Many months on from the initial Covid lockdown panic, many of us are still working out from home. For some, those FIIT or SWTC workouts are an ideal way to get a sweat on when it’s too grim to schlep to the gym; for others, home strength and cardio workouts will have replaced in-person classes entirely.
That’s not a bad thing, particularly if stumbling a few steps from bed to yoga mat offers fewer excuses to bail than having to travel to a studio does. You may not have access to the same range of weights but if committing to an at-home situation means that you’ll do 25-minutes of bodyweight movement four times a week compared with one or no gym sessions, then it’s clearly the better option.
However, that’s not to say that home workouts are less dangerous or require less consideration than those in-person classes or weights room sessions. They’ve been responsible for a load of injuries in the past couple of years, with Bupa reporting that during the first lockdown last year, 7.2 million people ended up injured, with “those doing online classes or PT sessions, weight lifting and using home gym equipment most likely to report injury”. The most common injuries included pulled muscles, damaged knees and rolled ankles.
And when it comes to the most high risk at-home activities, it’s yoga that comes out on top. Far from being the gentle flow you might think it is, research by the University of Duisburg-Essen has found that unsupervised yoga is associated with injury, particularly with poses like headstand, shoulder stand and lotus pose.
Why is yoga so perilous?
Yoga is something many talk of as a ‘light’ form of exercise. We do flows on rest days, as warm-ups, when we’re feeling full of PMS. Despite the fact that there are tons of different types of yoga, it’s only really the relaxing, stretching kind people tend to talk about. But some asanas can be brutal; power yoga, for example, is highly strenuous and involves as much strength as a bodyweight strength session. It’s no wonder, then, that you run the risk of doing yourself a mischief if there’s no one in the room to guide you through inventions and other moves.