Home Workouts From Around the World

One of the best ways to stay positive during lockdown is keeping active with a little bit of exercise.

Staying fit under lockdown doesn’t necessarily mean star jumps in your bedroom or squats while you make your tea! Many leading gyms and fitness instructors have put classes online. So, there are countless strategies to keep fit from your front room.

We’ve put together a list of top home workouts from around the world. Each is inspired by local culture, traditions, and tastes. So grab a bottle of water, push the coffee table to one side, and enjoy these fun home workouts!

Yoga

Modern urbanites can be spotted leaving glamorous yoga studios on almost every city street these days. However, the discipline originated in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. Yoga combines breathing techniques, deep stretching and meditation to help improve physical and mental wellbeing.

Yoga is far more than an exercise class; an hour of intense practice can put you in a totally revitalised state of mind. Give it a few sessions and you’ll be chanting as you wash the dishes and beginning Zoom meetings with “Namaste!”

Yoga is accessible to all ages and abilities. Limitless variations on all poses mean you can progress at your own pace.

Don’t be intimidated by influencers tied in knots appearing on your Instagram feed.

Most classes begin with shavasana (corpse pose!) which requires nothing more than lying on the floor and focusing on your breathing.

Undertake your yoga journey at your own pace. You will improve as you practise and learn so much about yourself in the process.

Why it’s beneficial:

Yoga has been practised and developed over 5,000 years because of its undeniable benefits in a range of areas. It:

  • Contributes to mental wellbeing and happiness
  • Reduces stress and helps with sleep
  • Improves flexibility, strength and posture

Where to do it:

One of our favourite online yoga channels is Yoga with Adrienne – Adrienne has a range of classes for different levels and varying duration.

We especially love her ‘Thirty Days of Yoga’ series, which allows you to see your improvements from beginner to seasoned pro!

What you’ll need

If you have a yoga mat, roll it out! Don’t sweat it if you don’t, a simple bath towel makes an ideal substitute (or you can pick a plush area of carpet to practise on!)

Yoga mat

CrossFit

If you’re looking for something a little more intense, CrossFit is a great way to get those calories burning.

The CrossFit movement began in Santa Cruz, California, and doesn’t focus on one particular skill but rather builds up whole body strength and conditioning through high-intensity workouts.

CrossFit combines elements from a number of fitness practices such as gymnastics, weightlifting and running, and while you might associate CrossFit with people carrying sandbags around old car parks, every exercise can modified to suit your ability level.

Why it’s beneficial:

CrossFit focuses on enhancing ten key physical qualities; cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.

Each CrossFit workout has huge calorie-burning and muscle-building potential, and can be adapted to fit around your schedule and confidence level.

Where to do it:

CrossFit classes are normally run from specially equipped gyms (called ‘boxes’) but the good news is that CrossFit has also released a range of online workouts that you can do from home.

What you’ll need

Many CrossFit exercises focus on bodyweight exercises (like push-ups, sit-ups and squats) to complete, but if you need weights try using bottles or rucksacks instead.

A lot of the workouts can be completed in a small space, and when the sun is shining why not give it a go in your backyard or garden?

CrossFit at home

Tai Chi

Tai chi is a beautifully graceful form of exercise that is hugely popular in China and is growing in popularity globally. The practice originated during the 13th century, and its name derives from the Chinese words for ‘great ultimate boxing’, this is hard to believe when you witness the peaceful flow of tai chi masters!

Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion” and uses deep breathing and slow, flowing movements. The aim of tai chi is to cultivate energy to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body.

Why it’s beneficial:

Studies have shown that tai chi improves muscular strength, flexibility, and fitness, and can also help to boost immunity and relieve muscular pain. A fundamental aspect of tai chi is meditation, making this a great practice for both body and mind.

Where to do it:

There are plenty of YouTube classes to choose from, so go explore and find someone you like – Peter Chen is great for beginners!

What you’ll need

Just yourself! Tai chi emphasises control over the body, and doesn’t require much space, but it’s probably a good idea to put your best china away if you plan on spreading your wings near any valuable family heirlooms…

Tai Chi

Caribbean Dance

When the sun is shining it’s difficult not to close your eyes and transport yourself to an immaculate Caribbean beach, with the upbeat tempo of steel drums and carnival spirit drifting towards you over a barbecue!

It’s not always that simple to just hop on a plane, so why not let your hair down and pump up the volume with these Caribbean dance workouts?

Caribbean music and dance encapsulates the colour and vibrancy of these paradise islands, and a dance workout will leave you smiling as if you’ve danced the night away at a beach bar!

Why it’s beneficial:

Dancing has tonnes of health benefits, including:

  • Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
  • Aerobic fitness and weight loss
  • Better coordination, agility and flexibility
  • Happiness!

Where to do it:

There are plenty of Caribbean-inspired dance workouts out there, however POPSUGAR Fitness is a good place to start. These video workouts are really easy to follow, don’t take themselves too seriously, and encourage you to have fun at your own pace.

What you’ll need

Some workout clothes, a Caribbean state of mind, and perhaps a cocktail ready for when you’re finished!

Most video workouts can be completed in a small space, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you have plenty of room to groove.

Caribbean Music

Ballet

Ballet is perhaps the most elegant of all dance forms. Originating in Renaissance Italy, ballet is characterised by graceful and artistic movements, finesse, and passion.

Professional ballerinas appear to move effortlessly, however ballet requires a huge amount of strength, flexibility and balance.

Ballet has grown in popularity within the fitness scene, from ballet-inspired workouts, barre classes (which make use of the waist-high bar used by ballerinas during practise) and traditional dance classes.

Why its beneficial:

The beauty of ballet lies in the effortless movements and grace of the dancers, and this requires incredible strength, control and suppleness. Ballet-inspired workouts use a range of functional exercises to improve flexibility, balance and strength.

Where to do it:

Look no further than the elite Royal Academy of Dance in London, which has released a selection of online ballet classes for you to follow at home. 

What you’ll need

A lot of the exercises use a piece of equipment known as the barre (a waist-high bar to assist with balance and posture), which can be easily substituted for a kitchen worktop. A full-length mirror allows you to keep an eye on your form and posture, and some peaceful music can also inspire your ballet moves!

Ballet Shoes

So whether you choose to become the next Yogi master, CrossFit champion or beautiful ballerina, we hope you are able to use these exercises to stay fit and healthy during lockdown. 

What are your favourite home workouts? Let us know in the comments below!

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