Instagram Live Wrap Up: Tips for Exercising at Home During Social Distancing

Hi everyone,

Thank you to the 43 (!!!) people who joined me live over on my Instagram account for a home workout this morning! I had a lot of fun, and it was great to see people’s reactions in real-time. It actually made it feel like we were working out together! I think that can be the real value of these live events, to be honest. These crazy times with corona virus mean that it’s hard to feel connected to others, and doing something together “live” can help with that.

A few of you have already asked if I’ll do it again, so I think I will. Keep posted here on the blog, and on my Instagram and Facebook pages for updates.

As promised, here are some tips, along with a list of the bodyweight exercises we did, and other resources to help you keep exercising during social distancing/ self-isolation/ lockdown.

Tips for Exercising at Home During Social Distancing (Bonus Sample Workout) A Blog Post by Siobhan Milner, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Exercise Scientist

Tips for Keeping Moving During Lockdown

  • Set a timer for every 60 minutes (or decide to just pick a time; every hour on the hour, every 15 minutes past the hour, etc.) and get up and move for 2 minutes. Our bodies are not made to stay still, they’re made to change positions constantly (as reflected in the fact that two of the risk factors for low back pain are continuous sitting and continuous standing. Movement is key!).
  • Commit to working out with your housemate or partner, or join live workouts. We need to be social in whatever way we can during these trying times. Workout with a buddy (or with online buddies!).
  • Tell people your training plans. If you put it out in the world, you’re more likely to do it. If you share your plans with friends, they can check in with you and ask how it was. Accountability is key for a lot of people. Write it on the calendar so your family can see. If you need, send me a message and ask me to check in on you.
  • Remember that something is better than nothing. You don’t have to do a 60 minute workout if life is getting to you right now. Walk up and down your stairs. Do overhead squats with the baby. Pump out a couple of push ups. Recognise that lifting weights just once per week has proved to help maintain muscle mass in certain populations (and arguably, as younger people build muscle mass more easily, these results could be more noticeable in younger exercisers). Working out during lockdown is also a chance for you to just get out of your mind and into your body.

Bodyweight Exercises we did Today

During the training today I used this Interval Timer. It’s on YouTube so it’s totally free, and it’s an easy way to motivate yourself to keep doing an exercise (it’s only for 30 seconds!). In general, I do 3 sets of an exercise, but if I’m short on time, I might only do 2.

I’m going to put up a blog post in the next few days with tips on how to create your own home bodyweight workout, but for now, here’s what we did today in case you missed the Live Stream and/or replay (only available here for 24 hours).

P.S. Remember, supersetting means alternating between exercises. All exercises were performed for 30 seconds with a 10 second break in between.

Superset 1 (Long Superset – 12 x 30 seconds total)

  1. Lunges. Option 1: Alternating Lunges. Option 2: Lunges on one leg only (alternating the leg only on every second set). Option 3: Lunge pulses (staying low at the bottom of a lunge and “pulsing” – very small movements, keeping the lunge deep).
  2. Hip Bridge Lifts. Option 1: Both feet down, standard bridge lift. Option 2. Alternated one-legged bridge left (one foot extended upwards, only pushing through one foot on the ground). Option 3: One-legged bridge lift (alternating the leg only on every second set).

In this video you can see Options 1 and 3. Option 2 is the same as three, the only difference is you alternate legs instead of staying on one side continuously for 30 seconds.

For this first set, we did 6 sets of each exercise. If you were opting for one-sided options, that meant that for each exercise, the right side completed three sets, and the left side completed three sets.

Superset 2 (Short Superset – 6 x 30 seconds total)

  1. Push Ups. Option 1: Box push ups. Option 2: Knee push ups. Option 3: Standard push ups on toes. Option 4 for the hardcore: Holding at the bottom part of the push up movement (isometric contraction, arms at 90 degree angles).
  2. Renegade Rows. Option 1: High plank on knees or toes, hands on ground (I think during the live someone asked if they could do this on their elbows. Of course you can, it’s your world). Option 2. High plank on knees, lifting one arm off the ground at a time, squeezing shoulder blade in. Option 3: High plank on toes, lifting one arm off the ground at a time, squeezing shoulder blade in.

So for this shorter set, we did 3 sets of each exercise. If I’m ever doing one-sided options, I’ll always opt for 4 or 6 sets so that both sides work evenly.

Superset 3 (Short Superset – 6 x 30 seconds total)

  1. Plank variations. Option 1: Any of the variations on your knees. Option 2: Any of the variations on your toes. Variations I used were: Walking (or ‘Norwegian’) planks, Spider planks, and hip twist planks.
  2. Back Extensions. Option 1: Lying on your stomach, squeeze your shoulder blades together and slide them down your back. Slowly lift and lower the chest off the ground to work the low back. Option 2. Same as option 1, but alternate lifting one thigh off the ground at the same time as lifting the chest. Option 3: Same as option 1, but lift both thights off the ground at the same time as lifting the chest.
Here’s how to do what I call the “spider plank.”
Here’s an example of the walking plank (often called the “Norwegian plank.”).

Superset 4 (Long Superset – 12 x 30 seconds total)

  1. Squats. Option 1: Standard squats. Option 2: “W” or “M” squats. Squat down to your deepest position, then only come up a tiny fraction (or halfway up), return to your deepest postion, and then coming all the way back up to the top. That’s one rep. Option 3: Squat hold! Stay at the bottom of the movement.
  2. Side Plank with Glute Med. Variation. Option 1: Hold a standard side plank on the knees or toes. Option 2. On the knees, keep feet glued together and open top knee towards the roof. Option 3: Straight-legged side plank, lifting the top leg up and down.
Here are the options for the Side Plank with Glute Med. Variations.

And that’s it! We did finish with a bit of a stretch and some neural glides. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions. I’ll keep you posted for the next one. I think we all need a bit of connection during these tough times.

Love and strength and squats,

Siobhan Milner.

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