In the first year after the corona pandemic, not only the home or mobile office, but also training at home have become routine for many. Ex-triathlon professional Maximilian Longrée knows which muscles are neglected in the mobile office and gives tips for the mini-gym at home.
During the corona pandemic, many people sat in their home or mobile office for eight or more hours a day. And as the weeks and months passed, the neglected muscles craved variety and challenges. In particular, the chest, leg and back muscles eke out a miserable existence for many desk workers. The fitness level plummeted. Muscle structures have shortened and gradually broken down. In addition, the body hardly uses any energy when sitting all the time. And because many (also out of frustration) allowed themselves one or the other treat after work, the time had come for new love handles.
Home and mobile office are now almost a matter of course in the world of work. Personal coach, Ironman winner, author and fitness expert explains which muscles suffer particularly at home, why even simple gadgets can help and why not everyone needs their own weight bench Maximilian Longree in the interview. The 41-year-old former professional triathlete won the 2006 amateur world title at the legendary Ironman Hawaii. He now advises and supports companies and private individuals in the areas of fitness and nutrition, among other things. (For more information about Maximilian Longrée see .)
Mr. Longrée, how does working in the mobile office affect fitness?
Very much. Looking at the physical side, what we’re dealing with is primarily muscle loss. And this is independent of the fitness level, i.e. also in people whose muscle percentage is not as pronounced as, for example, in amateur athletes who go to the gym regularly. For people who did not do any sport before the time in the mobile office, everyday movements such as going to the car or climbing stairs in the company are no longer necessary. Meeting friends, shopping and other things also fall flat because of the lockdown. In this group, however, the muscle loss is less noticeable than in athletes who were active, built and maintained their muscles before the lockdown. With them, the muscles will certainly recede, the basal metabolic rate will drop and they will put on fat because they move less and may even eat more than before. In fact, I suspect many will be surprised when they face each other again after lockdown.
Which muscle groups are mainly affected?
The muscles don’t just atrophy. It is also becoming increasingly shorter because the stretching effect that is part of every everyday movement is often absent in the mobile office. The traditional office illnesses or ailments are increasing. The classics such as neck pain or the notorious piriformis syndrome, i.e. the pinched sciatic nerve, could be more severe or occur in people who have not had any problems with them before because they have at least exercised moderately – even if it is only the way to the canteen or that climbing stairs was. Above all, the leg muscles, our largest muscle group, atrophy due to the lack of exercise.
Now you can put up with it or, as you said, do something about the muscle breakdown. Now, not everyone has the space for a home gym. How can you do something good for the neglected muscles anyway?
That depends a lot on the fitness level you went into lockdown with. For everyone who has hardly done any sport and only wants to maintain their muscles and health, I would recommend a simple one to start with recommend in different strengths. That sounds banal, but you can do many classic exercises with it. For example, do something for the shoulder blade or chest muscles to sit more upright in the office chair again. These are enough for that , because you don’t need a particularly large amount of force to maintain your muscles or even build them up a bit. As an additional exercise, I think push-ups on your knees are useful. For anyone who doesn’t feel like it, I recommend going for a walk and taking the stairs instead of the elevator on the way to the apartment. This at least simulates everyday life from the time before the lockdown. Anyone who can do this should be able to maintain their fitness level well.
What about those whose muscles involuntarily suffer because they haven’t seen the inside of their gym for months? I mean athletes who used to train there two or three times a week.
That’s where it gets a little trickier. These athletes are already more powerful and can therefore do exercises independently, which I would not recommend to less active people. Squats come to mind first, with or without weight. Or lateral raises too in each hand for the shoulder muscles. Basically, the higher the fitness level, the more difficult it is to maintain the status quo or even build muscle mass. Nevertheless, the worst thing you can do is not to do anything for your body. I also think it’s important that you free yourself a bit from being able to maintain the level from the times before the lockdown, let alone achieve top form.
What equipment do you think is appropriate for the in-house gym?
Next to one In my opinion, a storage rack and a small selection is worthwhile for more ambitious athletes . This does not take up too much space and is also suitable for rented apartments. If you don’t have space for it, you can still work with your own body weight or with the aforementioned fitness bands.
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