Since the novel coronavirus was first reported in December, entire countries, like Italy and Germany, have gone on lockdown, and certain U.S. cities, like San Francisco, have issued shelter-in-place orders. Major races around the world have been canceled, and many businesses are closing their doors to prevent the spread of the disease, including climbing gyms and chains like Orangetheory and SoulCycle.
But even during a pandemic, exercise is beneficial for your physical and mental health. Keeping up daily moderate movement, whether in the form of stretching, cardio, or strength exercises, can also help maintain your immune system. Below is a selection of our favorite workouts that you can do right in your living room. Some require minimal equipment, like resistance bands, kettlebells, or a jump rope, and others require nothing but some space. We’re all spending a lot of time in our own heads right now, and taking the energy to get back into your body, even for 15 minutes, is well worth it.
These routines will hit all the major muscle groups with minimal or no equipment.
Take a midday break to complete this 15-minute circuit, which combines strength training, cardio, and endurance. You’ll get a total-body workout without weights—all you need is a place to move around.
A strong core supports your spine and is critical to any activity, whether you’re climbing, sitting at a desk, or running. These ten core moves will help build a stronger trunk, develop increased endurance, and reduce your risk of injury.
While you take some time away from the gym, consider using the no-fuss equipment you have at home to stay in shape, like resistance bands. Small but mighty, it adds challenge to simple moves like push-ups and squats.
Looking for a way to strengthen your legs without heavy gym equipment? These resistance-band exercises, best performed in a circuit, will work every muscle in your lower body.
Targeted Moves and Exercises
Spend some time improving your form on these key moves. Your body will thank you.
You can do a lunge anywhere: across your driveway, down your hallway, or in your bedroom. Though they’re pretty simple, you don’t want to lunge with poor form, which can lead to lower-back and knee injuries. Take a look at some of the most common mistakes and how to correct them to make sure your lunge is in top shape.
Push-ups are the ultimate no-excuses workout; all you need is the ground beneath your feet. As we spend more time indoors these days, consider adding the tried-and-true push-up to your workout regimen to efficiently target your arms, abs, and pecs. These variations challenge different muscle groups and will keep things interesting until you’re back in the gym.
Correct squat form can take a while to perfect. This sequence of moves, which teaches you proper alignment and gradually builds mobility, is a safe and easy way to progress. If you have weights around, great, but body-weight squats go a long way, too.
Strong calves are critical for endurance runners, skiers, climbers, and anyone who practices high-impact sports. Do these seven exercises at home to encourage mobility and strength in the lower legs and ankles. Some of these moves require equipment, like a jump rope, light weight, or resistance band.
No matter where you stand on the performance benefits of stretching, taking 15 minutes to bend and breathe is good for your mental health and mobility.
Going for a run is one of the best ways to avoid crowded, public spaces like the gym while still getting your cardio in. These nine stretches efficiently target all muscle groups in the legs, like glutes and quads, as well as the sometimes-overlooked muscles like those in the shoulders and chest. No equipment is required, but these stretches are best performed after a run, when your blood is flowing.
Time away from the gym may give you the chance to focus on exercises that make you a more well-rounded athlete. Try these moves daily to increase your flexibility. For one move, all you need is a mat and a foam roller.
The stress of adjusting to a new daily schedule (and processing the news) could exacerbate any neck and shoulder tension you normally feel. These stretches target those muscles to ease tension. Try them after a workout session or mixed into a yoga routine.
Whether you are just starting yoga or are a lifelong yogi, these moves will help you wind down, focus your mind, and challenge your body in a new way if you’re feeling stressed or sore. No equipment is required, though having a yoga mat will make your practice more comfortable.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.