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How to Work Out in Your Apartment While Social Distancing

By: Justin Chaplin
March 18, 2020

It’s hard to keep New Year’s resolutions to stay fit, healthy, and strong when we’re stuck inside our apartments, avoiding the Coronavirus. Social distancing is paramount in helping slow down the disease. 

Gyms, boot camp classes, and fitness centers are heeding the call. Even on-site apartment complex gyms are shutting down. 

However, the need to stay home doesn’t mean you need to forgo your health and fitness goals. You can still work out at home and see significant results. Here’s how to get started.

  • Setting Up a Home Gym
  • At-home Cardio Solutions
  • Bodyweight Workouts
  • Final Thoughts

Setting Up a Home Gym 

Get up and running with your own home gym. However, the type of workouts you love will help determine what kind of equipment you need. 

Lifting Essentials

Ready to give your lifting routine an upgrade? Start with the basics, like an adjustable set of dumbbells and bench. This simple home gym setup can tackle a ton of muscle groups.

  • Chest: Chest press variations, chest fly variations.
  • Back: Kneeling rows, deadlifts, back flyes
  • Shoulders: Shoulder press, lateral raises, front raises
  • Biceps: Any curl variations
  • Triceps: Tricep extensions, kickbacks, dips

Start with a Yoga Mat

Whether you’re short on cash, space, or just want to simplify your routine, grab a yoga mat and find your zen. Scores of free YouTube videos can help you navigate through yoga and stretching routines. A yoga mat is also ideal for pushups and pretty much any ab exercise you can think of. 

Other Nice-to-Haves

A pull-up bar can also help build core and upper body strength. But make sure it’s suitable for your apartment. Not all can be placed in a door frame without causing damage to your unit. 

For heavier-duty exercises, a kettlebell and rack weights can help build muscle. However, it’s essential to be careful about not dropping weights onto the floor. You’re likely to cause damage and annoy your neighbors who are also trying to social distance.

Add a mirror to your home gym to help stay on track and monitor your form and progress. However, this is a nice-to-have, non-essential item. Save your deliveries and store runs for the essentials first.

At-home Cardio Solutions

Cardio gets your blood pumping and helps get your mind off things while social distancing. However, cardio machines can be pricey. Look for secondhand items on apps like Offerup and Letgo. 

Stationary bikes are relatively inexpensive and don’t take up much space. You can crank up the difficulty level for a hard workout or take it easy while you binge-watch Netflix. 

Another affordable option is a portable mini stepper to get in a half-hour while you work on your laptop on a countertop. You can find these for around $50-$80.

A jump rope can get the heart pumping, but make sure you have a high enough ceiling. You don’t want your jumping to bother those in units below you. Depending on your apartment complex, a bottom floor unit or balcony might work for a jump rope workout.

You and your neighbors can also talk about “worry-free noise hours,” so everyone can enjoy some flexibility. Use the time to workout and make some noise without worrying about those around you.

Enjoying a much-needed run outside is also free, accessible, and will allow you to get some fresh air. Just make sure to practice social distancing guidelines. Stay six feet or more away from one another.

Bodyweight Workouts

It’s not always possible to set up a home gym in your apartment. Tight quarters and your budget may be limiting you. The good news is, you can still get in a great workout without the need for all of the equipment.

Focus on using your body weight to help get fit and build muscle. Try workouts like:

  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Ab exercises
  • Cardio

The important thing is to keep your body moving and staying fit even while cooped up indoors. If you can’t afford to splurge on all the bells and whistles, don’t worry. You’re still making progress towards your health goals!

If you need some inspiration for bodyweight workouts, the bodyweight fitness Reddit page is a huge community filled with workout plans and ideas.

Consider Your Space

Before investing in any workout equipment or accessories, stop and take inventory around your apartment. Ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Do you have room for workout equipment? In which areas?
  • Do others live under you? Will your workouts make noise and bother them?
  • Do you have high ceilings for things like jump-roping?
  • Do you have a roommate who wants to keep common areas clear?

You can also get creative with the space you do have. Planking in the hallway can add core strength without taking up space. No room to add a bench? Insert coffee table dips!

Establish a Routine

It’s challenging to stay on any workout routine without an established schedule. Leave yourself some flexibility, but structure your days for a winning workout. Consider a mid-day break or evening workout. That can help prevent boredom and feelings of isolation from social distancing.

Set yourself an alarm that reminds you to get in a workout, and try mixing it up. Try strength training in the morning and a relaxing yoga routine at night.

Final Thoughts

Social distancing and isolating in your apartment may feel limiting, but it doesn’t have to ruin your health and fitness goals. Focus on the things you can control, like at-home workouts that keep you active and mentally alert. You could come out of the pandemic healthier and stronger than ever before!

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