Home workouts have come up trumps since the start of the coronavirus pandemic with personal trainers, studios and gyms offering free virtual tutorials including everything from HIIT classes to yoga flows.
Though gyms remain open and in-person exercise classes continue to go ahead, it's totally normal to feel anxious about returning to public gyms. Or, like us, you might have got used to the ease of exercising at home (and the joys of saving money on a gym membership). As 2022 begins and so do your new fitness goals, we've rounded up the very best home workouts to make you look and feel your best.
Best arm exercises
How to do it: Place your hands under your shoulders and lift your body from the ground to reach a plank position. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body down, ensuring that you keep your core engaged to maintain a straight line. Repeat.
Dumbbell shoulder press
How to do it: Hold dumbbells (a tin of beans or a bottle of milk will also do the job) in either hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure not to lock your knees and press your weights up from your shoulder height until your arms are straight. Hold and slowly move back so that your biceps are at three o'clock from your shoulders before pushing back up. Repeat.
Dumbbells, from £11.99 Amazon
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How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, ensuring not to lock your knees. Hold your dumbbell (or makeshift household weight) in front of your face with your elbows bent, palms facing each other. Circle the weight around your head and keep your elbows in your eyeline as you do it. Repeat.
Best leg exercises
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat, making sure that your knees do not hover any further forward than your toes. Repeat.
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right leg and bend both knees as you lower until both knees are at a 90 degree angle. Push through the heel of your left foot to stand, and repeat on the other side.
How to do it: Get onto all fours on your hands and knees. Slowly kick your right leg back until it's straight, making sure that you keep your core engaged and back straight. Slowly bring it back down and repeat on the other side.
Best tummy exercises
How to do it: Lie on your back with your hands placed under your bottom. Raise your legs to 90 degrees, and slowly lower both of them back down without arching your lower back. Repeat.
How to do it: Place both hands under your shoulders and push up into a plank position. Bring one knee into your chest and back to the starting position. Do the same with the other leg and repeat immediately on the other side to build speed. Repeat.
How to do it: Sit down and hover on your bottom with your legs off of the floor and your back straight at 45 degrees. Extend your legs out straight then bend to crunch in, as you bring your chest to meet your knees. Repeat.
Best bum exercises
How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and lift your bottom away from the ground to reach table-top. From there lower your bottom back down to the ground and thrust back up. Repeat. Add in a weight to rest on your hips to increase intensity.
How to do it: Start with your feet wider than your hips and turned out. Tuck your pelvis under and lower down into a squat as you push your bottom backwards. Push back up through the heels of your feet to return to standing. Repeat.
How to do it: Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Lift your right knee out to the side until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Return back to the ground and repeat.
Best running plan
Personal trainer Rozanna Purcell recently launched Together Apart We Run along with her sister, Rachel Purcell, and International Ultrarunner John O'Regan. Together, the trio have put together a series of running plans to help followers achieve milestones: 5km, 10km and a half marathon. They've even set up a Strava run club so you can virtually connect with other participants.
Best yoga home workout
Jaime Hepburn is spearheading the online yoga offering, with a library of everything from slow flows to power hours. Each class comes with modifications for beginners and challenges for more seasoned yogis, while she offers a free 7-day trial for new members. Between the unwavering sense of community (her classes have previously had up to 90 students participating at one time), and Jaime's knack for seamless instruction, she presents a remarkable example of yoga's capacity to traverse the physical realm and leave you feeling every bit as blissful as you would in a studio. Day passes cost £8, while a month's access is £18, and a community pass is £25 for access to all classes incuding livestreams, as well as retreat discounts.
TOPLUS yoga mat, £18.69 Amazon
Best Pilates workouts at home
Luxury fitness studio Core Collective's virtual line-up (Core Collective TV) includes on-demand Pilates classes lasting from 5 to 45 minutes. They are streamed via Zoom and prices start from £10 per class.
Best HIIT workout at home
Sweat IT focuses on workouts that require no equipment. Since the studio closed, they are streaming live HIIT workouts online. New members can try 14 days for free, before signing up to a membership of £12.99 per month.
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Best core workouts at home
Barry's Bootcamp UK
Barry's Bootcamp typically includes a split between the treadmill and weights on the floor, but since taking to live-streaming, the boutique brand is offering 30 minute live classes requiring no equipment, and targeting specific areas of the body such as abs. Weekly membership costs £20, including access to two new workout videos per day.
Postnatal exercise and prenatal exercise
Hollie Grant aka founder of the Pilates PT Method specialises in pregnancy and post-pregnancy exercises, and is currently streaming live 45-60 minute virtual classes through the Pilates PT website for £10 each. Having recently had a baby herself, Hollie knows the weight of working out for both mental and physical health as a new or expectant mother, while her 'Bump Plan' has already had rave reviews from pregnant women feeling isolated during lockdown.
Best barre workout at home
Psycle have been delivering weekly live schedules, including their signature barre classes that work by targeting the legs, bum, arms and abs with tiny but effective moves that are guaranteed to burn. Pay-as-you-go will cost you £12 per class, or you can sign up for a month of access for £30, or a year for £240.
Best YouTube workouts
Best 30 minute workout
Heather Robertson is a certified personal trainer, and her 30 minute intense full body workout targets every area of the body by working in intervals: 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off.
Best 20 minute workout
Joe Wicks' Tabata workout is designed to burn fat fast and, if you live in a flat and don't want to disturb your neighbours below, his hotel tutorial comes without any jumps or noisy movements.
Best full body workout no equipment
Pamela is a German-born fitness model and social media star and offers an array of YouTube workouts including this all over bodyweight workout. Expect everything from mountain climbers to jump squats.
Best cardio workout
Actress Nina Dobrev teamed up with Reebok who founded the LES MILLS workout – a HIIT workout designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, increase speed and maximise calorie burn, and this cardio class features Nina's favourite moves and tracks.
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