If the last lockdown was anything to go by it's taught us that we can do a fair bit over our laptops; negotiate business deals, meet with colleagues, date, dine with friends - and workout, quite successfully.
While Covid is restricting our movements for the winter months at least many are taking their exercise routines inside their own homes. Armed with a list of online workouts to try, it soon became clear that in order for an exercise routine to be successful through a laptop, it needs to require little space, minimal jumping around - and deliver serious results. Otherwise, you're likely to throw in the towel or head back to the gym, local Covid guidelines permitting.
Meet the new breed of low impact, high intensity workouts, a great way to burn calories and tone up without impacting joints, ideal for women (and men) over 40.
Leading the charge, Pvolve is a functional training method that uses resistant balls and bands to create time under tension, improving posture and balance, all while toning up and burning calories. Having tried it throughout the lockdown months, the best thing about Pvolve is that the more you do it, the more challenging it becomes (in a good way). No class is the same which keeps your muscles guessing, and once you nail the key positions you can go deeper into the moves to intensify the burn depending on your level and confidence.
There is nothing quite like Pvolve but a simple way to describe it is a bridge between ballet, Pilates and resistance training. The only slight downside is that there is a lot of different equipment to invest in upfront from light arm weights to ankle weights, ankle bands and the signature P ball - an inflatable ball attached to a wide elastic band that you wear around your hips with the ball between your legs.
The ball keeps the band in place and the tension steady. To get the most out of Pvolve purchasing some of the core equipment is necessary as each class uses a different piece of equipment which targets the muscles in varying ways. However, there are plenty of workouts on the online platform that are equipment free - and at a stretch, you could get away with the P ball alone to begin with.
The instructors who take the classes also offer personal training (handy for beginners or those with injuries. My PT, Evan, was the reason I got hooked, teaching me all of the foundational moves thoroughly so that I had the confidence to move on to some of the more advanced classes. Interestingly, having a personal trainer over Zoom is surprisingly effective, making me ponder the point of going back to a sweaty gym environment in the future.
I particularly enjoyed the live classes that you can book in advance. I did a mix of the original Strength and Sculpt, a slow, muscle toning class and Cardio Burn for a faster paced class - although weirdly, both make you sweat, even when you're standing still which for me was a sign that it was working. If you're in an office during the day, there are dozens of pre-recorded exercise programmes available to stream from the site, which came in handy when I was on holiday and couldn't commit to a live class.
Pvolve is great for anyone slumped at a desk all day and for those who want to firm up, improve their posture and lose weight, without impacting their joints or incurring pain. Keep it up and you can expect a dancers body, at any age. I lost 10 pounds over three months and a bottom that's a fraction higher than it was when I started (at 47, the small wins are gratifying).
With a key emphasis on results, the sports science trained instructors describe each exercise in detail so you know what muscles you are working and reason why you are working them. A tonne of celebrities from Rochelle Humes to Lisa Snowden swear by this method.
Kimberly Wyatt (from Pussycat Dolls) husband, Max Rogers, is the man responsible for getting Wyatt in shape after her three children. Focusing on calisthenics, Rogers provides functional training exercises with a gymnastics origin demonstrated by Wyatt herself. Great for strengthening pelvic floor, toning up - and for those who like to learn a new skill and progress over time.
What is your go-to no-gym workout? Let us know in the comments section below.