Everything You Need to Know About Working Out at Home

Living room workouts can be effective when done right. Here’s how to stay injury-free.

The coronavirus pandemic has gyms closed, forcing us all to alter our workout plans. While more and more people have joined the running community (and to that, we say welcome!), we’ve all had to find creative ways to cross-train safely.

At-home workouts present their own challenges. It can hard to motivate at home, and working out in your living room can be intimidating especially if you’re used to being taken through a workout by a trainer or coach, attending a class, or even just have access to a full gym of equipment.

Plus, it can be easier to get hurt if you’re starting something new and don’t quite know what you’re getting into or improvising by using milk jugs or bags full of books instead of weights.

So we tapped Noam Tamir, C.S.C.S., founder of TS Fitness in New York City and Kara Miklaus, NASM-certified trainer and co-owner of WORK Training Studio in Irvine, California to fill you in on everything you need to know about injury-free at-home workouts.

What basic setup do I need for an effective workout?

For a bare-bones home gym setup, make sure you have ample space to move, so ideally at least a 4 to 6 feet of space where you can extend your limbs all the way, Miklaus says.

And, if you are interested in virtual classes, if you have a space 8 feet long by 6 feet wide, this gives you enough space to do almost all exercises and gives the trainer the ability to see you head-on, slightly turned, and horizontally to help coach good form, Tamir says. You also need a soft surface such as a mat if you have it, or you can use a carpet or rug.

Outside of that, Tamir recommends a towel and chair. “Everyone has these and you can increase the number of exercises you can do, such as doing a towel row or a triceps dip off a chair.”

And while you can definitely get a great workout with just your body weight, after a little while, that might get boring or you might plateau, Miklaus says. So if you have access to them, grabbing at least one or two sets of dumbbells (lighter and heavier), a resistance band with handles for your hands, and a set of mini bands (that you can put around your legs) will give you plenty of variety and a great workout.



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