Covid restrictions and concerns means that many of us are continuing to work out at home rather than rushing back to the gym.

However, keeping fit in your living room is still very different to being at the gym – there are no PTs to correct your form, and it’s tempting to give up and go back to bed.

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But exercise is extremely important for our mental and physical health. Done right, it can release endorphins and strengthen your body, but there’s always the possibility of injuring yourself or not performing to the best of your abilities.

Mustering up the energy to workout at home is no mean feat and should be celebrated – but if you are squatting and lunging at home, beware of falling into these traps…

Overdoing HIIT

HIT exercises
HIIT is all about fast and furious movements (iStock/PA)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) exploded in popularity in the last few years. With short, sharp bursts of cardio activity, it’s a quick way to keep fit with limited or no equipment.

“The endorphin rush that you feel (once you have picked yourself up off the floor) after a HIIT session is like no other and it can become very addictive, but it’s easy to forget HIIT isn’t a silver bullet, and you should not only do this form of exercise,” says Matt Wilman, head trainer at F45 Milton Keynes.

“When done in the right amount, it can help your body physiologically. However, doing too much HIIT can lead to increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can weaken the immune system.” Wilman recommends a maximum of three HIIT sessions a week, and you can mix it up with other types of exercise, like yoga, weights or Pilates.

Not sticking to a plan

 

 

For many of us, working out at home means we’ve lost all sense of accountability. To make sure you don’t forget about exercise entirely, Katie Anderson, head trainer at FLY LDN, recommends making a plan.

“Find classes online that you cannot miss, for example a live class,” she says. “Most studios with online offerings save all their classes so you can catch up, however, a live experience is more fun, as you can usually interact with the instructor via the comments and see how many other people are working out at the same time as you.” For extra accountability, organise to log onto the class with a friend.

It’s also important to plan in a rest day, so you don’t overexert the body and potentially injure yourself. “If you struggle with just blocking a day as ‘rest day’ and find yourself getting fidgety and anxious about having no plans, try and schedule in specific rest time for some self-care activities,” advises Anderson.

Neglecting body parts

When you’re creating your own workout plan, it’s easy to train the body parts you enjoy. “However, overtraining one specific area and neglecting others can lead to injury in the long-term, so it’s important you try to exercise all body parts as much as you can,” says Wilman.

“I would advise you try to remember that if you train one muscle group, you need to give equal time to the opposing muscle group.”

For example, if you’re doing bicep curls, make sure you hit the triceps as well; or if you’re doing lots of squats, counter them with hip thrusts.

Not pushing yourself

Sporty young woman exercising at home with resistance band

“It’s important to be honest with yourself and think: are you training as hard as you can, or could you give your workouts more?” says Wilman.

If you feel like your training has hit a plateau, Wilman has a few suggestions to kickstart your routine. This could be using a heart rate monitor, as it can provide accurate real time feedback on your effort level, he says, or adopting a new challenge – mixing up your routine might be just the tonic to get you back to 100%.

Wilman also recommends rating your workouts. “With clients, I use the RPE scale or ‘rating of perceived exertion’,” he explains. “This is simply a one to 10 scale of how hard you are working or how hard your workout was, one being very easy and 10 being maximum effort. Rating your work as you go and after can make you more aware of how much effort you’re putting in.”

However, it’s also important to listen to your body, cut yourself some slack and celebrate the small wins where you can.

Best-selling home gym equipment

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

Bestseller No. 1
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Bestseller No. 2
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ONETWOFIT Multi-Function Power Tower with Sit Up Bench,Adjustable Height Pull Up Tower Heavy Duty...
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Bestseller No. 4
FIT4HOME Multi Gym Fitness Equipment Exercise Machine Strength Training Body Building Heavy Duty...
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SaleBestseller No. 5
Gonex Portable Home Gym Workout Equipment with 14 Exercise Accessories Ab Roller Wheel,Elastic...
  • 【ALL-IN-ONE HOME GYM EQUIPMENT SYSTEM】For maximizing the number and types of movements available, Gonex portable home gym provides even more accessories which include not only the base,...
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SaleBestseller No. 6
Sportsroyals Power Tower Dip Station Pull Up Bar for Home Gym Strength Training Workout Equipment,...
  • 【Multi-function Equipment】It is a multi-functional dip station that supports vertical knee raise, push-ups, dips as well as pull-ups, which help tone and target your arms, core, shoulders, chest,...
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SaleBestseller No. 7
Abdominal Trainers AB Workout Machine, Jupgod Multi-Purpose Full Body Workout Cardio Fitness...
  • 【GYM AT HOME】This abdominal trainer combines a back trainer, a side abdominal trainer, and a sit-up bench in one single product, allows you to exercise biceps, triceps, legs, lumbar, buttocks...
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Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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