#2 – 12-20 Minute at Home Workouts

Whilst you are at home and cannot get to the gym, or even allowed to go outside (At writing this has not happened, God forbid) you can follow these workouts I will post. 

Today’s first post is a full-body workout broken up into two versions, one for the people new to exercise and the other one for people more used to exercising.   Each exercise will have brief instructions on how to do the exercise as well. 

Each exercise has also been given regressions for people how are not comfortable, strong enough, or have contraindications due to joint problems, etc.  These are mentioned after the Slash (/), multiple regressions are nested with these slashes as well.

Each exercise is time-based with very short breaks in-between.  If you find you do not have enough time to change exercise extend the rest periods till you can get into position safely.  Each period of working out and rest is equal to 60 seconds.  For beginners working out 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds is advised until you can do the full round without feeling too exhausted.  Work up the time working out by 5-10 seconds and reduce the rest by the same amount so 45/15 is work for 45 seconds, rest/ change for 15 seconds.  I would not recommend going above 55/5 as it is hard enough to change exercises with less than 10, never mind 5 seconds.  Each FULL round should be approximately 12 minutes without a warmup or cool down (20minutes in total).

At the end of the workout cooldown and stretch each body part you have used.

Please warm up all joints for the minimum of 5 minutes before.

You can see your development by marking the number of repetitions you can do in the time period.  The higher the number the better, but your strength is affected by stress, lack of sleep, illness, and stomach fullness (I recommend to not eat between 1-2 hours before exercise).

A brief list of the exercises is here with a detailed ‘how-to’ below.

Full body STARTER version. (2 rounds with 45-60 seconds rest, total of 10 exercises)

  1. Sit-to-Stand
  2. Reverse Lunge
  3. Wall Press Up/ Banded Chest Press
  4. Bodyweight Good Morning
  5. Reverse Crunch

Full body FULL version (Band required for some exercises) (1 Round)

  1. Body Weight Squats/ Sit-to-stand
  2. Curtsey Squat/ Reverse Lunge
  3. Press Up/ Kneeling Press Up/ Wall Press Up/ Banded Chest Press
  4. Planked Shoulder Blade Retractions/Kneeling or Wall Shoulder Blade Retractions/  Low & High Banded Seated Row
  5. Triceps Bench Dips/ Triceps Bench Dips with Bent Knees/ Triceps Banded Pull Outs
  6. Towel Resisted Bicep Isolations
  7. Bodyweight Good Morning
  8. Reverse Crunch
  9. Penguin Crunch (Prone Heel Taps)/ Oblique Crunches
  10. Glute Bridge

Full body STARTER version. (2 rounds with 45-60 seconds rest, a total of 10 exercises)

1, Sit-to-Stand

Sit on a chair that allows your knee to be bent at 90 degrees, no more, less is easier.  Make sure your full buttocks are on the seat and that your heels are underneath, or slightly in front of your knees.  Without using momentum contract your abdominal muscles (pull it in) and using your glutes and thighs raise up till you are standing.  Do not lock out your knees.  Now as you sit back to try to reduce momentum and not plank yourself down, also try not to look as you sit or this will put a strain on your thoracic (Mid) spine.  As you sit to wait a moment before starting again, this is one repetition.

2, Reverse Lunge

Stand with feet together with your legs not locked out and spine straight looking ahead, or just at the ground about 6 feet in front of you, NOT at your feet or your balance will be affected. Now with one footstep backwards till the toes on this foot touches the ground.  Your front knee will bend and as you bob down so will your back knee.  Keep a straight spine and upright, if you lean over do not go as far down next time.  Do not impact your knee of the ground put aim to get it close (within a few inches).  Then once at the bottom of the movement using your glutes and legs out fronts thigh push through the heel to get back into an upright position.  This is one repetition, but try to mark these in even numbers and change legs for the next repetition.

3, Wall Press Up/ Banded Chest Press

Stand arm’s length from a wall or countertop.  Place both hands firmly on the surface with straight, but not locked out arms, please ensure the surface is fixed and does not move when weight is placed on it.  Take a step backwards with both feet; you may need to walk your hands down the wall to allow bending of the arms. Now bend at the elbow, keeping your shoulders, bottom and feet in line with each other.  When you bend the arms allow the elbow to be between 45 degrees from your body, or just below shoulder level.  Do not have your elbow at shoulder level ass this can increase the chance of impingement. Bend your arms till your chest (Countertop) or nose (Wall) nears the surface. Then press through your chest attempting to push the surface away from you till you are again with arms straight, but not locked out.  This is one repetition.

Banded Chest Press, stand or sit keeping abdominals tight to support your spine.  Look head with a band wrapped under your armpits and held with tension in the band in each hand that should be bent at the elbow and your hand just next and a little in front of your chest.  Contract your chest and press up till your arms are straight but not locked out.  Return back to the starting position.  This is one repetition.  If the band is slack or no hard, or even if it is too hard, you can take in, or give out some of the band to adjust accordingly.

4, Bodyweight Good Morning

Cross your arms over your chest and stand with feet together (if you have trouble with your balance stand with a slightly wider stance to support you better).  Bending at the hips only, keeping your shoulder blades back and neck neutral (not pulling into your chest), lever your body forward and push your hips back till you feel a slight pull on the back of your legs.  If you had a mirror to your side you should look like a figure 7 and your chest over your feet.  Using your glutes and hip lever back up, do not over extend your back, till you are standing upright.  If you get dizzy reduce the speed and depth you bend this is not a race.  This is one repetition.

5, Reverse Crunch

Lay down face up in a prone position and your knees bent to approximately 90 degrees.  Place your hands on the floor palms downwards and head looking up at the roof.  A small cushion behind the head can help keep the spine in a neutral position.  Contract your abdominal walls concaving your stomach in and this should begin to roll your knees in up towards your chest if it does not push through your hands to help as your abdominals may not be strong enough.  Try not to use your glutes or hips to move the knees. Slowly lower the knees till your feet touch the ground.  This is one repetition.

Full body FULL version (Band required for some exercises) (1 Round)

1, Body Weight Squats/ Sit-to-stand

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart knees soft.  Hinge at the hips keeping your torso upright and straight, push back the hips and bend your knees as you lower too, hopefully, 90 degrees at the knees.  Keep the heels under the knees and under your shoulders.  Push through the middle of your feet to stand you back upright. This is one repetition.

2, Curtsey Squat/ Reverse Lunge

Stand with feet together with your legs not locked out and spine straight looking ahead, or just at the ground about 6 feet in front of you, NOT at your feet or your balance will be affected. Now with one foot step across and behind the front leg till the toes on this foot touches the ground.  Your front knee will bend and as you bob down so will your back knee.  Keep a straight spine and upright, if you lean over do not go as far down next time.  You can spread your arms as you go down to help with balance. Then once at the bottom of the movement using your glutes and legs out fronts thigh push through the front heel to get back into an upright position.  This is one repetition, but try to mark these in even numbers and change legs for the next repetition.

3, Press Up/ Kneeling Press Up/ Wall Press Up/ Banded Chest Press

Lay face down on a mat with your hands under your shoulders and toes pushing into the ground, heels high.  Keeping your glutes and abdominals tight, trying to keep your glutes in line with your shoulders and heels push the floor away, this will lift you and work your chest.  Try and keep your elbows lower down your body than your shoulders.  As you straighten your arms, do not lock them out and try and keep that straight line.  Lower yourself till your chest or nose almost hits the ground.  Do not curl your head under as this can damage your cervical spine.  This is one repetition.

Kneeling version – Get down on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and arms straight and your knees below your hips.  Move your hands forward a little and realign your shoulder over your hands, but keep your knees in the same position so the angle between your shoulders and heels are less acute. The straighter this line the hard it is going to be.  Know to screw your hands into the ground so your elbow should be lower than your shoulders.  Bend your arms till your nose almost touch the ground and then press through your chest straighten your arms, but not locking them out.  This is one repetition.  Do not let your head to lead your body or pull in your chin as this could injure your cervical spine.

4, Planked Shoulder Blade Retractions/Kneeling or Wall Shoulder Blade Retractions/  Low & High Banded Seated Row

Get into the press up position but with straightened arms.  Keeping your core tight and the line between your shoulders and heels straight. Push your chest downwards, keeping your arms straight so your shoulder blades come together and hollow out between them.  Push your chest back up till the valley between your shoulder blades becomes a small hill.  This is one repetition.  This can be done on the knees, or up against the wall like a press up.

Low & High Banded Seated Row – Sit on the floor, or on a chair with no arms and have your legs straight but not locked out.  Wrap the band under your feet and hold between mid-shin or knee level and sit back upright so the band is tight. Firstly, bring your elbows in close to the body and draw your hands backwards retracting your shoulder blades till your hands are level with your waist.  Return your arms to a straightened position without rounding your back and arms not locked out.  Next, pull your shoulder blade together as you pull your hands towards either side of your face and your elbows should flare out.  Return back to the straightened arms for one repetition.  The high row is harder to do than the low row so if you struggle to try and do as many high rows as you can then continue with just low rows till the round is finished.  Do NOT lean back too far or you will put pressure on your lower spine.

5, Triceps Bench Dips/ Triceps Bench Dips with Bent Knees/ Triceps Banded Pull Outs

Sit on a bench or chair without arms.  Place your hands on the edge of the bench/chair palms down fingers facing forward (If this hurts the wrists find a bench/chair that you can turn the fingers outwards to the sides this will reduce stress on the wrist joint.  Move your feet out till your legs are straight.  Now move your bottom off the seat/bench till your arms are holding you up.  At this point your knees will be bent, this is the starting position for the ‘bent knee’ easier version.  If you are going for the standard then straighten your legs again (for a harder version do half the time/ reps with one leg raised, and then swop leg halfway through). As you begin to lower your torso down, do NOT hold your breath, your elbow should be pointing backwards, or slightly outwards, but not directly out to the side.  Lower down till you can go as far as you can, your bottom hits the floor, or your arms are at an angle of 90 degrees, whichever comes first.  Pause for a moment and then push UP concentrating upon your triceps (back of the arms) to push up till your arms are straight and not locked out.  This is one repetition.

Triceps Banded Pull Outs – Stand or sit with your back straight and core tight.  Hold the band hip-width apart and raise your hand in front of you till your elbows are level with your shoulders and hand in front of your upper chest.  Keeping your elbows still and in place straighten your arms out to the side.  Pause and then return to the starting position.  This is one repetition.  Tighten or slacken the band if the exercise is too easier or hard for you.

6, Towel Resisted Bicep Isolations

Sit down and place a large towel, belt or webbing under both feet holding it so the object runs out of the bottom of your fist with your thumb pointing upwards.  Now tuck in your thumb.  Start with a little room to be curling your arm up towards your shoulders keeping your elbows dug into your side and immobile.  As the object tightens to hold the contraction and tighten the bicep for a few seconds.  The longer you hold each repetition the better.  Return to straight arms for one repetition.

7, Bodyweight Good Morning

As above.

8, Reverse Crunch

As above.

9, Penguin Crunch (Prone Heel Taps)/ Oblique Crunches

Get down prone on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor wider than shoulder-width.  The further your feet are from your shoulder the harder this exercise is.  Do NOT curl your chin into your chest as you raise your shoulder, ONLY, off the floor and hold your hands out at 45-degree angles from your waist.  Now pivot your rib cage as if you have been pinned to the floor with a big spike through the bottom of your sternum to touch one heel with your hand.  This is the heel that you will count on.  Next, pivot on the floor to touch the other heel with the other hand and back to the starting heel.  This is one repetition.

Oblique Crunches– Stand up with feet at hip-width apart.  Tighten your core and run your hands down the outside of your legs Pivot your spine sideways, do not move forwards or backwards, till one hand is touching or near the side of your knee.  This is the side to start counting.  Next, pivot your sideways bend till you run the other hand down to the other knee and the original hand is near your waist.  Remember not to twist your shoulders or waist.  Reverse till the original hand is touching the matching knee for one repetition.

10, Glute Bridge

Lay prone on the floor face up with your feet flat on the floor very close to your glutes at hip-width apart. Place your hand’s palm down on the floor next to you. Do not curl in your chin to your chest or hold your breath as you tighten your core and glutes to raise your bottom of the ground till you make a straight line between knees and shoulders. Do not roll on to the neck, but only on to the shoulders themselves. Lower back to the ground for one repetition.

By Richard Holtom, 16/3/2020

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