Is your work-from-home arrangement tiring you out? These 5 exercises can give you an energy boost
04/15/2020 // Arsenio Toledo // Views

Ironically, working from home can be exhausting. Despite the fact that millions of people around the world no longer have to get up early to commute, fall in line for the next elevator or put up with long queues in the building cafeteria, people still feel very tired.

According to Cris Chong, national personal training manager for Fitness First Singapore, it can have something to do with the fact that people are moving less. This affects mobility, increases tightness in muscles and it impacts both mental and emotional health.

"Work is fundamentally social, and human connection is an important part of the work experience," said Chong. "Working remotely, or in isolation, reduces our network and we get exhausted because we're not energized by the regular connections that we are used to – for both introverts and extroverts alike."

Different experts also believe that many work-from-home arrangements have thrown people's routines off, making them spend too much time in bed and too much time online, which can also greatly affect people's energy levels.

Furthermore, there's the fact that this is a difficult time for everyone in the world right now, and many people are feeling anxious that the world is going through a pandemic.

While staying home is the main thing you can do to help with the fight against COVID-19, there are ways to raise your energy levels right in your living room. You won't even need fancy gym equipment to do these five energy-boosting, 15-minute workouts. (Related: Too busy to go to the gym? Try these 10-minute workouts instead.)


Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers will strengthen your shoulders and your core muscles. You don't need any equipment to do this exercise.

  • Move into a plank position. Plant your hands directly under your shoulders like you're about to do a push-up.
  • Bring your right knee forward under your chest. Return to the plank position, and do the same with your left knee.
  • Make sure your core is engaged throughout this exercise.
  • Keep switching legs and pick up the pace. By the end of the exercise it should feel like you're running in place in a plank position.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds; do this for 3-4 sets.

Squat and press

Squat and press exercises will target your shoulders, thighs and core muscles. You will need dumbbells or two items that can substitute for them, such as two filled water bottles of the same weight.

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Hold your dumbbells above your shoulders with your palms facing inward.
  • With your dumbbells held above your shoulders, lower your butt into a squat.
  • Using your heels, push yourself up back to the starting position. At the same time, extend your arms upward.
  • Keep your core braced during this whole exercise.
  • Do this 20 times; repeat for 3-4 sets.

Shoulder mobility exercise

As its name suggests, this exercise can help improve your shoulder mobility. You will need some kind of long stick for this exercise, such as a broom, a mop or a stick vacuum cleaner.

  • Using an overhand grip, hold the stick with both hands. Your hands should be slighter further apart than your shoulders. Rest the stick on the front of your hips.
  • Draw your shoulders up and raise the stick. Try to keep your arms straight as you raise the stick up above your head.
  • Retract your shoulder blades and bend your elbows. Lower the stick behind your head.
  • Reverse the motion. Go back to your starting position.
  • Repeat this 15-20 times for 3-4 sets.

Single arm row

A single arm row will target your back and core muscles. You will need a dumbbell or an item that can substitute for it, and a sofa.

  • While facing your sofa, lean forward with your right leg in front. Support your upper body by holding onto the sofa's armrest with your right hand. Hold onto your dumbbell (or water bottle) with your left hand.
  • Row the bottle (or dumbbell) backward and upward. At the end of this motion, squeeze your lateral muscles.
  • Slowly lower your arm back to its starting position.
  • Keep your core braced through this exercise.
  • Do this 20 times before switching to your right side. Repeat the exercise for 3-4 sets.

Bicycle crunches

These crunches will strengthen your core. You will need a sofa or any other place you can comfortably sit down.

  • Sit close to the edge of your sofa. Place your hands behind your head, extend your legs and lift your feet up off the floor. Your feet will not touch the floor for the remainder of this exercise.
  • Slightly lean back and start rotating your torso to bring your right elbow to your left knee, and then bringing your left elbow to your right knee.
  • Continue as if you're pedaling a bicycle.
  • Repeat this 20 times for 3-4 sets.

Chong says these five workouts won't just give you an energy boost, they can also improve your cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, strength and intramuscular coordination.

Find more ways to stay active during the lockdown at

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