Becky Barratt

How to work out at home

There are plenty of ways you can have a great work-out at home, even if space is limited. Becky Barrett, founder of BBM Fitness, has some top winter ‘at home’ work-out tips…

With gyms closed and outdoor activities limited, many of us are working out at home, whether joining in classes through online platforms, or personal training through Zoom. But it can be a challenge to find space at home. 

Granted, if you’re lucky enough to already have a home gym or a garage to convert, you won’t have this problem. But the majority of people trying to keep up with their exercise routines will be struggling with the coffee table, the ceiling light, and potentially the cat and the dog.

Do not let these problems deter you. Space may be lacking but you can still complete a very effective workout. Here’s some helpful hints to keep you going: 

If you’re joining in online group classes, you might want to pick a strength-based work-out rather than full-out cardio. This will mean you shouldn’t need to worry about jumping around with flailing limbs and hitting objects. Or as my partner said to me yesterday: “Maybe you should move your cardio classes downstairs?” (Apparently, I’m not as light on my feet as I had hoped). This could also be a consideration if you live in a flat above the ground floor, as it’s less likely to draw the downstairs neighbour’s attention. Focus on trying strength-based work-outs because they tend to be more on the spot, so you can stick to your space more easily.

Go with the yoga flow! If you haven’t found a yoga class yet that doesn’t burn your arms and legs, you are seriously missing out. Have you ever been to a yoga studio? The mats are packed in closely together and your mat space is literally the only space you need. So, get creative. At a push, you could probably even fit your yoga mat next to your bath.

Make adjustments. Don’t be tough on yourself if you haven’t got the space to do exactly what the instructor in your online class or video tells you to do. If you just can’t fit into your space comfortably, try to think of an alternative option. Is there a similar exercise that works the same muscles but doesn’t jump so high or move to the side as much? Your workout does not have to be “perfect”, it just has to work for you, and works you! Keep moving and you’re making progress.

Building exercise and movement into your working day is also easy and really important. When sitting at your desk for hours on end, try to cross one ankle over the other knee regularly to give your hips a gentle stretch and ease out your lower back. When waiting for the kettle to boil, do some gentle heel raises keeping your legs straight and tensing your thighs and glutes, it will get the blood flowing

Brave the weather and take your cardio outside. I know! It’s February, it’s mostly grey weather and yes, it’s definitely chilly. But if you haven’t tried going for a jog in the cold yet, you may surprise yourself. It’s invigorating and it really makes you feel alive. Put your favourite tunes on, forget about what you might look like, and breathe that fresh air. I promise you will not regret it.

Becky Barrett is a qualified fitness instructor and founder of BBM Fitness, a fitness agency with London and Surrey based trainers from the performing arts. Becky can match you with your perfect trainer, for unique and bespoke 1:1 and online fitness experiences


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