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20 best exercises
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Sports at home: you don’t need a gym to …

I know perfectly why you are there! In these somewhat « special » times, you decided that confinement would not be good for your mental or physical health, well done bro.

But after doing three and a half pushups and four abs, you go around in circles, you don’t know what to do….

How to set up an effective home training program? How to do if you are parisian don’t have a big space? What if you don’t have equipment?

Do not panic, « we are at war », but we still have the internet! There is absolutely everything there and there is no shortage of free training programs.

Let me show you your best options for doing sports at home.

1. Coaching applications

playing sports at home

We all did it already, go to the store and enter « sports application », download the first comer, do a training, let it mold, receive tons of notifications from the coach who is surprised not to see you anymore , uninstall… done!

Coaching apps have become the stars of home sports, and for good reason:

  • they are easy to access
  • they are designed to be motivating
  • you have nothing to program, the virtual coach guides you
  • they go there gradually with you

However, it should not be overlooked that an application is expensive to develop, and that sooner or later the developer will ask you for the currency of his coin.

Often developed under a so-called freemium model, the sports application will offer you access to a limited range of workouts, just enough to make you want to subscribe to a subscription.

It doesn’t have to be a scam, it is said that although « what is free has no value », and as such, you may be more regular and willing to pay.

The other problem is that there are a ton of these apps!

But fortunately, I clear the ground for you by presenting those that stand out in my eyes.

Freeletics, to become a better version of yourself

#Weight loss / #Muscular strengthening / #Hiit / #Freemium / #Coaching / #Application / # Optional equipment

How can I tell you about the Freeletics app… I’ve been a big fan of it since I discovered it in 2015. I don’t get paid to talk about it well but I should!

At the very beginning, it was an application exclusively focused on Hiit-type bodyweight training, which was already very good.

But we have to admit that the small German startup has made good progress in the space of a few years and has managed to develop a huge community.

Freeletics is today one of the best pocket coaches with:

  • running training
  • weight training / crossFit
  • Good cardio bodyweight training (almost 60 unique workouts)
  • nutritional recipes and advice
  • audio guides for meditation, preparation, recovery
  • training groups around the world

In short, it’s ultra complete, it’s effective at will and that’s what makes me place this sports app as my favorite all time.

What interests us here is that by downloading it for free, you already have access to full training sessions that will make you thrill. without the need for equipmentif not an exercise mat and athletic shoes.

Freeletics coaching has also improved a lot over the years, I now find it more progressive and able to adapt to perfect beginners, because as a reminder, the type of HIIT training (what is called high intensity) is not for everyone.

If you want an overview of the kind of workouts you’ll find on Freeletics, take a look at Metis which is a « basic » program that has always been found in the free version.

My advice :

  1. start with the basic version and leave the paid coaching mode aside
  2. test yourself on a program like Metis
  3. always warm up well before training
  4. allow 24 hours recovery between 2 sessions and do no more than 4 HIIT sessions in your week
  5. watch your progress (like your ability to chain the burpees better and better)
  6. possibly after a few weeks, opt for paid coaching

Notes: to make the most of it, it would be better to have a pull-up bar and a free “end of the wall”.

Advantages : very motivating (addictive limit). Very full. Very well done. Deutsch qualitat.
Disadvantages: limited free version, rather expensive paid version.

Valid alternatives: Goliaz (very comprehensive but a bit anarchic interface for me), Adidas Training by Runtastic
(formerly Results), Fizzup, Fiton, 8Fit, Thenx, Insanity (albeit a bit old school with its DVDs) and so on

Nike Training Club, completely free

nike training club
#Weight loss / #crossTraining / #Hiit / #Free / #Coaching / #Application / # Optional equipment

I told you, sooner or later, an application developer will ask for the currency of his coin … unless his name is Nike and weights billions.

Who else but the equipment giant can afford to maintain an app rich in content and ultra damn good for free?

So why not take advantage of it, Nike Training Club is an ideal solution for those who want to have a lot of guided workouts (more than 185 free and varied workouts: boxing, yoga, bodybuilding, cardio etc.) to do at home without advertising and without paid subscription!

The content is rich, personalized recommendations and quality training (some great athletes like a certain Cristiano Ronaldo offer their favorite training)…

I don’t even know what you are still waiting for to download it ?!

Advantages : completely free, dense and qualitative content.
Disadvantages: some users report bugs in tutorial videos.

2. Home bodybuilding programs

house bodybuilding

In these difficult times of confinement, thousands and thousands of bodybuilders are losing their gains.

But rest assured, we are all in the same boat, except those who have long since transformed their T3 into Gold’s Gym.

From here I see the question hanging on everyone’s lips: will I lose all my muscles?

No, you’re probably not going to lose all your muscles, even with a month-long break without going to the gym.

Better yet, you have a tremendous muscle memory that will allow you to quickly recover what has been lost.

The strategy is therefore to limit breakage with a minimum of in-house muscle training and to return to serious training once the Corona has decided to let go of us.

To prevent muscle loss, you can optionally increase your protein intake by one gram per pound of bodyweight per day, while maintaining resistance training at home.

To those who think that this kind of training is useless: any stimulus is good to take for the muscle! No, your elastic band will not replace your usual 100kg load but it is always better to do something than nothing at all!

In addition, maintain a diet made of products as little processed as possible by giving pride of place to various fruits and vegetables to avoid deficiencies.

Here are the main equipment recommended for homemade bodybuilding:

  • TRX (suspension straps) and / or elastic resistance bands
  • the unrivaled pull-up bar or Roman chair (if you have more space and budget)
  • loads like dumbbells, a weighted vest, kettlebells or water packs for the D system
  • a support such as a weight bench or a chair
  • a yoga mat
  • a spouse

« What if I don’t have any of that? » « 

We will get out of this !

In broad outline here are the principles that you will have to apply to your training of muscu house without equipment:

  • Home training will always start with a 5-10 minute warm-up (jump rope, jumping jack, exercise bike or whatever)
  • 3 to 5 full body workouts (we will work all the muscles of the body) per week
  • A selection of one to two exercises per muscle area with 3 to 4 sets until failure (do not count your repetitions unless you work with loads)
  • Full body work with push, pull, leg and abs exercises

Example of a homemade bodybuilding program

  • 4 * 12-15 repetitions of weighted squats with a vest or a filled backpack
  • 4 * 12-15 repetitions of Bulgarian Split squat with back leg on the sofa and bag in the back (or dumbbells in the hands if you have them)
  • 4 sets of chess hip thrust with a straight leg to accentuate the difficulty
  • 4 * 12-15 repetitions of side elevations at the elastic band with a tempo of 3s
  • 4 * 12-15 repetitions of diamond weighted pumps or not
  • 4 * 12-15 pull-up repetitions
  • 4 * 12-15 bicep curl reps with elastic bands or dumbbells

Where to find good bodybuilding programs:

You don’t have to buy a training program, there are literally tons available on the internet!

And if you do not know where to look I refer you to these excellent resources:

  • Overall the channels of all YouTubers which should feed a lot in the coming weeks of confinement.
  • Freeletics strength training, all adaptable in « without equipment » format.
  • Lafay method, like many, I started bodybuilding there with two three chairs in an attic. It’s a bit old-fashioned and I think we’ve got better today, but it can always give ideas. A little in the same genre there is the series The training of an inmate.
  • And because I’m nice, I specially made you a guide to bodybuilding at home with exercises with and without equipment as well as examples of programs and resources to progress!

3. Home cardio programs

homemade cardio
For those who have nothing to do with maintaining their muscle mass and want to maintain their heart more (I advise you to do both), I have a solution : stop smoking!

In fact, I even have several here.

Tabata / Hiit House

You want to:

  • burn calories and keep your heart in shape
  • don’t have to spend an hour there
  • don’t see time go by
  • be completely toasted at the end of the session and sleep like a baby
  • continue to burn calories after training

Look no further, I recommend HIIT, High Interval Intensity Training.

In fact, I no longer even present this method because it is impossible that you have missed out on these last years but if your withdrawal from the population is not recent, I advise you to read my complete guide on HIIT. You will find training and advice of all kinds.

Tabata is a method based on the same principle of high intensity, so we will give everything we have for 4 minutes! It’s very fast and very easy to install with H.I.I.T, and you can adapt it to absolutely anything.

Advantages : no equipment required. Free. Excellent ratio of calories burned / time spent
Disadvantages: not for everyone!

Resources for your cardio workouts at home:

7 minutes body workout

house sport training program
#Weight Loss / #Hiit / #Free Application / # Body Weight / #Fast
We stay in HIIT with this method which is not recent.

The 7-minute body workout went viral a few years ago in the US and then in France (it’s rarely the reverse) and for good reason, it offers to keep in shape in just 7 minutes a day, an enticing promise.

When it comes to using fast and relatively effective training, this is a great method.

Advantages: official application, good, easy to set up, fast

To learn more, I invite you to read my full article on the 7 minutes Workout. I’ll give you a program to try, changes to include to progress, and the right resource to download the dedicated app.

CrossFit workouts at home

As you probably know, crossFit is a discipline that prides itself on offering cardio and muscle training composed of functional movements.

The bad news is that you often have to go to the crossFit boxes whose subscription is overpriced to benefit from coaching. The good news is that you can practice at home.

It will be intense and totally cardio, be warned.

The crossFit has a jargon well apart, you will often hear about Wods (Workout of Day) and training formats like AMRAP, For Time or Metcon.

Let’s take a look at the latter with an example of crossFit training that you can try this evening!

Example of crossfit training at home

Training example # 1: Metcon house crossFit 27/21/15/9

I warned, it’s a jargon apart from crossFit, there you have to understand for example that you are going in ch *** having to perform 27 repetitions of exercises, then 21, then 15 then 9 as quickly as possible with as little break as possible!

Here is if you accept it, your Wod:

  • High Knees
  • Squat Jump
  • Burpees
  • Plank Superman

So you have 4 rounds in all. On the first you will have to perform 27 High knees, 27 Squats Jumps, 27 Burpees then 27 Plank Superman (in the sheathing position on the forearms, stretch the right arm and the left leg simultaneously to complete a rep, then the left arm and the right leg, etc.).

Without taking a break go to the second round, compose of 21 repetitions of these same 4 exercises.


Training example # 2: homemade crossFit Metcon 40/30/20/10

We stay in the same format, but varying the pleasures!

Here are the exercises here:

  • Jumps slit
  • Pumps
  • Leg raises

In round 1, you must therefore perform 40 jumps, then 40 pushups, then 40 leg raises. Take a 40s break then go to round 2 to make 30 skipped lunges followed by 30 pushups followed by 30 leg raises. Take a 30 second break then go to round 3 to make 20 skipped lunges followed by 20 pushups followed by 20 leg raises. Do not take a break and go straight to round 4 consisting of 10 repetitions of each exercise.

Notes: the jumped lunges can be replaced by traditional lunges if too difficult or weighted lunges if too easy (with a well-loaded waistcoat or hiking bag, for example). Likewise, the pumps can be replaced by knee pumps or weighted pumps (here again use a weighted backpack.

Great resources for other workouts:

  • Invictus coaching, this coach is a machine and offers some of these resistance training for free on his Facebook page. Be careful, it’s very intense!
  • the official crossFit site on which you will find Wods to do at home

Cardio on machines

homemade cardio
In my opinion not the most exciting but I still put it in the list.

Maybe you have a treadmill, an erg ski, an assault bike, a rower, a mini stepper or an exercise bike at home that will all make sense at once!

The obvious advantage of these machines is that they offer a good way to burn calories while watching the TV or listening to their favorite podcast (apart from the rower who needs a little more concentration).

Their problem, still in my opinion, is that very often:

  • They require a certain investment
  • We don’t put enough intensity into it
  • We are bored like dead rats on this kind of machine!

On this last point, if in the room you can go from one machine to another to overcome boredom, at home, it is often rare to have in the living room the cardio fleet of a fitness park!

There is however a ready solution but I am not sure that you will like it, it is called H.I.I.T and it is the acronym of You go to Ch *** !

I think this is one of the best ways to use these cardio machines, but you shouldn’t just practice this type of training.

Note that normally, any machine worthy of the name is equipped with pre-recorded programs which give access to guided HIIT workouts, make good use of it!

If you are planning to buy a cardio machine, I would tend to recommend the rower, who I think is the most muscular and most complete ergometer … but that is only my opinion.

Some circumstance resources to discover on the site:

4. Yoga at home

house yoga
# Relaxation / #Muscular strengthening / # Flexibility

We saw how to work the big muscles and the little heart at home, now I want to see how we keep a healthy mind in a healthy body.

To be confined is to be in the grip of stress and anxiety, what better way then than to turn to one of the oldest disciplines that exist: yoga!

 » Yeah but yoga is for gnagnagna grannies « 

Have you ever seen the « grannies » of yoga classes? They’re super fit, flexible, and they probably have more balance than you. Furthermore, I invite you to reconsider yoga if you think it is a plan-plan sport.

There are tons of different types, and there is yoga for absolutely everyone. So between two cardio and / or home bodybuilding workouts, put in a week of active recovery with a short Yoga or even Pilates class.

The only investment you’re going to need is the famous yoga mat.

You may not know how to do it, so I have several resources to help you get started.

Where to find good yoga classes at home:

  • Decathlon Eclub, formerly Domyos Live, the most famous sports store chain, offers live lessons to follow from home. Gym, cardio, bodybuilding, dance, boxing, you have up to 120 live sessions per week, including 20 free! The big plus is motivating and the lessons are written in your calendar, no way to dry.
  • Asana Rebel, an application that I had the opportunity to test for a few months for yoga that moves the ball !! Paid application but a lot of free courses. The content is very rich and the video media are of insane quality.
  • The YouTube channels of your favorite yogis like Sandra Insoha or ELLE
  • our stretching session for the whole body

To have a good time with your child, your spouse or your roommate, I advise you to test the acroyoga and that’s good, we just put on the site an article with the first poses for beginners! Perfect for having a good time with loved ones while moving!

Where to find a good Yoga mat?

best yoga mat

Ecological Yogamatata carpet in cork

A nice natural yoga mat made of rubber and cork.

  • Non-slip: grip & anti-slip, while remaining very soft to the touch!
  • Ecological: PVC-free, TPE-free, non-toxic. The inks are water-based.
  • Antibacterial: cork is a natural antimicrobial.
  • Eco-friendly wrapped in seeded paper containing honey flower seeds (without plastic packaging).
  • Contributes to the preservation of bees and pollinators: for each carpet purchased, a donation of 2 € is made to the association Mécènes et Parrains d’Abees to sow wild flowers in French wasteland

Finally, I think you can indulge your brain and enjoy being at home to start meditation, whether it is self-taught or with an app like Little Bamboo.

Remember to work your mind!

5. Unusual, Geeks & Fun training

house training

Come on, we finish this “sport at home” dossier with slightly more playful and less traditional ways of getting around.

You may not like to do sports at all and these little gadgets could allow you to reconnect with the movement, that’s really what is important!

Moov Now for a guided and motivating training

Moov Now Adult Mixed Activity Tracker, Black
Moov Now Adult Mixed Activity Tracker, Black

  • INTELLIGENT TRAINING: monitor your training when you run, bike, swim, …
  • MOOV NOW: has the best motion detection technology. The Omni Motion 9-axis sensor …
  • MOOV: tracks your activity 24 hours a day, even when you sleep, and tells you how many hours …

The moov now is a small fitness bracelet that I had the opportunity to test, it turns out that it is great for exercising at home!

Moov is an activity sensor that comes with an application in which there are a lot of Fitness programs!

These workouts will apply to each part of your body, the application will show you the movements and the bracelet will ensure that you do them well.

If the shape of your movements is not correct, the coach corrects you live, speaking to you through your phone!

Advantages : relatively inexpensive and very motivating because presented in the form of a game with medals to be won according to one’s efforts! Also allows coaching on running or swimming.

Eclub by decathlon

home sports application

Cited above in resources for yoga classes, the Eclub of Décath ’is much more than that!

The principle, sports lessons without leaving your living room and live, on top to strengthen his motivation.

Class hours are scheduled, so it’s on your calendar, no way out! I recommend using a chromecast (or equivalent) to broadcast on your TV (more comfortable).

Strengths: very motivating and a wide variety of courses, 20 courses offered and the possibility of training with the whole family.

Rookie Rope by Tangram

I am currently testing this somewhat “special” jump rope, in the sense that it was designed to give you maximum motivation…

Well, the jump rope, I think you all know eh, it’s as old as the world, it’s the star of the playground, it’s an incredible tool for working on relaxation or footwork and finally , it’s a great way to burn calories.

But, but but but, the jump rope can be a little boring. For this I always recommend including it in a training with other exercises, and rather in short and intense format. As such I suggest you read my article lose weight with the jump rope in which you will find a nice program.

But back to our sheep with the Rookie rope, a rope that counts your turns of rope for you and offer you various training modes within an application.

You have the classic mode which will simply count and display the number of revolutions, but also other more advanced modes like the Hiit.

It’s nice, it motivates well and your results are recorded in order to keep track of your training volume and push yourself every day to outdo yourself.

If the counting works well, nothing to say about it, I noted however some bug in the application which sometimes crashes when launching a training. In addition, I prefer my good old speed rope and I don’t really like the plastic of the Rookie Rope.

Finally, the price is a bit high in my opinion, on-board electronics or not. The solution remains nice for those who want to get on the rope and motivate themselves to progress, although this is a bit of a gadget.

Zwift, the solution made in Turfu

home bike

« Last but not least », I suggest you discover what may be dusting your old exercise bike.

Zwift is an app designed to make indoor cycling fun, and there was work. Basically, Zwift projects you into the universe of a virtual cyclist and lets you run against other connected users in wonderful universes!

Good but do not rub your hands too quickly, because Zwift is not given to everyone, it requires a certain configuration and stuff! Either you buy a compatible stationary bike, or you recycle your road bike with a home trainer.

You will also need to pay a subscription to the application and be a little geek to perfect your set up!

Note that the solution is now available with treadmills for runners!

In conclusion, do not stand still!

Whichever solution you choose, the important thing is to stick to it and stay consistent. More importantly maybe, don’t stand still!

If you spend long periods of time at home, you can create movement in your body without having to roll out the treadmill and allocate one hour of your time for a specific session.

Here are some good habits you can take right now to burn more calories during the day at home:

All of this may seem silly or futile, but small changes can turn into habits, which will ultimately lead to a more active lifestyle overall.

To go further, I invite you to consult my article: have we all become sedentary athletes?

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