20 March

Stay at home fitness

If you are wfh (working from home), self-isolating or simply not going out, you are going to have to make a lot of adjustments. Among them is how to keep exercising. It is not nearly as hard as you might think. With a bit of research and some self-discipline you can emerge the Coronavirus crisis fitter than when it started. Here is our selection of some first rate, free solutions


Tennis fitness challenge

Made by Essential Tennis, this is a terrific work out, specifically designed for tennis which will give you maximum results using a minimum amount of space. It’s a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) work out, designed to mimic the short, explosive demands tennis makes on the body.  Focusing on building building powerful legs, great footwork and a strong core, it’s demonstrated by 3 players, each doing a slightly more advanced version of the same exercise, so you can pick one that suits or made your sway through them. “All these things will help you be a better tennis player,” says the presenter. Clear a little space and these excercises can easily be adated for the home.

Dynamic warm-up and flexibility training

This excellent programme from the USTA, which we have written about before, comes with a print out and a video. As well as getting the blood flowing and actively stretching muscles, the dynamic stretches and movements will ‘ingrain proper movement patterns and the coordination needed in tennis’. 

Ball toss

It doesn’t matter how good your service motion or your knee bend is, if you can’t toss the ball consistently in the same place, you will never serve well. This is the time to perfect the toss. If you are right handed, you want the toss to be a little bit in front of you, and a little bit to the right. Tim Henman shows you how and remember this is about the toss - no racket needed, no windows broken (though be careful if you have chandeliers).

General fitness

The NHS is full of advice about how you can keep so healthy. Follow it, and you wojuld have ever neeed to use it at all. As there has never been a better time to relieve pressure on this overworked institution, check out its 10 minute cardio fitness which you can do with zero equipment in your sitting room. If you work at a computer or have ‘text neck’ see its common posture mistakes and fixes or seated yoga workout and if you are still looking for more ideas, its fitness studio has 24 instructor-led videos on everything from strength and resistance training to pilates and yoga.

Make your own kettlebell while self-isolating

If you can’t get to the gym, keep calm and make your own weights. The Guardian shows that all you need is a few bags of flour or sugar (assuming there are still some in the supermarket) and a couple of plastic bags. Tie a knot and you have a piece of equipment with which you can do 200 work outs.

Train like the pros

Train like Roger Federer here. Roger does it while speaking French which we don’t think is strictly necessary though if you are bilingual, be our guest. You will need a skipping rope, a couple of footballs and tennis balls plus a tennis buddy. If Djokovic is more your style of player, this apparently is how he trains. You will need a theraband/resistance band and something stable to attach it to like a tennis post or tree if you can get outside, or the bedpost if you are indoors.

Learn some dance moves

Dance gives you all the training you need to keep fit but you have something more than muscle to show for it. Strictly’s Joanne Clifton demonstrates the basics with a dance for every mood: the Quick Step is happy, the Paso Doble is aggressive and the Waltz is for the loved up. The excellent Dance for beginners tutorials takes things at a slower beat, teaching routines to bad guy by Billie Eilish or Michael Jackson’s Thriller one step at a time, while the moves from Disney’s musical fantasy Descendants 2 or the Lion King are ones to learn with the kids. 

Get some Headspace

Developed by a former Buddhist monk, Headspace is an imaginatively-designed and hugely successful mediation app which is offering a free section of mediation and articles called Weathering the Storm to help anyone and everyone get through the next few months.