2021 is here, and unfortunately, we still find ourselves in a state of social isolation in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re an athlete who usually takes the new year as an opportunity to set some fitness and training goals, this may be a bit discouraging for you. Do your New Year’s fitness resolutions really need to be put on the back burner for yet another month?

As your orthopedic sports medicine specialist, Dr. Michael Rytel says “no way.” There are plenty of ways to make and keep a new fitness routine, all from the comfort and safety of your own home. Here are four expert tips you can follow while building your perfect home workout routine for 2021:

1. Get Yourself in the Exercise Zone

If you’re like many athletes, the gym is your happy place. It’s a space where you can get in the zone and focus entirely on your training without the types of distractions you’ll find anywhere else. If your gym has closed or become an unsafe place to be due to COVID-19, you may be finding it difficult to work out in your home with the same focus and intensity, causing lapses in your routine. This is totally understandable, but the solution is within your control! Try choosing a single space in your home with plenty of room available, then try dedicating that space entirely to your fitness training. It’s also important to make sure this space is free of distractions, including loud appliances and frequent traffic from family and pets. If you have a hard time focusing with a screen in front of you, you may also want to pick a room far from the TV!

2. Take Advantage of Workout Technology

COVID-19 has forced all of us to become a little more tech-savvy, from text-based communication to the infamous Zoom call. But did you know that some of the latest technology available today can help you enhance your home workout? Using some of the awesome workout apps that are available today, you can start to consider your smartphone another vital piece of equipment in your daily fitness routine. If you work better in a group or with the help of a trainer, you have online options as well -- many fitness professionals have begun to offer remote classes and training to those who are homebound due to COVID-19!

3. No Equipment? No Problem!

One of the major benefits of going to the gym is gaining access to all types of exercise equipment without having to make space for them in your home. While a set of dumbbells may be easy to move and store, a stair-step or elliptical machine can be a real burden of space and cost. Luckily, there are plenty of options for workout out completely equipment-free, and the popularity of this method has only increased since the lockdown began. Strength training without equipment can be simple, using techniques such as:

  • Crunches and curl-ups
  • Supermans
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Planks
  • Lunges
  • Mountain climbers

Just be sure to have a supportive surface below you, and only use an object for support if it’s stable.

4. Have Clear Goals in Mind

One of the biggest challenges for maintaining your fitness resolutions and staying focused while working out at home is sticking with the routine you’ve created for yourself. Setting clear goals from the start is an excellent way to keep yourself on track. It also makes tracking your progress easier, and it can instill you with a sense of motivation and encouragement that you may be missing outside of the gym setting.

Dr. Michael Rytel is committed to helping patients achieve their peak functionality, no matter the circumstances. If you need advice or assistance in managing your physical health as an athlete while social distancing, don’t hesitate to reach out or schedule an appointment online using our simple form.