Fred Joseph does a pushup

Porsche Landon

The author at work.

Like many, my fiancé and I have tried to make the best of social distancing. Today marks one week that we have been confined to the house.

It started out as an opportunity for us to make some hearty recipes we had been too busy to make this winter, bake some new things, and catch up on all of the shows we haven’t had time for. But this weekend it really hit us that we are settling into our new reality, for the foreseeable future.

As a person living with Multiple Sclerosis, a big part of our life is health and fitness. When we learned that our building’s gym is now closed to avoid the spread of COVID-19, we had to quickly re-evaluate how we can spend our time without compromising our health priorities. 

We decided to put down the margaritas and transformed our living room into an exercise area. Since then, we have been coming up with routines to make sure we are staying committed to our well-being while cooped up. 

Below you will find some exercises you can do at home to help you stay healthy while social distancing. You don’t even need to turn off Netflix!

(For those at a more advanced level, feel free to double down on some of the number of sets.)


The Workout

Warm up:

5 sets each, 1-minute rest between sets

Jumping Jacks: 15 reps

High Knees: 15 reps

Module 1 :

3 sets, 1-minute rest between sets

Side Lunges: 10 reps

Jump Squats: 10 reps

Burpees (add pushups if able): 10 reps

Module 2:

3 sets, 1-minute rest between sets

Lateral Plank Walks: 10 reps

Plank Taps: 10 reps

Mountain Climbers: 10 reps

Module 3:

3 sets, 1-minute rest between sets

Flutter Kicks: 30 reps

Sit Up to Twist: 20 reps (10 each side)

Double Crunches: 10 reps

5-minute rest

Module 4:

2 sets

Pushups: 10 reps

Lunges: 20 reps


The Exercises

Jumping Jacks

  • Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides.
  • Bend your knees slightly, and jump into the air.
  • As you jump, spread your legs to be about shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out and over your head.
  • Jump back to the starting position.

High Knees

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Run in place, bringing your knees up toward your chest as high as possible while pumping your arms.
  • Keep your chest lifted, core engaged, and land lightly on the balls of your feet.

Side Lunges 

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step out to your right. Bend your knee and push your butt back to do a side lunge. Keep your chest lifted and core tight.
  • Repeat on the other side

Jump Squats

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Sit your butt back and bend your knees to drop into a squat, keeping your chest upright.
  • Jump up into the air as high as you can and straighten out your legs.
  • Land back on the floor with soft knees.

Burpees

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your sides.
  • Bend your knees and reach forward to place your hands on the floor.
  • Kick your legs straight out behind you and immediately lower your entire body down to the ground, bending at the elbows. (insert push up here if able)
  • Use your arms to quickly push your body back up and hop your legs back under your body.
  • Jump straight up into the air, reaching your arms overhead. End with your knees slightly bent.

Lateral Plank Walks

  • Start in a high plank with your shoulders above your wrists and abs tight.
  • Step your right foot and right hand to the right, immediately following with your left foot and left hand. Take a few “steps” in one direction, then walk in the opposite direction

Plank Taps

  • Start in a high plank with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Tap each hand to the opposite shoulder while engaging your core to keep the hips as still as possible.

Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a high plank.
  • Drive your right knee out and up toward your right tricep. As you do, turn your head to watch your knee meet your arm.
  • Alternate sides as fast as you can while still maintaining a sturdy plank and keeping your torso in place.

Flutter Kicks

  • Lie on your back and extend your legs up to a 45-degree angle. …
  • Keeping your legs stick straight and glued together with your toes pointed, start lowering one leg.
  • Raise your lowered leg and lower the other, focusing on keeping your core engaged.
  • Continue the movement, alternating between legs.

Sit-Ups To Twists

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat to the floor.
  • Place your hands behind your head, engage your core and do a full sit-up. At the top of the sit-up, bring your right elbow to your left knee and twist your body toward that side.
  • Lower back down to start.
  • Repeat this movement alternating sides each time.

Double Crunches 

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat to the floor. 
  • Place hands behind your head, brace your core and lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground. Simultaneously, bring your knees to your chest. 
  • Contract the core at top of movement, pause, then return to starting position.

Push-ups 

  • Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Straighten your arms and legs.
  • Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  • Pause, then push yourself back up.

Lunges

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Take a big step forward with your right foot. Bend your right leg until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your back knee is just barely touching the floor.
  • Push up through your back front heel to return to the start position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

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