Much like Zoom meetings and Tik Tok dances, indoor workouts became ubiquitous during lockdown last year. As the UK starts 2021 under new COVID-19 restrictions with nationwide gym closures, many will be wondering whether they'd have to put their fitness plans on hold (especially if you hate outdoor running). To help, I've found a few achievable exercise routines you can do indoors that'll kickstart whatever fitness goals you have this year.
If you're new to indoor workouts, or simply managed to avoid them throughout the course of 2020, then you may be overwhelmed by the many, many fitness plans on offer. Of course, the nation's favourite fitness instructor Joe Wickes dominates the home workout scene, but there are many more helpful programmes out there to have a go at in your living room. Just be careful not to knock over any plants in the process.
Whether you're looking to blow off steam and get a little sweaty or prefer a gentle yoga session, look no further – there's a workout below for every lockdown mood. Thankfully, you don't need weights or a Peloton bike to take part either...
When It's Too Cold For A Morning Walk
Achieving the recommended 10,000 daily steps felt close to impossible during lockdown — after all, there was nowhere to go. Much like previous lockdowns, the UK has permission to continue outdoor exercise including walks and running this January. However, the baltic January weather isn't always appealing.
Instead of reaching for your walking boots, try these indoor walking challenges on Youtube. They actually make walking up and down your living room fun by incorporating marching lunches and boxing exercises for 15 or 30 minutes.
When Your WFH Set-Up Has Affected Your Posture
It's easy to become glued to your desk when you're working from home, especially if your makeshift office is also your dinner table...
It's important to remember to look after your posture throughout the day to prevent back problems. On Youtube, there are plenty of posture exercises to help lengthen your spine and release some pent-up tension in just ten minutes, but this one from Emi Wong is particularly helpful IMO.
When You Just Need To Breathe
Home workouts can be an incredibly helpful coping mechanism when things become particularly stressful at home. Between the HIIT classes and punishing strength workouts, I like to make sure I take time to breathe with gentle yoga flows and stretch routines like this one from Arianna Elizabeth.
For those who are looking for a variety of yoga classes and bodyweight exercises, fitness app Asana Rebel is a great option to help take your yoga training to the next level.
When You Don't Want To Make Too Much Noise For The Neighbours Downstairs
Nothing is going to annoy neighbours more than an eager-beaver fitness enthusiast doing heavy-footed jump squats at 6 a.m. in the morning. Trust me, I know. A lot of home workouts aren't designed for those who live in modest-sized apartments and have roommates but thankfully there are some trainers who've kept flat-dwellers in mind.
Fitness blogger Cassey Ho "Blogilates" has a 15-minute "silent death workout" that has axed all the noisy jumps and lunges in favour of adapted toning exercises. As the name suggests, it's still a pretty tough workout and you'll definitely be out of breath.
When You Need To Let Off Steam
If you want to feel fierce and get your heart rate up during the process, then I recommend Les Mills Body Combat. Using punches and martial-arts inspired combinations, you'll be put through your paces by the Les Mills instructors. Whether you're a beginner or advanced, the classes are challenging but very empowering — there's also a high-energy soundtrack that gets you in the zone.
You can try the classes on the official Les Mills app but they also release free taster classes on Youtube.
When You Feel Like Dancing
Home workouts don't have to consist of just squats and crunches. Since clubs and bars are closed for the foreseeable, online dance classes are a great way to pretend you're back on the dance floor. You can either spend time learning difficult TikTok dance routines or try professional apps such as Steezy, which is led by choreographers.
Beginner-friendly dance classes by Seen On Screen have been running throughout 2020 and they are so empowering. From £9.99, you can attend digital dance classes and do your best Beyoncé impression.
Or try this Tik Tok dance workout and get your mates to join in over Facetime.
When You Have Limited Time
Super short workouts are very popular on Youtube and often tougher than people think. When you're short on time, try this tough but quick 5-minute mix of burpees, high knees and lunges from Heather Robertson.
When You're Missing Your Gym Buddies
For me personally, I owe a huge part of my fitness motivation to my gym buddies and personal trainers who make the experience significantly more enjoyable. Luckily, like other forms of work during the pandemic, you can receive in-the-moment advice from personal trainers via Zoom, IGTV and other digital sources.
London and Manchester-based gym-chain Blok launched 'Blok TV' through lockdown and for £19.99 you can take live yoga, strength, pilates, barre and boxing classes every with a highly-qualified trainer looking on.
Elsewhere, UK based trainers such as "Woz Ldn" and "Body By Ciara" have built impressive online communities throughout lockdown with their challenging live streaming workouts. It's a great way to help keep motivated and meet like-minded gym mates.