Stay At Home Exercise Plan

Stay at Home Exercise Routine

My morning routine goes something like this, well during these days of self isolation any way. I vary the exercises and work on different parts of the body on different days. I mix in some cardio with some stretching and always focus on my core. In order to remember the many martial arts forms that I know I also practice many of these forms, usually in slow motion, Tai Chi style.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

I start out with upper body work, 2 sets of 10 for each exercise: 

– arm movements, arms held out at your sides, at shoulder height, starting with small circles and progressing to big circles.

  • palms together and open arms up as far back as you can and repeat
  • switch to diagonals, one arm up, one arm down hands meet in the middle – feel your shoulder blades coming together expanding your chest
  • 1. fists in front pull back to chest push out and return hands to the front 2. pull back to shoulder width and push out, return hands to front 3.  pull back to double knife hand strike at shoulder height and return hands to front.
  • shoulder rolls to the front x 10, shoulder rolls to the back x 10
  • shoulder rises x 10
  • elbow strikes – right elbow followed by left elbow. Make a tight fist and upper elbow strike front, back elbow strike, roundhouse elbow strike, side elbow strike, these four motions are one count x 10
  • neck exercises that include head rolls, clockwise and counter clockwise. Head tilts up and down, to the side and finish with gently pulling your head down trying to get your ear to your shoulder
  • Hip rotation, big hip circles with feet in natural position, shoulder width apart and go clockwise and counter.
  • Squats x 60
  • leg raises to the front mid level, followed by hi level
  • leg raises to the side
  • leg raises to the rear
  • continue with leg work, crescent kicks inside out and reverse to outside in
  • jumping jacks
  • strides
  • lunges to the front, to the side and to the back
  • morning salutation – big stretch on toes with fingertips reaching to the heavens
  • downward dog pose to plank – holding the poses for a few minutes
  • push ups – 30 to 50
  • sit ups and multiple abdominal routines 5 – 7 sets of 30, see the chart below for some examples of what I do
  • cool down with stretching and some Pilates

    Chart Courtesy of No Equipment Ab Routine






Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

I start with basic forms, karate – Ten no Kata – Omote and Ura, Kihon Kata, Niju Hichi Waza (27 movements)

I move on to Heian Kata – Shodan (1) through to Godan (5)

After my kata warm up I move on to more advanced kata, such as Basai Dai, Kanku Dai, Nijushiho, Gojushiho Dai and Sho etc.

I will also practice sword forms Iai-do, short staff Jo-Do forms and long staff Bo forms using the short staff, as I don’t want to wreck the ceiling of my house.

Every day I go for a walk that is at minimum 6 thousand steps. On these walks I will usually do some Tai Chi or some breathing exercises.

My daily routine also includes 15 -20 minutes of mindfulness. I sit in a kneeling position, seiza, my eyes are closed and I focus on my breath. I practice Ki breathing. A type of breathing that starts with an audible exhalation for 30 or more seconds at the end I breathe out one more breath, while at the same time tilting my body forward and followed by an inhalation for the same amount of time as I straighten my body to bring me back to the upright position.

My work out routine has not changed that much, when I am not in self-isolation I am usually teaching karate. In order to maintain my energy level I will not work out as much, I will spend more time on review of the principles of Karate. I find it best to split my time between mindfulness and movement. Sometimes mixing the two together is best and moving mindfulness will give you peacefulness, awareness and heartfulness.