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Stay fit and healthy in a time of social distancing

While you’re under lockdown, stay fit with with these home workouts designed by experts

Trainer Shivoham during a home workout.
Trainer Shivoham during a home workout.

Work from home, and social distancing, are the new mantras. But that does not mean you have to be a couch potato or become a slob. Here’s what health and fitness experts recommend.

“Even if you are home, it is a good idea to exercise and remain fit. Understand that exercising—even mild—will help you get your heart rate up and build your cardiovascular strength. It will surely help in building immunity," says Shreyas Katharani, head of the physiotherapy department, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai. He suggests combining home workouts with breathing exercises such as pranayam at least twice a day.

If you do not have gym equipment like a treadmill, coach Piyush Pandey from Delhi’s CrossFit Himalaya says body- weight exercises are both easy and effective. “You can combine these with some light equipment if you have access to it, like a kettlebell or a dumb-bell. But remember to balance out your training. Do not overdo strength training if you are a beginner. Mix it up with some cardio to build your lung capacity. And take rest as and when necessary," he adds.

Dr Katharani advises beginners to work out for no more than four days a week—dividing the time between cardio and strength training. Keeping the total workout time from 40 minutes (for a beginner) to 60 minutes (for an active gym goer) is a good idea.

If you are a complete beginner, it might be advisable to start gently. “It does not matter how fast you are going, or if you can churn out 20 push-ups. Do as much as you can at this point, and try to build up from there," says Rishabh Telang, a former professional basketball player and lead HRX trainer at Bengaluru’s

Always start your workouts with a warm-up, advises Nivedita Samanta, coach with Adidas Runners India—the running group organized by sportswear brand Adidas. “You don’t have to do much. Just get your heart rate up. For that, burpees are a great workout. But start with something smaller—jumping jacks, butt kicks and high knees. For cool down, one can use downward dog, upward dog, spinal twist, hamstring stretch and a simple savasana to control breathing," she adds. Here are some sets you can do at home, as recommended by professional trainers.


From Piyush Pandey, head coach, CrossFit Himalaya, and Rishabh Telang, lead HRX Trainer,

Day 1

Complete 4 rounds

Air squat—3 seconds down, 3 seconds up 10 repetitions (reps)

Quad rockers—12 reps

Plank—30 seconds

Day 2

Complete 4 rounds

Single-leg glute bridges—10 reps each side

Jumping jacks—20 reps

Beast hold—30 seconds

Day 3. Rest

Day 4

Complete 4 rounds

Negative push-up—3 second to go down—10 reps

Hollow hold—20 seconds


Day 5

3 burpees + 6 jump squats + 9 clap push-ups + 20ft shuttle run

Rest. 30 seconds

Repeat for total of 15 minutes

Day 6. Rest

Day 7.

Run for maximum distance in 30 minutes


From Reebok master trainer Shivoham

Day 1

10 push-ups + 10 shoulder taps in plank position + 15 legs up toe touches + 50 mountain climbers

Rest. And then, 3 rounds of 30 seconds each

V-ups + leg raises + side-to-side twist

Day 2

4 rounds of

15 squats + 12 reverse lunges each leg +12 beach burpees + 1-minute plank

Day 3

4 rounds

15 Hindu push-ups + 10 lunges and knee drives (each leg) + 20 bicycle kicks + 50 skips /high knees

Then, 30 seconds each x 3 rounds

Plank + R-side plank + hollow hold + L-side plank

Day 4. Rest

Day 5

4 rounds (40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest)

T-push ups + plank position hand to opposite knee + high knees with forward punching + legs up to side twist

Day 6

4 rounds (40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest)

Squat + lateral lunge and side kick + jumping jacks + sit-ups + full minute rest

Day 7. Rest

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