The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we exercise. No longer do we absolutely have to go to the gym to get moving. Since last March, millions of us have taken to working out indoors, whether that’s creatively using furniture as apparatus or simply watching Joe Wicks online. After all, 63 per cent of people told sportengland.org that exercise was important for their mental health during lockdown so what choice did we have?
Whether you just want to release those endorphins and boost your mood, or are keen to stay in shape or shift a few pounds, with life yet to go back to normal, here are five upper-body workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Now we know the phrase suggests you’re meant to ‘chill’ during Netflix but no, while watching your favourite film or the latest murder documentary, there is no excuse not to exercise, even when you're sat on the sofa.
You can boost your guns with a triceps press workout on the couch by sidling down and first placing both of your hands on the edge of the sofa. Then, take a couple steps out and bend your elbows, allowing your body to slide forward with your legs bent. From this position it’s a case of simply pushing back up using your arms as leverage but be careful not to exert yourself too much and make those shoulders ache. Repeat this 10-15 times with two to three sets and your triceps will be stronger.
We know how it is, pre-Covid you were in work all day, then you had to see friends and that’s before the shopping. You simply had no time to exercise. Well, that’s a lie. Even in bed you can get the blood pumping.
Just before you rest that weary head, simply lift your head and arms slightly off the bed and, while doing so, tense those abs. Count to a figure, say 60 seconds, and keep improving on this night after night. Just think of that sense of accomplishment.
This one will work your neck, abs and upper arms - three body parts, one workout, right before bed.
Good old-fashioned push-ups
Cristiano Ronaldo does push ups four or five times a week. The Juventus star sets himself a minimum of 200-300 per session. And as his physique shows when he whips his shirt off after scoring yet another goal, they work.
If you’re new to an exercise regime at home and needing to ease yourself in, simply get into the push-up position but kneel. Soon enough, your upper-body strength and stamina will be improved enough that you can do them straight.
From your back and arms to your chest and shoulders, the jumping jack will work all of your upper body and, even better, you’ll get a serious sweat on. Ensure you spread your legs to be shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms out above your head for optimal impact.
Stick your music on and work to the beat, the jumping jack will get your heart racing and positively impact the serotonin levels in your brain, which is vital during this crazy year when mental well-being is more important than ever as we battle against the new normal
We’ll be honest - this is perhaps the trickiest workout and for later in your fitness journey if you’re just starting out. However, the handstand push-up is a really good exercise and can be done absolutely anywhere. Working your shoulders, glutes and core, this will boost your upper body strength like few other routines.
Start with a pike push-up, which means going into the downward dog position and lowering yourself down using your hands as support. Then, in time, build the confidence and technique for a full handstand against the wall. When you’re there, it’s all about squeezing your abs, lowering yourself and pushing back up. It will take time to perfect but, like anything, practice makes perfect so keep at it!