With no tangible end to the current lockdown in sight, you may well be getting a little tired of the living room burpees and roadside 5ks. We certainly are. For those without a home gym, or even the odd dumbbell or two, it may feel like your muscle-building assets have been firmly frozen.
But fear not. This two-move challenge that you can complete from the (dis)comfort of your own living room takes exactly 20 minutes, requires no gym equipment and will ensure that those hard-earned gains don't disappear during lockdown.
"You’re going to set a timer and get straight to work on this pump inducing push/pull combo," says Men's Health's fitness editor Andrew Tracey. "Start off steadily to avoid hitting muscular failure, but rest as little as possible to rack up as many reps as you can before the buzzer sounds."
Hold back on the initial sets, working to about half the reps you’d be capable of. This way you won’t burn out too quickly, and you’ll be able to stay consistent for the entire twenty minutes. Take note of your finishing numbers for each movement, repeat this every 3-5 days, aiming to beat your scores each time.
A) Pike Press-Ups 5-10 reps per set
Kick off with a slow, controlled effort. Place your feet together on something elevated, a chair or the sofa will do. Point your toes down and your hands on the floor in front of you. Straighten your legs and arms until you’re in an inverted L shape. Slowly bend at the arms, lowering your head to the floor. As soon as your head reaches the ground, press upward explosively to full lockout, then repeat.
B) Towel Pull-Ups 5-10 reps per set
Secure a towel over a sturdy door and place your feet against it. Grip the towel and bend your legs so that with your arms at full stretch and your glutes are off the ground. Dig your heels into the floor and maintaining tension in your legs, pull yourself upwards, pulling the towel down and back until your hands touch your chest. Lower and repeat.
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