More than ever, keeping fit at home is of considerable importance. Training alone should be specific to an individual’s needs, whether it be fitness, sport, daily life, or self-protection. At MaArtial, we firmly believe that a fitness regime should be started if you are a beginner, and maintained if you have some experience. Starting may be the most challenging hurdle. Therefore, the following tips may come in handy. Classic exercises are always encouraged: press-ups, sit-ups, crunches, pull-ups. Indeed, the core of the body is always a primary focus. Yet, there are a lot of differing opinions about how to perform these exercises. At MaArtial, we work with a variety of experts who can assist us with the right advice. Dave Kryaciou, from Hydra Combatives in London, fully endorses the following exercises:
1. BURPEES There are many variations, but a standard burpee begins in a standing position, moves to a squat with the hands on the floor, transitions into a plank with arms extended, and then back into the squat and standing positions with a small jump as you rise. The burpee combines elements of strength training and aerobics, and is considered by many to be an ideal all-body exercise that can be practiced quickly and easily.
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2. STEP-UPS To do step ups, you’ll only need a raised step such as a footstool or stair: lead with your right foot to step up onto the surface, and then with your left foot to return to the starting point. Alternate the lead feet through additional reps. Step ups target the hamstrings, quadriceps, and other muscles in the legs and buttocks, and is an especially important exercise for those stuck at home or work who may not get in enough walking during the day.
3. SQUAT THRUSTS A squat thrust leads from a standing position quickly into a squat and plank, and then back to the squat and stand. It’s generally the same as a burpee, but leaves out the final jump. Like a burpee, the squat thrust is quick all-body exercise that incorporates a wide variety of core muscles.
4. RUNNING; DIFFERENT SPEEDS AND TERRAINS One of the oldest and most popular forms of exercise, running or jogging makes for an especially beneficial fitness routine when varying speeds and terrains to ensure that different muscle sets are utilized. A regular running routine helps build strong bones, lose weight, and improve cardiovascular fitness.
5. ABDOMINAL EXERCISES Skip the basic crunch and opt for abdominal exercises that utilize all of your core muscles. One of the best is the bicycle crunch: lie on your back with your legs bent 90 degrees, hands on your temples, and do a crunch with a twist to touch your right elbow to your left knee and vice versa. Exercising our core muscles – which don’t always get utilized in day-to-day modern life – is a key element of any fitness regime and can help improve posture and balance. It’s called the “core” for a reason.
6. PUSH-UPS The push-up might be the one of the most popular calisthenic exercises in the world: from a plank position with arms outstretched, bend your elbows to lower yourself while keeping parallel with the ground. Push-ups target a number of important muscles in the arms, chest, back, and upper back, and are a surprisingly effective and well-rounded routine for a simple exercise that everyone knows how to do.
7. PULL-UPS To do a pull up, you’ll need an overhead bar that can support your weight; doorframe pull-up bars are a popular solution for home use, and they are also commonly found at gyms and outdoor fitness areas. The pull-up involves placing your arms shoulder width apart, grabbing the bar with palms outward, and pulling yourself up until the bar is at chest level. The pull-up is the most difficult exercise on this list, especially for beginners, but also a great workout for muscles in the arms and upper back that can also improve grip strength and overall fitness. Kryaciou also recommends an extremely relevant book about basic conditioning: SOLITARY FITNESS was written by Charles Bronson while incarcerated in prison and with limited fitness options. It can be especially relevant to the beginner training at home, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. We feel fully able to, therefore, recommend this title.
At MaArtial, we do not in any way, condone going to prison to learn how to train for home fitness! However, the advice contained in this book has been validated by our expert and is recognized among the most practical solitary home fitness books ever published.
Illustration by Darina Achremenková