During lockdown we all had to get used to our front rooms doubling up as gyms. It was quite novel at first, in fact many people enjoyed the fact that workouts could be more spontaneous and didn’t involve a 20 or 30 minute commute before exercises could begin.
Sadly, the stay-at-home gym experience wasn’t positive for all. Some neighbours had to endure ceiling-thumping and wall-shaking as jumping jacks and on-the spot jogs were being undertaken. Flats, apartments and houses with shared walls aren’t, as it turns out, the ideal places to get your high impact activity fix.
Even as gyms have reopened and social mixing has been allowed, many of us still find it difficult to gather the confidence or earmark the time to get back out there and subsequently home-exercising, just like home-working, has very much become ‘a thing’.
But how can you continue to get the workout your training programme demands without causing shelves to shake and neighbours to grumble??
The answer is to knock the star jumps and full jacks on the head and replace them with something a little calmer, but just as strenuous and just as rewarding. The answer, in my opinion, is cardio.
Those familiar with cardiovascular exercise understand that it’s all about raising the heart rate. And how, I hear you ask, can we achieve this without adding lots of running and jumping? Well, simply by thinking about it in a different way and toning down the intensity of the movement, focussing instead on quantity and quality.
The key is to keep the reps high and the rests short, as well as ensuring that the exercises chosen are ones which focus on full body movements. Getting a combination of hips, knees and shoulders involved – a multi-joint combo if you will – ensures that the programme will give you optimal results without the need to physically throw yourself around the room!
Think squats, lunges, push ups and think about a good ratio of activity to rest – for example just 10 seconds rest for every 20 seconds of intense activity. Of course, from a safety perspective, never push yourself to the extent of being overwhelmed or finding it difficult to catch a breath. Rest when your body tells you it really needs to, and then try to build up your stamina at a steady pace afterwards.
As a final thought I’d say that incorporating a series of compound movements at a more intense rate doesn’t just make for a more neighbour-friendly workout. It’s also a great starting point for those who aren’t overly confident with the type of exercises which require great co-ordination or ninja-like balance. This style of toned-down toning-up or low impact training might also be the thing for you if you suffer from joint issues of any kind.
Of course, if you still like to have a good old-fashioned jump around then feel free to do just that – but keep it for the gym or the back garden at least!