The weather was being a little naughty the other day; bright sun shining in through my window and then as soon as I stepped out of the door frosty winds blew me away. I’d been planning on going for a run but early signs of a cold and the icey weather put me off. Hmmm, time for a home workout? But of course, which one! There’s thousands out there and it’s sometimes difficult to know which ones to go for. I took to Google and an mobile app called Sworkit popped up a few times so I decided to give it a go.
Sworkit is a free app that lets you pick between ‘Strength & Cardio’, ‘Yoga & Stretching’ or you can complete a ‘Custom Workout’ designed to target specific areas or sports. You can also select your time, from 5 to 45 minutes- you choose! A pro version is also available at a little cost, but try the free one first!
I chose the ‘Strength & Cardio’ category, as I wanted to work up a bit of a sweat. I then selected the full body routine and started on 10 minutes. Some of the routines I found quite difficult- the shoulder tap push ups being one of them, as my arms are pretty weak at the moment- but others were rather standard like the mountain climbers. I’d burnt 80 calories in the 10 mins but hadn’t really worked up too much of a sweat.
Next I tried the ab and bum specific routines for 10 minutes each. Again these ranged from simple exercises such as the plank to more complex manoeuvres. I could feel my abs aching by the end but I definitely needed to spend longer on the rear. My daily exercise usually involves a lot of squats or leg power i.e. sprinting, so I tend to need an intense leg/bum workout to feel great results. I’d burnt 68 cals from each one of these. Totalling 216 calories in 30 minutes- that’s a grilled ham and cheese toastie or a jam-filled donut. Not too bad and I was feeling a little closer to being more toned.
- Demo Videos
- A vast variety of exercises
- Sport-specific workouts such as the Golfer or Surfer routines!
- Body-specific workouts. The ‘Rump Roaster’ bum one was my fave.
- Choose time to suit you!
- Can skip certain exercises (you may want to do this if you have an injury and the exercise would be detrimental but don’t be tempted to skip just because you find it too difficult- tempting, I know!!)
- It’s free, always a bonus
- No equipment needed. It’s just you and the exercise mat… and your phone of course.
- Some advanced exercises that beginners may not know or use the correct technique
- No music- you need to provide your own!
- Space is needed for some of the drills
- Although you can allow for a 5 second break between each different exercise, I found that a few times I lost workout time having to jump straight into position after watching the demo videos. Not the best if you’re jumping into some of the more complicated drills.
Sworkit is an amazing app to use if you’re looking to learn some new exercises. I’d never thought to do a wall push up before- amazing if you don’t have much space and also much easier on the arms if you’re not quite strong enough to do many standard push ups. I wouldn’t say that it’s particularly motivational- there’s no music and no voice to really cheer you on, but it’s good if you sometimes need a little reminder on the different exercises that are out there.
I’ll definitely use Sworkit again and it will probably be in the gym, when I find myself sat on the mat wondering what on earth more I could possibly do to work my abs (or bum or arms or legs). If you take the app seriously and really work hard on each drill you’ll be able to feel aches and pains the next day- which is good, remember!! Overall, I’d recommend it more for beginners. Sorry pros, you might have to pay for the upgrade!