In the world of fitness, wrenches get thrown into our plans every once and a while. Maybe you couldn’t make it to the gym after work because you have what seems like several million projects due Friday.
Maybe you’ve made an elaborate plan to skip school to hang out with your girlfriend and best friend, and going to the gym now would let your overly nosey principal know you were faking being ill (this idea was totally NOT ripped off from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).
Or maybe there’s a worldwide virus going around that has shut down everything for the foreseeable future, and staying home and inside is doing your part in fixing it.
Whatever the reason, gyms and fitness centers are uninhabitable, leaving many of us stranded without gear or motivation. To say the least, the wrenches in our fitness schedule make for some interesting workout plans.
Luckily, we have reached the golden age of technology, so no matter what your home weightlifting equipment stock may look like, you’ve probably tried to lift something.
If you’re one of the few blessed with their own barbell, you lift that. If you’re the rest of us, you lift some mixture of milk jugs, paint cans, and your pet dog.
Nobody knows how long this wrench in your plans will last. It could last for a few more weeks or a few more months. A few weeks may seem like a nice time to relax and bump your binge-watching quota up to 2 whole seasons per day, but that can quickly turn into you losing all of those hard-earned gains you bought with sweat at the gym.
Luckily, you don’t need an entire gym’s arsenal of workout equipment to be fit. All you need is a little space, maybe a mat, and some intrinsic motivation. You do not want to lose those gains and start back at square one, so flexibility and working with what you’ve got is key.
Here are some great ideas to plan your home workouts around, as well as a home workout to really get the heart pumping! Soon, you’ll be thinking “Quarantine WOD? No problem.”
Work The Entire Body
One thing to look out for in home workouts is selective body part training. That looks like you doing chest one day, then pushups the next day, then maybe more chest with some tricep pushups for day 3.
Something along those lines. You don’t exactly demolish your legs in that workout, and even your back and core is neglected.
While this type of workout program is a lot better than nothing, it is not ideal.
Just like your workouts at the CrossFit Box or gym, you want to do different exercises for different body parts.
If you’re making your own workouts from scratch and at a lack for ideas, there is such a thing called the interwebs. Funnily enough, you’re on it right now!
Search for body weight leg exercises, or body weight back exercises, or body weight ________ (fill in the blank of whatever muscle group you want to hit). They’ll be there.
If you want to use pre-made workouts, you can search for entire workouts based around a muscle group, or just do full-by WODs like the one below!
Start With Burpees
Top trainers agree that burpees are one of the top home exercises possible.
Basically a squat into a plank, into a pushup (if you want, more on that in a second), into a jump, and repeat.
It hits every major muscle group in the body. When done in great numbers – like anything higher than 4 – it turns into a massively difficult cardio and strength workout.
Also, due to you only requiring a body to do a burpee, it is an incredibly mobile, low-cost exercise that is still at the forefront of military training today. Burpees are like a mobile taco stand – it can go anywhere, it’s incredibly healthy, and doing/eating a few of them make you feel great about yourself for the rest of the day.
Ok… maybe it isn’t too much like a mobile taco stand.
Burpees are a great warm up to get your blood circulating, or great in the body of the WOD itself as it builds strength, works on your cardio, and burns fat at a high level.
No matter your fitness level, burpees should be a part of your workout. If that means you can do 10 and feel them, great! If you can do 3 sets of 100, also great! Also, as a side note, how did you get to Earth from Krypton?
Like anything, no matter how much you love them, doing countless reps of burpees – with a smile on your face, of course – every few days will soon get repetitive.
As well, you can modify burpees to benefit one part of the body more. For instance, a tuck-jump burpee puts more emphasis on explosiveness and and the legs than the average burpee.
Below are 5 alternative burpees:
Here comes the pushup burpee. While a normal burpee only requires you to go into a plank at the bottom of the movement, this version makes you do a pushup before hopping back up onto your feet.
If you have some small, hexagonal dumbbells, this burpee alternative is a great way to add some weight and power to your workout. Hold the dumbbell in each hand, and perform a normal burpee or chest-to-floor burpee.
Note: unless you have the balance of a olympic gymnast, do not attempt this with round-ended dumbbells. That could go poorly.
Burpee To Box Jump
Perform a standard burpee. When at the top, jump onto a low box before stepping or hopping back down and starting the next rep.
This alternative focuses on explosiveness and leg power.
Burpee Tuck Jump
For those who want to do the burpee to box jump but don’t have a box, this is a great alternative to that alternative.
Perform a normal burpee (or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, a chest-to-floor burpee), and when at the top, jump as high as you can and bring your knees up to your chest before landing.
Repeat as many times as necessary.
For the advanced burpee master.
It only differs from a standard burpee in that you use 1 leg instead of 2. You then switch legs and repeat the movement.
This alternative works on strength, cardio, and balance.
Want even MORE information on burpees? Of course you do: https://blog.wodrecoveryrx.com/how-to-do-a-burpee-properly/
The Quarantine WOD
Here is an at-home WOD to really make you sweat. It works the entire body, and is a great cardio workout as well!
Bend your knees slightly and jump, spreading your legs in the air and arms overhead, then jump back to the start. Do 15 reps of jumping jacks twice.
Run in place, lifting your knees high towards your chest while you pump your arms. Do 15 reps twice.
The WOD: The ‘Pyramid’
It’s called ‘The Pyramid‘ for a reason. This WOD starts at a high number of reps and dwindles down to 20 reps, but then you need to make your way all the way back up to 100 reps again.
Here it is in a nutshell, before further breakdown:
- 100 air squats
- 80 stationary lunges
- 60 sit ups
- 40 pushups
- 20 burpees
- 40 pushups
- 60 sit ups
- 80 stationary lunges
- 100 air squats
Plant your feet slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees into a squat at least at a 90-degree angle.
Push through the feet and come back up into a standing position, squeezing your glutes at the top. Repeat 100 times – yes you read that right, ONE HUNDRED times.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Take a big step forward with one foot and drop into a lunge. Push through the front foot and back into a standing position.
Repeat with your other leg, and then repeat for 80 more reps (40 per leg)
Lie on your back with your feet up towards your back so that your knees are bent. Put your hands on your ears with elbow out.
Bending at the waist, contract your core into a sit-up where your chest is at your knees. Slowly go back to the starting position. Repeat 60 times.
Start in a plank position with your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and arms straight.
Drop down into the bottom of the pushup until your elbows are at least 90-degrees. Push through your hands back into the starting position. Repeat 40 times.
If you need an explanation of burpees, scroll back up a bit and read there. If you don’t remember reading that, we would suggest emailing a health care professional to get a memory test over Zoom call.
Repeat 20 times.
There, you made it to the top of the pyramid, now you just need to climb all the way back down.
You’ve got it!
An Important Note On Scaling
This is an extremely difficult WOD. If you don’t feel like you are quite there in terms of fitness, scale it!
Scaling is a great tool to use to make the workout difficult but doable, instead of unattainable.
An easy way to scale this pyramid is to cut every number in half:
- 50 air squats
- 40 stationary lunges
- 30 sit-ups
- 20 pushups
- 10 burpees
- 20 pushups
- 30 situps
- 40 stationary lunges
- 50 air squats
Or scale another way. Great at burpees but bad at pushups? Scale it that way.
As long as you feel the WOD and it makes you sweat, it is a great workout!
For other home WODs, check out here: https://theprogrm.com/10-quarantine-approved-home-workouts/
Tips For Home Workout
No matter what workout you are doing or where you are doing it, there are some general rules to follow.
Warm-up and Cooldown
Warmup is an often-overlooked part of the workout, done halfheartedly before moving onto the real WOD. Cooldown is usually disregarded completely.
Warm-ups do a few things.
First, they help you perform at a high level in the actual workout. The dirty secret is that you warm-up whether you want to or not. If you don’t decide to do a warm-up, then you accidentally do the warmup for the first while of the actual WOD.
Secondly, warm-ups help protect you from injury. By activating your muscles, lungs, and heart, you lower the chances of strains, sprains, and that annoying light-headedness you sometimes feel when you start a workout.
Consistency is the stairway to greatness. If you work really hard half the time and stumble through the workout the other half of the time, you will never reach your full potential in CrossFit.
Being consistent will get you a lot further than talent or pedigree ever will. Take your passion for exercise and extend it, so that each WOD, each exercise, each rep is as important as the last.
With workouts at home, it will be easy to lose those extrinsic factors that make you workout. There is no beach to go to as of right now. People aren’t watching you workout and cheering you on as they compete with you in your CrossFit Box.
So get intrinsically motivated! Figure out that you love working out for the sake of working out and how good it makes you feel, and not for other people!
Switch It Up
People grow tired of monotony. If you do the same workout day after day and week after week, odds are you will get complacent and stop working as hard.
That is just how many of us work!
So switch up your WODs. Make some up, look some up, or do ones you already know. What is important is that you use enough different workouts to keep yourself interested and engaged, because and interested and engaged CrossFitter is a hard-working and happy CrossFitter!
Wrap It Up
Sometimes a pretty major wrench gets thrown into our lives.
Whether that’s work, school, a global pandemic, or it’s just the third Tuesday of the month, those wrenches are inevitable.
Being active helps us stay happy, stay motivated, and get high-quality sleep at night.
So now is the time to get creative with your WODs. Use this information, look up other workouts, and do whatever you need to do to stay safe and stay active.
Let’s keep kicking CrossFit butt from the comfort of our home!
You Kill The WOD We’ll Recover the Bod!