How Pro Athletes Are Staying Fit at Home During Coronavirus
Mikaela Shiffrin of USA takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. (Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty)
By Perri O. Blumberg / March 24, 2020 9:10 am

Setting up your digs to work from home is one thing. But for those who lack the space and equipment (though, props to dad for buying you that set of dumbbells for the holidays a few years back), working out from home is a whole other matter.

As gyms around the country have shuttered in recent weeks, millions of Americans find themselves with a convenient excuse to ditch their workout routines. But as the coronavirus crisis unfolds and the realities of social distancing sink in, countless individuals are devising new and creative ways to maintain an at-home workout routine — none more so than the thousands of pro athletes who are trying to stay fit and fighting while their seasons take an indefinite hiatus.

So how are they doing it? You need look no further than the various social-media apps on your phone to find out.

First up, Tim Liu, CSCS and a Precision Nutrition Level 2 Coach based in Santa Monica, California, isn’t letting stay-at-home life sabotage his workouts. “This is a great workout because it requires no equipment and doesn’t need a lot of space. It also works your entire body and can be done quickly,” Liu tells InsideHook of the below session.

Meanwhile, distance runner Jesse Berube shared a much-needed reminder that not having dumbbells is no excuse to skip weight training. “There’s always a bodyweight exercise that’ll do for now … Pick up a bag of flour, your dog or your cat, and do some #squats.

Got a chair? That’s all you need to follow the drills of crossfitter Samantha Briggs, who holds the Strongest Woman on Earth title for 2013’s Crossfit Games. Good luck keeping up with her for the hell that is sprawls, air squats and chair dips with a few more arduous moves mixed in.

We’re also loving the example of YouTube star and bodybuilder Ulisses Jr., who shows us that a broom and a little ingenuity — along with a set of resistance bands — is all you need to give your triceps a grueling workout.

As for NASCAR driver Angela Ruch, she depends on her at-home strength and endurance routine, quarantine-or-not, when preparing for the 120°F heat that hits her car on the racetrack. She shared the below two-minute abs workout she’s been digging of late. “First, I started out with bicycle crunches making sure to keep the core tight and holding at least each side for two seconds,” Ruch tells us. Next, it’s a direct segue into tabletop crunches followed by scissor kicks, crunches, a basic plank and side plank. Do this 20 times a day and we promise you’ll be too winded to miss your spin class.

A few rockstar Team Oakley athletes are also making the most with their coronavirus workout plans. First, Mikaela Shiffrin, American World Cup Alpine Skier and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, shares a quick circuit session using a stationary bike, floor exercises, a jump workout on the stairs and more. (No bike? Do jumping jacks or lunges to get your heart rate up.) Don’t worry if you can’t hold a handstand like Shiffrin for the grand finale upside-down shoulder press.

Next, Norwegian professional snowboarder and Olympic medalist Stale Sandbech is working on his handstands and perfecting his juggling skills with some spare pairs of Oakley goggles. To round out the mix — and infuse some humor into an otherwise somber situation — he’s opted to use his little brother in lieu of gym weights for a round of squats and lunges.

Last of the Oakley bunch, consider the ad hoc sweat session of American professional beach volleyball player and two-time Olympic medalist April Ross. Since she can’t get on the sand, she’s setting the volleyball to herself while doing sit-ups and spiking the ball against her wall. Until, of course, her dog intervenes and steals the ball away, proving that even Olympic athletes suffer the same trials and tribulations working out at home as us mere mortals.

To that point, Andrew Lee, a Road Runners Club of America certified coach, recently posted the below Instagram story that proved that a six pack of beer is as excellent a replacement as any for step-ups, overhead presses, reverse lunges and the like. 

“This is a great workout because it’s simple. All you need is a chair and a weight. The weight could be dumbbells or a kettlebell if you have it. If you don’t, you could use a milk jug or a six pack like I did,” he says. “The exercise itself works many major muscle groups like your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulders. It also tests your balance.”

No word yet on what he did with the beers after completing his makeshift challenge, but we’ve got some ideas.

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