My life before the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic hit the US was literally non-stop travel from December to early March. I definitely saw a lot of people at the airport wearing respirators and disinfecting their seats on the plane, but it really never occurred to me that soon we’d all be in a state of lockdown. The face masks, at the time, seemed a bit much to me. I was conscientiously using hand sanitizer and wiping down my seat too, but I was 100% clueless about what was to come next. And you know what? I’m thankful for my blissful ignorance…because who knows when I’ll be traveling next!
I made it back home to Manhattan from San Diego just in time to begin what’s now been a month and a half of #stayathome quarantine mandated by Governer Andrew Cuomo (who I love!). It’s crazy how I went from flying cross-country to now barely leaving the perimeter of my Chelsea neighborhood. I never would’ve imagined this in a million years…but here we are, not so far off from the Spanish Influenza that occurred a little over 100 years ago. They say history repeats itself! Geez.
It’s been a weird time, to say the least. I’m normally a disciplined workaholic so at the beginning of quarantine, I found it easy to stay busy and focused. But then the reality of what we’re all going through (and the stories you hear from friends and on the news) began to penetrate the emotional side of my brain and that’s when it became harder to function. It seemed easier to get lost in Netflix because it wasn’t the news. I think I watched more Netflix in 1 month that I’ve ever watched in my life…and while I enjoyed so many riveting series, I wasn’t loving sitting on my ass for so long!
So instead of making this an ongoing habit and letting my living room turn into a #QuaratineAndChill den, I decided to create a home gym right smack in the middle of my apartment to inspire me to work out every freakin’ day. Hell yeah! I even rented heavy weights from a local fitness studio and the rest of the equipment I luckily already had.
It’s incredible how much you can accomplish at home and how great of a workout you can get as long as you have the will to see it through. Gotta admit, I’ve never been one to workout from home (I love studio fitness classes) so my new endeavor really opened my eyes to how convenient it is, how inexpensive it is and how creative you can get when forced to. If I had only realized this ages ago, I would’ve saved myself a lot of travel time going to NYC boutique studios. Butttt, let’s be real, no one likes being cooped up at home and the social element of fitness is everything. Without really a choice though, I’m enjoying all the positive things about exercising at home, so that’s why I’m going to share my workout with you captured in a new adidas women training outfit. Behold!
- This is my tank (which I actually cut with scissors halfway up the front to create a cinching tie effect) ---->> Univ Tank 2 W
- These are my training tights which I couldn’t be more in love with as they fit like a glove, are thin for Spring weather but somehow still hold everything in (I have some winter squishiness that needs support until it’s gone) ---->> Believe this 2.0 7/8 Tights
- And these are my sneaks ---->> Ultraboost 20 Shoes in Cloud White/Tech Purple. They’re kind of like those bootie heels that look like socks but they’re the most comfortable sneakers ever. And this specific colorway that I’m wearing sparkles!
Before I get into my workout though, I must say that it’s completely normal during a time of tragedy and/or uncertainty to feel low energy and unmotivated. If you need to zone out, let yourself do that for a bit. I think it’s important to go through emotional acceptance “stages” to get what you need to out of your system. But these stages shouldn’t last forever and it’s critical to arrive at a place where you can begin to nurture yourself and focus on the positive. This is exactly what happened to me. I did my Netflix thing and then started running outside…but it was too damn cold! So I came up with a new plan to do short runs outside while exercising at home doing a combination of weight training, HIIT, stair running, jump rope, and Vinyasa yoga 2x/week.
I alternate daily to keep my workouts fresh and compelling. I like to work out with a range of dumbbells, a medium weight kettlebell, a booty band, gliders and a cushy mat to protect my wrists and knees. Sometimes I just throw a workout together myself, other times I’ll search for a specific kind of workout on Youtube or pull up a free 30-minute workout from the Classpass video library. Popsugar Fitness also has a bunch of great free fitness content. These videos rev up my energy, and I’ll often build on the moves they demo to make them more challenging. I’ll even use the edge of my couch to do pushups (with my feet on couch and hands on floor) and tricep dips (like in the photo below).
I’ve been working on my abdominals a lot too, and challenging myself to try new ab combos like reverse crunches with a pike up lift at the top, corkscrew twists and hollow body rocks. OMG, the latter are so hard! Now that I have heavy weights, I like to finish off my ab series with Russian Twists. Each time I build on this classic move by adding lifted feet (where they absolutely don’t touch the ground through the move), and then taking it from bent to straight arms using a 10-15 pound dumbbell.
To counter a saggy Netflix bum, I’ve been doing a lot of leg and glute work starting from a tabletop position. I love straight leg lifts, angled kickbacks and rainbow crossovers where you arc 1 leg from side to side crossing over the bent leg. I like to squeeze a 3lb weight at the back of my knee for slow bent knee lifts as well as fire hydrant side lifts. If you have a booty band, you can use that for extra resistance on all of these moves as well.
4-5 reps of this kind of lower body work ensures I’ll be extra sore the next day. And you know what else makes me sore AF in the glutes? Booty band exercises! Do NOT underestimate the power a pink booty band. I almost did when a friend gave it to me—I was like, WTH is this? It might look silly but it will work you in ways other equipment can’t.
My favorite Booty Band moves are crab walks, squat jumps and pulses, side to side shuffles, and “couch sits” where you hover right above the couch (or a low chair) almost as if you were going to sit but then press back up. You can do these while watching TV but let’s be real, it’s way more energizing if you just crank a workout playlist. I recommend doing a Youtube search of how people are using their bands because that’s how I learned some of my favorite moves. Plus it’s good to mix things up as muscle memory is real, and unless you’re making changes your body can memorize the motion and plateau. Besides, do you really want to repeat the same workout every day?
Once I’ve completed 30-40 minutes of good ol’ strength training, I head straight to the stairwell of my apartment building. I start at the Lobby level and run all the way up to the 36 floor. It’s hard but I tackle between 10-12 flights in one swoop, jog in place until I’ve caught my breath and then push on to the next 10-12…and before I know it, I’m at the top of my building. And yes, I do run all the way back down as I use this time as a cool down to get my heart rate stabilized and keep moving. Once I get to the bottom, I go for Round 2 all the way back up. I won’t lie, I often dread stair runs but I feel so good once it’s done. It wears me out more than a long run. I’m working on building up to Round 3, but so far, I can only physically manage 2 rounds without entirely collapsing.
And then finally, there’s YOGA! I’ve always told people, you can be a runner without being a yogi. I stand by this, but my new epiphany is that you can’t be a crossfit-er / strength training person without also doing yoga. Working with your body weight and heavy equipment makes you tight and the best way to relieve this body tension is vinyasa yoga. Frida Doggy knows, as she makes sure I do all my poses right from the comfort of her spot on the couch, lol!
I prefer to practice yoga in online classes or live Zoom classes. My girlfriend Dina Ivas from Yoga with Dina (whose classes I’d normally be taking in person at Yoga Vida NYC) offers daily classes right now through Zoom. She’s a wonderful instructor and her 60-minute flows really help me stretch out and feel like I’m part of a class. I do all Zoom broadcasted workouts with my camera on so the instructor can correct me or give me adjustment suggestions. Cyber instruction is the new normal!
For at home yoga practice, make sure you use a mat. It’s important to have a secure grippy surface under you and something to protect hands, elbows and knees. Your head, too, if you’re going to attempt inversions. And if you’re just beginning, double mat it! I did this when I first started out. Also, I always do yoga barefoot but for these pics I think my Ultraboost Shoes seriously felt so much like socks that I might’ve just forgotten I was wearing them.
Did you like this workout inspiration? Let me know in the comments and how you’re staying fit and sane during quarantine.
Disclosure: All writing and opinions expressed here are 100% mine. This article is sponsored by adidas and the apparel I’m wearing was provided by adidas and currently available for purchase on adidas.com.