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Lockdown Fitness: Home Exercises To Help You Burn Calories

| Reviewed By Susan Jennifer

While working from home, most of us seem to forget the importance of staying healthy. In the event of the Covid-19 lockdown, people are ordered to stay at home for all hours, unless there is an unavoidable urgency.

Maintaining social and physical distancing is the easiest and most important step to prevent the spread of the virus, which has spread to at least 183 countries and territories, with over 1,200,000 infections confirmed [1].

Getting Healthy The Easy Way

Keeping your body active with a healthy diet and exercise is necessary at this time, to help avoid the risks of several health conditions, both physically and mentally. We will help you with simple yet effective exercises you can do at home while doing your chores such as washing clothes or climbing the stairs.


1. Planks, While Playing With The Kids

One of the best exercises you can do with your little kids. Plank works on your core, lower back, shoulders and stretches out posterior leg muscles [2]. It also helps increase muscle definition and reduce back pain.

While doing the exercise, you can balance your small kids on your back, making it fun for them as well as tougher for yourself. There are different types of plank, we are explaining how to do an elbow plank.

How to do:

  • Lie on the floor by facing down.
  • Place your elbows under your shoulders and stretch out your legs.
  • Tuck in your abs and raise yourself up off the ground.
  • Maintain a straight line from head to your heel, look down at the floor and do normal breathing.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds and do 2 to 3 sets initially, later increase the hold time up to 60 secs.

2. Half-bridges, While Laying In Bed

Considering that most of us are spending our time on beds these days, you might as well squeeze in a workout during the time. Half-bridges are beneficial for improving hip mobility and strengthening your lower back [3].

How to do:

  • Lie on your back without the support of a pillow.
  • Keeps your knees bent and feet flat on the bed.
  • Then, tighten your stomach muscles and squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips up.
  • Your posture should be in a way that you form a declined straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and do 3 to 5 sets initially, later increase the hold time up to 60secs.

3. Desk Pushes, While Sitting At Your Work Desk

Effective in strengthening your upper body, doing desk pushes is as easy as it sounds. When taking a short break from your online meetings and discussions, squeeze in a set of desk pushes to build chest and upper back strength [4].

How to do:

  • Sit in a chair and pull the desk closer to you.
  • With your palms facing up, place them under the desk and push up as hard as you can.
  • As if you are trying to push the table off the ground and maintain for 30 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat twice.
  • Note: You can do the same using chairs, where instead of pushing up, you will be pushing down on the chair with your body linear to the floor.

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4. Standing Push-ups, While Washing The Plates

Doing standing push-ups can strengthen your chest, arms and upper back muscles [5]. An easy one, standing push-ups can be done after washing the plates at the kitchen sink.

How to do:

  • Place your palms on the kitchen wall and stand about 2 - 3 feet away from the wall.
  • Keep your arms at shoulder level and elbows straighten.
  • Move forward by bending your elbow and come back by pushing the wall and straightening the elbow.
  • Keep your body in a straight line while doing the exercises and do 10 to 15 repeats.

5. Squats, While Picking Your Kids’ Things From Floor

Doing this exercise helps condition the muscles and joints of the lower body [6]. Each time you bend down to the floor to pick something up, do it in the squat position to strengthen your lower body [7].

How to do:

  • Each time you reach for something from the floor, instead of bending over, squat down as if you're sitting in an imaginary chair.
  • Start with a normal standing position by keeping your legs in your hip-width distance.
  • Lower yourself into a squat by lowering your hips back and down and while bending your knees should not cross the ankles and move forward.
  • Force yourself up with your legs as you come up out of the squat.
  • Simple Exercises You Can Do At Home


6. Wall Sits, While The Milk Boils

While your wait for the milk or water to boil, do a wall sit to work your thigh and glute muscles [8]. A quick and easy one, wall sits are one of the most relaxing exercises.

How to do:

  • Standing, rest your back, neck and head against a wall.
  • Keep your feet about a foot and a half away.
  • Then, bend your knees and slide your body toward the ground until your thighs are parallel to it and knees bent to 90 degrees.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and repeat the next time you want a cup of coffee or tea.

7. Step Workout, While Going Upstairs

Doing easy physical activities like walking up and down the stairs is an easy way to improve your leg strength [9]. It is also beneficial for your cardiovascular system and arm muscles - while doing this exercise, try carrying a box or something that is lightly heavy to increase the impact.

How to do:

  • Make 5 trips up and down a set of stairs.
  • When you reach the bottom, lift something heavy to your shoulder and repeat five times.

8. Shadowboxing, While You Wait For A Mail Reply

Shadow boxing can be done anywhere anytime. You can do this exercise while waiting for a call or during the break time. A perfect cardio workout, shadow boxing help burn calories and build full-body strength [10].

How to do:

  • Stand in a stance that is comfortable for you, with your feet apart.
  • Ball your fists and punch into the air in different directions for 3 straight minutes at any speed.
  • You can switch which leg you lead with halfway through your work to strengthen both sides of your body equally.

9. Seated Leg Raises, While Talking On Phone

Doing seated leg raises are good for your body as it helps improve quadriceps muscle strength and promote better body stabilisation[11]. An easy workout, this can be done sitting on your work chair or anywhere with a chair.

How to do:

  • Sit on a chair with your back straight.
  • Extend both your legs and gradually raise the legs until the knees are straight.
  • Lower it slowly and repeat 5-10 times.

10. Arm Stretches, While Helping The Kids With Homework

Standing and stretching or sitting and doing stretches will help relax the intercostal muscles, as well as improve mobility of the spine and ease sore muscles [12].

How to do:

  • Stand or sit straight and keep your feet together.
  • Lift your hands to your sides and move to the sides, with just your hand stretching.
  • You can also move your upper body along with the tuns.
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and get back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the stretch two times and switch sides.

11. Belly Exercise, While You Take A Tea Break

Also called abdominal hollowing, this type of exercise helps you improve your core strength and helps reduce lower back pain and adds muscle mass [13]. Abdominal hollowing focuses on reducing that extra fat around your tummy in a healthy manner [14].

How to do:

  • Keep your back erect and sit straight, then pull back your shoulders.
  • Contract your stomach muscles (pull it in) and hold the pose for 2-3 minutes.
  • Make sure to keep your chest and pelvis area still.

12. Water Bottle Free Weights

A simple and effective variant of the free weights are water bottle free weights. Using bottle weights will help in improving muscle strength, balance and burn a good amount of calories [15].

How to do:

  • Take two water bottles of the same size.
  • Fill water in both at the same level.
  • You can use these instead of weights for arm curls.
  • Keep one bottle in each hand and extend the hands.
  • Now, bring back your arms in level with your shoulders.
  • Repeat 15 times.

On A Final Note…

The aforementioned fun exercises can help move your body in the most effective way and prevent the risk of any health problems. In addition to this, make sure you follow a healthy diet and get yourself some sunlight - through the windows or the doors of course. Be aware and do not panic. Stay home. Stay safe.

Susan JenniferPhysiotherapist
Masters in Physiotherapy
Susan Jennifer
Read more about: exercise fitness coronavirus