How To Do A Full Body Workout In Your Living Room

Move that coffee table and get your plank on.
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As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, it’s likely you’re spending more time at home – whether that’s practising social distancing, working from home or self-isolating.

It’s obviously necessary for your own health and others’, but for many this means a lot of change. Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t be active, though.

Here, personal trainers Tome Levi and Joel Freeman share their favourite at-home exercises.

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Before You Begin...

Finding the motivation to exercise can be difficult at the best of times – even more so when it’s at some unearthly hour. Levi says playing music, finding a sequence of exercises you enjoy, or inviting a friend to workout with you can all help boost motivation. “Ultimately it’s down to making your workout something you don’t dread,” she says. “The more you enjoy it, the more motivated you will feel to do it in the first place.”

Remember, it’s always best to get professional support if you’re new to fitness. “All of the exercises are only a recommendation for a generic workout and some may require further modification for some bodies,” adds Levi. “I would advise anyone who is unsure to seek professional assistance either in a gym or privately prior to executing any of these exercises.”

There are suggested sets and repetitions for the exercises below, but you can vary these depending on how they feel for you and your body. And finally, make sure you warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards – find some advice here.

Exercise #1: Squats

PT: Joel Freeman

Body parts worked: Legs and lower body

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing slightly out. Bend your knees while keeping your back straight and chest lifted. Keep your weight in your heels, with your bum no lower than your knees. ‘Sit’ in the squat for a second, then push back up. And repeat.

You can also incorporate your furniture with your workout – as above, keep the upper body upright, place hands behind your head, pull your shoulders and elbows back. Squat down to lightly touch the sofa or chair and push back up.

Suggested sets: Three sets of 10 squats.

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Exercise #2: Lunges

PT: Tome Levi

Body parts worked: Legs

How to do it: Stand up straight, then take a large step forwards, one leg in front of the other. Allow both knees to bend to 90 degrees – this is full lunge position. Reverse this motion by pushing off your front leg to return to a neutral stance. Repeat with the other leg. Don’t let your weight transfer too far forward in your front leg.

Suggested sets: Three sets of five lunges.

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Exercise #3: Superman

PT: Joel Freeman

Body parts worked: Lower back, abdominals, obliques, glutes and hamstrings

How to do it: Start in a high plank position (arms straight, like the photo below) with your body in a straight line, looking down at the floor, not at your feet. Your feet should be slightly wider than hip distance to help stability and your hands directly in line with your shoulders.

Extend your right arm forward and raise your left leg, straight, so they are parallel to the floor. Hold for five seconds. Maintain a straight body and return to the plank position. Repeat with the left arm and right leg.

Suggested sets: 10 repetitions on each arm/leg.

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Exercise #4: Glute Bridge

PT: Joel Freeman

Body parts worked: Glutes

How to do it: Lie on your back with your heels on the floor and your knees bent. Lift your hips up and squeeze your glutes. Create a straight line from your knees to your chest. Hold this for five seconds, release and repeat.

“For mums exercising at home, this is a great one to do with your child,” says Freeman. “Follow the instructions above sitting your child on your hips, squeezing the glutes and raising up and down using them as your weight.”

Suggested sets: Five glute bridges, held for five seconds each.

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Exercise #5: Seated Sprint

PT: Joel Freeman

Body parts worked: Core, abs and legs

How to do it: Sit on your bottom on the floor, lift the legs slightly, and lean back – with your shoulders off the floor. Cycle the legs, touching your elbow to the opposite knee. Engage (tense) the core in order to support a straight back throughout.

Suggested sets: Three sets of 10 repetitions.

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Exercise #6: Plank

PT: Tome Levi

Body parts worked: Core

How to do it: Put your weight on your feet and forearms with your shoulders over your elbows. Form a right angle with both arms, like below. Keep your spine neutral, and your glutes and core engaged.

Suggested sets: Three planks, held for 20 seconds each.

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Exercise #7: Mountain Climbers

PT: Tome Levi

Body parts worked: Core

How to do it: Start in an upright plank position on your hands, with your shoulders over your wrists, like below. Keep your spine neutral, your glutes and core engaged, and bring one knee in towards your chest at a time. Keep alternating – the faster you alternate legs the more strenuous the exercise becomes. Read more about mountain climbers here.

Suggested sets: Three sets of 10 repetitions.