Whether a massive snow has derailed your plans or some bad air or just a day where you can’t get out, fear not you can get a great workout at home. Let’s talk about some indoor workouts to replace your run that don’t require a lot of equipment.
Yet another blast of fridged air has pushed you to the treadmill or a crying baby is keeping you on your toes during an indoor ride. You’re a champ, you’ll get it done, but you could make it more fun!
They say it’s important to keep the romance alive and I’m sure someone is talking about roses and soft music, but after 20+ years of running I know it applies to our workout routine, too.
Time to revamp the at home workouts not just for maximum results, but to ensure that we continue to enjoy it!!
How to Replace a Run With an Indoor Workout?
I’m guessing this is what lead a lot of you to this aritcle! So here’s what you need to know:
1. No it won’t be the same as going for a 10 mile run because it’s hard without equipment to get in that long endurance work.
2. But it can still be really beneficial to do a short more intense workout OR perhaps to finally do some of the things you’ve been meaning too like mobility or strength.
Don’t fret about a couple of missed workouts for how fast you’ll lose fitness. Just do what you can with the time and then get back to your runs as soon as possible.
The closest options you’ll have would be:
- Treadmill workouts if you have access
- Cycling – you’ll simply need to go longer than your planned run for the same impact
- One of the HIIT or Jump rope workouts below
- Running stairs – take advantage if you have them at home or in your building, just be careful with carpet
What Are the Big 5 Exercises to Do At Home?
The “Big 5” exercises at home typically refer to fundamental compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups, providing a comprehensive and efficient full-body workout. These exercises are often recommended for their effectiveness in building strength, muscle mass, and enhancing overall functional fitness.
- Muscles Targeted: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core.
- Technique: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you’re sitting in a chair. Keep your back straight and chest up.
- Muscles Targeted: Lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and core.
- Technique: Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend at the hips, and lower your upper body while keeping your back straight. Grab a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, or any heavy household item) from the ground, then stand up by straightening your hips and knees.
- Muscles Targeted: Chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.
- Technique: Start in a plank position with hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your body. Push back up to the starting position.
Pull-Ups or Inverted Rows:
- Muscles Targeted: Upper back, lats, biceps, and core.
- Pull-Ups Technique: Hang from a bar with palms facing away, and pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.
- Inverted Rows Technique: Lie on your back under a sturdy table or bar, grab the edge, and pull your chest towards the bar.
Overhead Press (Shoulder Press):
- Muscles Targeted: Shoulders, triceps, and upper back.
- Technique: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hold weights at shoulder height, and press them overhead. Keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back.
7 Indoor Workouts You Can Do Home
We all know once it starts to feel like a chore, we’re less likely to show up and put in the work. Even if exercising at home means we only need to roll to the next room to make it happen, we find a way not to. Let’s put the kabash on that and start to see results and mix up our at home workouts for more fun.
Here are some fun ideas to try when weather or life circumstances have you stuck inside.
#1 Virtual Group Exercises
Just because you’re saving time and money by exercising at home, doesn’t mean you have to forgo the amazing community that surrounds running and fitness in general!
Or if cross training is where you struggle, time to join one of the amazing group workouts. Checkout Madeline Moves and Danielle Pascente on Instagram, both ladies post workouts in their feed, but also host group online programs all the time.
#2 Change Up Your Scenery
You can see from the others following along that they get an amazing amount of support and motivation by following each other!
Want to know my secret for how you can take a mini vacation without worrying about flight delays and crowded airports? Let me introduce you to an awesome tool: iFit.
Instead of staring at the same wall for hours on end, you can take a little mini vacation with every workout. Here’s how it works:
I’ve already got wanderlust, but running while looking at gorgeous French Cathedrals and even being part of a race totally gave me an extra boost! I’m on the treadmill, but hey someone is cheering for me!! A great opportunity to get in that race mindset or to find out what a course if like if you’ve been considering a great racecation.
Some cool features:
- There’s a mobile app as well as a TV app
- It’s compatible with treadmills, bikes, rowers, ellipticals, and even those cool fitness mirrors
- There are thousands of different workouts to accommodate all fitness levels
- You can do real-time events and workout with others
There’s a free trial so you can see if you like it. After that you have the option to pay monthly or yearly for either an individual plan or a family plan.
#3 Combine Running & Strength Training
Just because you can run 10 miles on the treadmill doesn’t mean that has to be your only workout, though it’s an important part of your race training.
One of the best ways to keep things going is to completely throw the rules out the window and combine your run with your strength training. This is the basis behind Orange Theory and many other studio classes.
Not only are you going to make your workout more interesting, but there is now data showing that doing your workouts as a combination of strength and cardio can actually increase fat burning more than doing them separately or one after the other.
From this study, the group that mixed the cardio and weights experienced:
- 35% greater improvement in lower body strength
- 53% greater improvement in lower body endurance
- 28% greater improvement in lower body flexibility
- 144% greater improvement in upper body flexibility
- 82% greater improvement in muscle gains,
- 991% greater loss in fat
Here’s a workout idea to get you started:
Feel free to mix this up to meet your needs. Swap the push-ups for burpees or do some v-ups instead of bicycle crunches if you really want to focus feel the burn in your abs. They key is to have fun with it!
It’s good to remember that while this might burn more fat and calories, that doesn’t mean it’s best to do it all the time. If your goal is to run a marathon, but all your training sessions involve breaking up the run, you’ll definitely regret that come race day.
#4 Do Something N.E.A.T.
Stop thinking of “workouts” as the only way you get fitter.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) can be your major calorie burn on nearly any day! Once I started thinking that way, I was less resistant to taking out the trash…maybe 365 days of that burns off a cookie, ha!
Some NEAT ideas for you that can crank up your metabolism consistently:
- Vacuum, clean
- Turn on the radio and dance
- Bust out the jump rope or dodgeball and play with the kids
- Walk around the neighborhood, actually play at the park (can you still do the monkey bars, it’s way harder!)
- Creating a standing desk
#5 Do Some Yoga or Mobility Work
Maybe being stuck at home is a great time to wok on this overlooked area!
Flexibility and mobility are often overlooked components of fitness, yet they play a crucial role in overall well-being, injury prevention, and the effectiveness of your indoor workouts. Integrating stretching and mobility exercises into your routine can enhance your range of motion, reduce muscle stiffness, and contribute to better posture.
Yoga is one of my favorite low impact activities for cross-training or active recovery days.
All you need is your yoga mat and a YouTube, if you want to follow along with an instructor.
In fact, here is a mobility routine created just for Run To the Finish Virtual Run Club.
#6 Bodyweight Workouts
Contrary to popular belief, you can actually get in a really great full-body workout without needing a ton of heavy equipment. Your own body weight and some resistance bands are all you need to get in a great strength training session.
Here’s an easy at-home workout you can do with just some resistance bands:
Warm-up (5-10 minutes)
- Jumping Jacks:
- High Knees:
- Dynamic Lunges:
Squats with Resistance Band:
- Place the resistance band just above your knees.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body into a squat while pushing your knees out against the band.
- Return to the starting position. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.
- Begin in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body to the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Push back up to the starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Banded Bicep Curls:
- Stand on the middle of the band with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the ends of the band with your palms facing forward.
- Curl your hands towards your shoulders, then slowly release. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Glute Bridges with Band:
- Lie on your back with knees bent and a band around your thighs, just above your knees.
- Lift your hips off the ground, pushing against the band.
- Lower your hips back down. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.
Plank with Band Row:
- Start in a plank position with the band under your palms.
- Pull one end of the band up towards your hip while balancing on the other arm.
- Return to plank and repeat with the other arm. Do 2 sets of 10 reps on each side.
- Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with hands next to hips.
- Slide your hips off the edge, bending your elbows to lower your body.
- Push back up to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
Cool Down (5-10 minutes)
- Stretch all major muscle groups with a focus on areas worked during the workout.
- Include static stretches for hamstrings, quadriceps, arms, back, and shoulders.
Want a better guide???
#7 Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is a fantastic indoor workout that combines cardiovascular exercise with coordination and endurance. Not only is it an efficient way to burn calories, but it also engages various muscle groups, including your legs, core, and shoulders.
Don’t have a rope, don’t fret, just pretty like you do!
- Start with a normal dynamic warm up just like you would for a run
- 2 minutes: Start with simple two-footed jumps, maintaining a steady pace. Focus on landing softly to reduce impact on joints.
- 30 seconds: Lift your knees higher with each jump (think high knees), engaging your core and increasing intensity.
- 1 minute recovery jumping
- 1 minute: single leg jump on right side
- 1 minute single leg jump on left side
- 1 minute recovery jumping
- 1 minute jump laterally from side to side, emphasizing quick and controlled movements.
- Repeat portions or head to the cooldown
All right there you have it, some ways to make the most of your indoor workouts!!
Other ways to connect with Amanda
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