Whether you are a student athlete or not, finding the motivation to work out can be a challenge…especially in the current state of affairs, when going to the gym is not possible. Some of you may have some variety of weights, or perhaps fitness machines. I am a member of the field hockey team, and as a student athlete, we are given a workout program for both body weight and equipment. However, regardless of what equipment you may or may not have at your disposal, here are some workout hacks to try during quarantine.
Body-weight exercises are some of the simplest things to do, and the more reps you do per set, the harder those become. Squats and split squats can be made more difficult by doing them nonstop for a certain time and pulsing at the bottom, only going halfway up for some. If you want to do weighted squats but do not have the equipment, fill up a backpack with heavy items, like books or rocks, and wear it on your back. Planks, pushups and wall sits are also great options for exercises without weights.
If you don’t have heavy weights or need something with a handle, use something from your house. Empty paint cans, laundry detergent bottles and water gallon containers are all great options that you can personalize by filling them up to a certain level, and these can act as replacements for kettlebells. I use a large laundry detergent bottle to really build the heat during ab workouts like Russian Twists.
Box step-ups are amazing for leg workouts, especially if you add weight with one of the previously mentioned kettlebell replacements. I did not have an actual box to step up onto, so I combined two milk crates as a base with a piece of thick plywood on top. Now is the time to use your surroundings as much as possible and look at items around you and think, “can I lift this?” One of my old teammates and her sisters pulled their family car. Now, I am not suggesting that this is an option for everyone, but it just shows that there are no limits. However, keep in mind to make sure you are safe. Remember to stretch before and after you work out!
Build the heat
If going outside is not an option, you can get your heart rate up by doing stairs, jumping jacks or, if you really hate yourself, burpees. Jumping rope is another option that sounds simple but is actually hard. Jump ropes are also fairly cheap to buy if you do not have one on hand. Sometimes doing the same exercise can seem monotonous and boring. I like to do three-to-five-minute segments of each and then switch to another exercise.
Just do it
As the Nike saying goes (coincidentally they sponsor SLU athletics), “Just do it.” The main challenge is starting. It can be hard to find motivation, but commit yourself to 20 or 30 minutes of exercise to start. The best way to get through it is to play a rockin’ workout playlist or maybe even watch your favorite show you are binging. Just know that it is hard and we are all in the same boat, so if you need extra motivation, virtually grab a friend, teammate or parent to keep you responsible.