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Long Island gyms switch to virtual classes, share at-home workouts 

Some Long Island gyms are temporarily switching to

Some Long Island gyms are temporarily switching to a virtual class model. Credit: Getty Images/FatCamera

Newsday is opening this content to all readers as we provide Long Islanders with a way to take a break during the coronavirus outbreak. All readers can learn the latest news at newsday.com/LiveUpdates

With gyms and other fitness businesses closed, exercise should actually be uppermost in our minds now, according to Long Island fitness experts.

There are ways to stay fit while relegated to your home — without owning that Peloton bike or even a five-pound set of hand weights — whether you’re an exercise novice, have intermediate abilities or you’re having trouble hanging up your gym-rat hat. Some local gyms are even offering daily online exercise classes, question-and-answer sessions and other virtual support while they remain shuttered.

In times like these, “fitness becomes an afterthought,” says Steve Briscoe of Huntington, who owns Farmingdale Fit Body Boot Camp with his brother, John, of Commack. They’re planning online noontime daily question-and-answer sessions indefinitely and a four-week “Quarantine Fitness Challenge,” specific details of which have not yet been ironed out. 

“Everyone’s schedule is out of whack. People are couch surfing, watching tons of TV … they can find themselves up until 1, 2 or 3 in the morning” and eating while depriving themselves of enough sleep.

Maintaining a structure to your day with a regular time to get up, go to sleep and exercise is key to being both physically and mentally fit, the experts add.

“I think a lot of people are freaking out at their lack of ability to work out right now,” says Mo Wolfe, owner of Evolution Pilates in Port Washington. She’s also offering virtual classes while her studio is closed. “If they start stress eating, their fitness is going to fall by the wayside.”

Wolfe notes that things around the house, including bottles and balls, can be great stand-ins for weights. “Walking is still one of the best exercises.”

Also keep in mind one of the most important components of staying fit and exercising: nutrition, she says.

“Go for a smoothie, don’t go for the chips,” Wolfe adds. 

Here are three at-home workouts recommended by Paul Daly, owner of Smithtown Personal Training and Nutrition.

Dedicated athletic woman running in nature and dawn.

PRO

What you'll tone: Abs, core, upper and lower body; cardio.

How long it'll take: 40 to 50 minutes

What you'll do:

Cardio: Jumping jacks (side to side and front to back); burpees with a pushup; jump squats into a 10-second hold. Running high knees and butt kicks. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Lower body: One moving squat (hold squat while stepping two steps forward, two steps back); two jumping lunges; three open-toe squats (turning your toes away from your body as your heel stays in place). Repeat for 10 minutes.

Upper body: Pushups (vary between incline, decline, diamond); hold high and low planks for 45 to 60 seconds; use a chair for triceps dips (rest your arms on the chair, kneel in front and lower your body). Repeat at your comfort.

Abs and core: Moving planks into elbow and knee planks; hollow hold into flutter kicks; crunch and punch. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Cool down and stretch.

Senior Man Doing Press Ups In Gym. Photo

INTERMEDIATE

What you'll tone: Abs, core upper and lower body; cardio.

How long it'll take: 30 minutes

What you'll do:

Cardio: Jumping jacks, run in place, run with knees up high, jump squats, burpees. Switch as often as needed. Repeat for 7 to 10 minutes. 

Lower: Squats into a calf raise; squats with 10-second hold. Side lunge (step right foot a few feet to the right and bend the right knee, keeping the left leg straight. Press down through the heel and return to start.) Repeat 10 to 15 times, switch to left. Curtsy Lunge (stand straight, drop your left foot back and to the right, bend both knees into a curtsy bow. Come back to center and repeat on the other side.) Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Upper: Between 20 and 50 pushups. Hold planks for about 45 seconds to a minute. About 10 triceps dips.

Abs and core: Perform the "Superman," lying face down with arms and legs extended. Pull your abs into your spine, squeeze your butt, then lift your legs, arms, chest and head off the ground and lower back down. Repeat 10 to 20 times. 

Cool down and stretch.

Close up of sporty woman tying shoelace while

BEGINNER

What you'll tone: Abs, upper and lower body; cardio.

How long it'll take: 30 minutes

What you'll do:

Cardio: Jumping jacks (modified: step left, clap hands above head, feet together then step right, clap hands above head). March in place then complete modified burpees (squat down touch floor, stand up, hands to the sky and push up on your toes). Do each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat three times. Total time of 5 minutes.

Lower body: Squats: hands on hips, feet shoulder-distance apart, back straight, shoulders back, chest up. Slowly squat until your quads are almost parallel to the floor and stand back up. Lunges: hands on hips, step out on one leg, slowly drop right knee toward the floor, bring knee up and step back, repeat other leg. Hands on hips, then reach for the sky, with hands up push up strong on your toes, hold for 5 seconds. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat three times.

Upper body: Pushups (modified; on hands and knees, cross ankles, lift feet off the floor). Shoulder taps: In a pushup position, bring your right hand to your left shoulder and back to the floor, repeat on the other side (modified on your knees). Do each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.

Abs: X taps: Lying on your back, legs straight, arms on floor straight above head. Reach left arm to left leg, then left arm to right leg meeting above your waist. Slides: Lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your quads, slowly slide your hands up your legs to your knees while lifting your chin and chest to the sky, slowly come back down. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.

Cool down and stretch.

Long Island gyms offering virtual classes

If you thrive during group workout sessions and instructor-led classes, you're in luck. These are some of the gyms offering virtual sessions

Ash Hot Yoga (350 Sunrise Hwy., West Babylon) is offering daily video classes (such as vinyasa, nighttime yoga in bed and meditation) that can be streamed on its website. Classes are $11 for drop-ins (instead of $25 per in-studio class). Sessions are led by an instructor via Zoom and last about one hour; ashhotyogababylon.com.

Farmingdale Fit Body Boot Camp (1815 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale) is streaming daily fitness Q&A sessions at noon. Class schedule and “Quarantine Fitness Challenge" information is still to come; fitbodybootcamp.com/9402-farmingdale-ny.

Planet Fitness (all locations) is offering free at home "work-ins" via Facebook Live for non-members and members. Classes are led by trainers and will vary in topic; 20 minute sessions; facebook.com/planetfitness.

Evolution Pilates (2 Shore Rd., Port Washington) is offering a rotating class schedule for members which will update daily and include mat pilates sessions; pilatesevolution.com.

SC Fitness (Farmingdale and Hicksville) is offering at-home workouts via an app called Wodify for members who sign up for a $20 fee (no per-class fee follows). One-on-one training and nutritional counseling via Zoom and Skype is also being offered. There is no extra cost for our existing members to access; scfitness.net.

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