describes itself as “the number 1 free app for sleep, anxiety and stress”, and we can see why. This is up there as one of our personally tried and tested favourites. There is a wide range of free content available to listen from talks to meditation, depending on your need at any given moment.
The Calm app creators have a beautiful mission;
“to make the world happier and healthier”
We love this.
With more than 50 million downloads, they have won a lot of awards for their app. Their content ranges from meditation, to music through to nature scenes and video lessons on mindful movement. To bring more 'Calm' into your life, download their app.
The Headspace app was created to share meditation and mindfulness techniques that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. It includes a free Basics course which will teach you the essentials of meditation and mindfulness, and offers subscriptions. Their content includes hundreds of articles for “any mind, any mood, any goal” and ranges from sleep, stress and anxiety through to movement. Andy Puddicombe, the founder of Headspace, has also written three books that you might be interested in getting your hands on.
If one of your mental-health-boosters is meditation, to bring a little more comfort, our Zafu meditation cushions are designed to optimise your comfort and stability, reinforcing your posture.
The perfect accompaniment to de-stress and relax.
So, there you have it, our collection of our favourite home workouts to help keep you fit, both mentally and physically, and full of endorphins. We have shared our favourite home workouts for those of you who fancy a retro-throwback bounce around through to those who need a mental de-stress. And, if you really must insist on a Netflix-binge, now you know how to get squatting with our resistance bands and avoid the accompanying 'butt'!
We hope you have found this article useful, please let us know in the comments below. Particularly if you have any more suggestions to share – help us pay it forward!