7 Easy At-Home Exercises For The Housebound

No equipment necessary!

“Home quarantine can be unpleasant and will probably last for two weeks, which is the presumed incubation period for the virus.” 

The New York Times

Over the past five days, I (a fitness expert) have learned that the best workouts don’t necessarily require a ton of fancy gym equipment. With just your own personhood and a few home staples, you can transform your body into a lean, mean, virus-fighting machine. Here are some of my favorite exercises for the foreseeably housebound.

1. Downward dangle

This daily activity, great for the over fifties, is designed to get your skin looking more like neoprene and less like crumpled linen. It’s so simple, too! Head to your bathroom and swing your legs over the shower curtain rail, as you would a monkey bar. You’ll want your torso to hang limp towards the tub for at least ten minutes (or until you see stars) for gravity to really do its best work. Ed note: You might want to have a friend or your urgent care nurse spot you.

2. The human sandwich

You’re going to want to prepare a sandwich for this one — I’d recommend a toasted cheese for that muscle-building protein. (If your grocery store is out of cheese, Spam is a fine choice.) Pop it on a coffee table or low-set chair, then lay on your back and shimmy your hips underneath. On an out-breath, curl your head, neck, and arms towards the sandwich. Pause at the top — making sure your shoulder blades are off the floor — take a modest bite, and then release the crunch on your in-breath. Keep crunching (and munching!) until the sandwich is gone.

3. Lonely hearts’ HIIT training

We’re going to get that love organ a-ticking with some high intensity interval training (and some high ~drama!~). You’re going to want to head to your living room, open the Netflix app, and pop on an episode of The Bachelor. Anytime Susan bitches out Amy, you need to roll off the couch and take a hot lap around your living room. Ed note: If you live in a cluttered studio apartment or a camper van, replace the shuttle run with 20 star jumps.

4. Telly flow

For ultimate flexibility, watch Bend It Like Beckham every second day for two weeks. Streaming it in the background doesn’t count — you need to be seated and focussed for the entire film. (I didn’t say this would be easy!)

5. Chianti curls

The flabby upper arm is really a problem area for a lot of people! Have (a healthy) roommate, lover, or neighbor tape a bottle of wine to each of your hands — the heavier the better for quick results. Hold both arms away from your body, at ninety degrees, and slowly raise your right arm towards your lips. Take a sip and then steadily lower the arm back to its original position. Do the same on the left arm. Repeat the exercise on both sides until each bottle of wine is empty. Feel free to do this seated on the toilet if you’re uncomfortable peeing in your last pair of clean pants. Ed note: Red wine is best for this as it’s been shown to release an acid that burns fat cells.

6. Nonstick squats

Fill a large saucepan full of water and balance it on your head. Adopt a wide-legged goddess pose, tuck your tailbone under your butt, and slowly squat as low as you can without spilling a drop. You’ll be working your core too! Keep squatting through ten renditions of “We Are The Champions.”

7. Bath divers

This is a straightforward exercise for increased lung capacity. First, make sure no one is hanging from the shower curtain rod. If the coast is clear, lay face down in a tub full of warm water and hold your breath until you feel like your literal brain is on fire. Repeat five times, with a one minute rest between each set. Ed note: Let a friend know where you are before attempting this exercise.

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