If you feel like the latest Covid restrictions have taken away all your motivation to workout, you’re not alone.
Researchers from University College London has found 40% of people are exercising less now than during the first lockdown. This seems to have been replaced by more sedentary activities – 34% of people report working more, and 19% of people are watching more TV, streaming films and gaming.
We all know exercise can boost our mental health, but sometimes it can be hard to summon the energy to actually do anything. Luckily, if you can’t face the thought of another virtual HIIT class, there are other ways to get a sweat on.
Viral fitness challenges make working out seem like a fun game rather than a chore. Whether it’s from TikTok, Instagram or beyond, these routines test your fitness – with no equipment at all…
1. Hit Your Rollie challenge
The Hit Yo Rollie song has taken off on TikTok – you might have seen people doing the dance to it, but what about the fitness version?
The whole routine is done in plank position, meaning your core will get a mega workout. You have to stay in time with the music, following along to the lyrics with different exercises like plank jacks, shoulder taps and hip dips. As with most of these challenges, you’ll need to repeat the routine more than once to really perfect it.
2. Push-up cup challenge
You’ll need some paper or plastic cups for this challenge. It’s all about push-ups; between each rep, you stack a cup on top of another until you’ve stacked them all. Your chest will be on fire at the end – and if you can’t manage a push-up on your toes, you’ll still get a great workout from doing it on your knees.
3. Bottle balance challenge
Standing on one leg with the other stretched out in the air to the side of you, place a bottle on the outer edge of your foot. Some people then try to hold the bottle there for as long as possible – maybe even moving your body 360 degrees, keeping everything steady – and the grand finale is to tap the bottle off and kick it away before it hits the ground. It’s all about timing, and will encourage strong balance and core stability.
4. Handstand t-shirt challenge
This challenge went viral in 2020 when celebrities like Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal gave it a go. Start in a handstand position with your feet balanced against the wall and your t-shirt on the ground – the challenge is to put your top back on while staying in the handstand position. It will test your core, your balance, and just about every muscle in your upper body. If you’re a real pro, you can try it without the wall, but that’s definitely not for beginners.
5. Plank partner challenge
You’ll need a partner for this one, so hopefully you’ve got a willing and able partner/family member/friend in your house or bubble. Set to another favourite tune on TikTok (a remixed version of Pretty Girl by Maggie Lindemann), it starts out pretty normally with plank up-downs, jacks and shoulder taps.
Things then get spicy as you swap places with your partner, with one person rolling underneath and the other jumping over the top. Be careful with this move – you don’t want to accidentally knock your partner out.