How to Stay Active While Social Distancing

posted by Tim Birkey on Friday, March 27, 2020

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has affected us in many ways with one being limiting many of us with avenues of ways to exercise. Fitness clubs and gyms have closed to promote social distancing and to prevent gatherings of numerous people, all in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

In October of 2019 I wrote a blog about the advantages and disadvantages of bodyweight training. Since many of us are stuck at home with minimal equipment or no equipment at all, this may be a good time to revisit the topic and include an example of things you can do at home with little or no equipment.

  • Bodyweight Training - Simply said, bodyweight training is any exercise that uses your own bodyweight to provide resistance against gravity. These can include calisthenics which includes: jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, etc., plyometrics or jump training and yoga, just to name a few. These exercises are most often performed in a circuit style program.
  • Advantages of Bodyweight Training - Training with bodyweight exercises helps to improve relative strength. Relative strength can be described as how strong you are in relation to your bodyweight or how strong you are pound for pound. Bodyweight training develops core stability and joint stabilization relative to your bodyweight. Increased relative strength also improves your ability to perform daily tasks such as walking, running and going up and down stairs. 

    Because bodyweight training requires no machines and little, if any equipment, bodyweight training can be performed anywhere and anytime and without the costs of a gym. This accessibility and versatility allows workouts to be done while traveling and for those of us who are on a limited budget.
  • The Takeaway - Bodyweight training, when properly manipulated can produce favorable results in both physical strength and stamina in many populations.

Below is an example of a bodyweight program that would take between 10 and 12 minutes to complete.

Perform each movement in order (1-12) for 30 seconds, take 10-30 seconds of rest between movements.

For example: Perform Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds, take a 10-30 second rest, perform a 30 second Wall Sit, rest 10-30 seconds, perform Push Ups for 30 seconds, rest for 10-30 seconds and so on until you complete the program.

bodyweight exercises

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About The Author

Tim Birkey

Tim Birkey is an exercise specialist with Spencer Hospital’s Athletic Enhancement service. A certified strength and conditioning coach, tim earned his master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, where he also served as assistant strength and conditioning coach for UNI Athlet ... read more