COVID-19 has made life a little unpredictable and has made sticking to routines pretty tough.
Is another Covid wave going to hit Hong Kong? Will gyms end up shutting down again?
Well, your guess is as good as ours! We don’t know whether the city is going to be on lockdown or whether life will gradually become accustomed to the ‘new normal’.
In this article, we’ll show you how to master four powerful exercises that you can do to build strength at any public park or outdoor area in HK:
At the end, we’ll show you how to string these together into two kick-ass workouts:
So, whether times are good or rough, you’ll soon have the tools to leave you pumped even while COVID is running riot.
This move has been called many names over the years and is a great exercise to get started on the route to a ripped body.
In particular, it’s perfect for anyone looking to target your core, shoulders and/or triceps.
The cool thing about this exercise is that it can be adjusted depending on the intensity you’re looking to achieve:
New to exercise, or just looking to get warm? Don’t walk out as far.
Already a pro? Extend the walkout as far as possible and give yourself a real challenge.
Start in a standing position.
Bend over and place your hands on the ground .
Walk your hands forward, effectively walking into the top of a push-up position (finish here if you’re warming up).
Walk your hands as far forward as possible, almost like you’re reaching above your head (for maximum intensity).
Once you’ve walked your hands as far as you’re looking to go, walk your hands back to the starting position and stand up again.
From rehab patients to Olympians, at some point, everyone will have done a lunge and will have had to work on perfecting them.
The lunge is one of the most-used exercises ever. And for good reason.
Alongside working your core muscles, the lunge hits almost all of the muscles in each leg.
The beauty about the lunge is that going into the position allows you to keep things balanced out side to side, which reduces your risk of injury significantly.
So, if you are a hiker, sports player, runner, a weightlifter or even someone who just likes to walk to your local coffee shop and back, you need the lunge in your life.
Get into a half-kneeling position, with one knee on the floor. Make sure that your ‘back foot’ has your toes pushing into the ground. In this bottom position, you’re looking to have 90° at every joint angle.
By pushing your front foot’s midfoot and your back foot’s big toe into the ground, bring your knee straight off the floor.
Take a natural step forward (or whatever distance gets your joints into 90° angles).
Slowly lower yourself down so that your knee is just above the floor (touch an imaginary egg on the floor with your knee without breaking it). Do this while keeping your hips and shoulders in a straight line perpendicular to the ground (without leaning your chest forwards or backwards).
Once you’ve gone down and up, simply take a step forwards (or backwards if you like) and repeat the process.
Feel free to do this interchange stationary or by adding a jump to have a real whirlwind and increase the intensity.
The king of exercises (to some anyway).
This is probably the most polarising movement of all exercises …
… you either hate it or you love it.
It’s also one the most poorly executed movements, with 100s of minions (yes, I just called humans ‘minions’, get over it) getting this movement wrong and hurting themselves in the process.
If you get this move right, the push up can be a killer exercise, working your chest, triceps, shoulders, core and, heck, your legs if you really want it too.
If you push a door open, play with your kids on the floor, or just get a little tipsy and try to be a badass on the Nintendo Switch, you’re gonna want to get good at push-ups.
So it had to be on our list.
Lie face down on the floor and place your hands palms down on the floor at your armpits.
Upper body starting position. Take your hands ‘one handprint’ wider, which should bring your head and hands into a triangle position.
Lower body starting position. Have your feet roughly shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed into the ground. Lift your knees off the ground and squeeze your thighs and butt really hard.
Imagine pressing the floor away from you. Do this by keeping your core tight and squeezing your thighs and butt. You should come straight off the ground, with your spine maintaining a straight line horizontal to the floor.
Once at the top, lower your body to the floor (while maintaining a horizontal spine) until you’re almost all the way to the ground.
Just before your chest hits the ground (which if you’re doing it properly should be the first body part to hit the ground), repeat the whole move.
Whether getting in and out of a chair, squatting a barbell or just kneeling mid-air to pet a puppy, almost everyone has done some kind at some point in their lives.
A great ‘functional’ exercise which crosses over to hundreds of different activities and exercises, if you’re not squatting during your workout – then there’s something missing.
As a bonus, there are so many different ways to do a squat.
You can have so much fun, from doing jump squats to split squats to squat holds and everything you can think of!
Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart with your feet pointing straight forward.
Bend your knees and ankles so that your back lowers straight down.
Once your knees, thighs and butt reach a horizontal plane, extend your knees and ankles until you’re back in the standing position.
It may help to imagine that you’re ‘sitting back and down in a chair’ while performing the squat. Try not to let your knee buckle in – they should stay in line with your toes. Your back should be neither arched nor rounded – just nice and straight.
Now you can do all the movements, what’s next?
Next, we’ll bring these exercises together into a fully-blown workout that you can do any day of the week in the park, at home or on any street you like in Hong Kong.
Here are two such workouts:
Equipment Required: A regular 6-sided die.
Roll a die. The number you roll represents the number of sets/rounds you’ll be performing for each exercise.
Roll the die again. This number represents the number of seconds you’ll work and rest for.
It’s simple but awesome way to vary the intensity and volume of your workout, meaning you could use this to add variation into a workout almost every day of the week if you wanted!
Here’s an example:
You roll a 5. That’s 5 rounds.
You roll a 3. That’s 30 seconds.
You’ll now do inchworms for 30s and rest for 30s, and will repeat this 5 times.
Next, we’ll move onto lunges.
Equipment required: None
In this workout, you’ll do each movement in a circuit-like fashion; going from one movement and then moving onto the next.
During this workout, you’ll perform 3 circuits, repeating each of the 4 movements 10 times before moving onto the next.
Each circuit will contain speed variations:
Circuit 1: perform all the movements as if in “slow-motion“
Circuit 2: do all the movements at normal speed
Circuit 3: This time, you’ll go as fast as possible.
Rest for as little time as possible, ideally nothing longer than 90 seconds.
Complete this whole sequence 5 times and you’ve got yourself a comprehensive street workout.
That’s it folks!
Two street workouts that’ll keep you fit, healthy and happy during these turbulent times.
All that’s next is to hit those Hong Kong streets and work up a sweat.