“15 minutes of quality movement is exponentially better than no movement at all” — Erik Johnson, MS, CSCS
We all know we have to stay active if we want to stay healthy, but with the recent social distancing rules in place, staying active and working out just became a whole lot more challenging. With gym doors closed during the current COVID-19 pandemic, fitness lovers everywhere are wondering how to keep their workouts going without the guidance of an instructor or the equipment they typically use.
We knew our friends over at Nakoa Performance in Carlsbad, CA, would have the answers to maintaining a successful training regime from home. As a renowned training facility for group classes, personal training, sports performance, and physical therapy, the team at Nakoa helps elevate the fitness of everyday athletes right through to Olympians and X Games pros.
Below, Erik Johnson MS, CSCS (Program Director at Nakoa Performance) shares his advice for successfully taking charge of your fitness during this unprecedented time of social distancing.
DETERMINE YOUR GOAL FOR THE DAY, WEEK, AND MONTH
Doing a different exercise routine every time you workout is great to keep you moving, but it won’t necessarily help you achieve specific goals. Sit down and write out some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed to, Realistic, and Time bound) goals and create a plan to work towards these.
UNDERSTAND THAT SIMPLE CAN BE EFFECTIVE
If you are homebound, it probably isn’t the time to try new, complicated movements you’ve never done before without the direction of a qualified coach. Instead, stick to the basic movement patterns of squatting, hinging, lunging, running/walking, pushing, pulling and rotational/anti-rotation core work. Creating a workout with movements from each of these categories will help to keep you balanced and achieve a solid total body workout each time while minimizing the risk of overtraining.
FIND TIME TO MOVE FAST
This is especially important if you are an athlete biding your time before you get to start up with your team or sport again. Speed and power are the first attributes of athleticism that diminish during downtimes. Find a slight incline and do 8-10 hill sprints (5-8 seconds MAX), walk back to the start, and rest until you are fresh again!
The key here is to make sure you don’t just do all steady-state conditioning. Instead, make sure to increase the tempo at times to try and work different energy systems. Work on coordination with different skip and jump patterns, all easy ways to improve athleticism while stuck at home. Note: each of these movements should be done with great intent on every repetition… they should not become conditioning.
ADD TEMPOS AND VARIABILITY TO YOUR EXERCISES
Most people have limited resources at home with regards to weights and equipment. You can still increase the difficulty, time under tension, and overall demand being placed on your body by adding in tempos, static holds or increasing sets and/or reps of your exercises. Again, refer back to your goals to fine tune this, but just remember: not everything has to be 3 sets of 10 repetitions or every-minute-on-the-minute type of work.
BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR APPROACH
You may not have an hour block or more each day to devote to training if you are trying to work from home or have kids. Don’t feel like you have to cram it all in or else you won’t do it at all. 15 minutes of quality movement is exponentially better than no movement at all. Break your routine into manageable blocks. Spend 10-15 minutes focusing on breathing, mobility and stretching. Keep moving smartly, eat well, and stay mentally focused and you’ll be better positioned when “normal” finally does return.