Five Workouts When You’re Tired AF

Get a sweat on without leaving the house

You set off full of good intentions this morning but now it’s time to hit the gym after work and you can’t be bothered. When you’re tired as hell, it can be hard to summon the motivation to train at all, even when you know it’ll do you good. But if you really can’t face the gym, try one of our best workouts for when you’re tired AF. Whether you need an energy booster, a muscle soother or a bedtime relaxing yoga session, we’ve got you covered.

Should I train if I’m tired?

There’s a difference between had-a-bad-day-want-to-collapse-on-the-couch tired and true fatigue. If you’ve been lifting heavy, overtraining or trying to squeeze in HIIT sessions and a massive workload, you might genuinely benefit from resting, not training. 

If your resting heart rate is elevated, you need rest, not reps. If you feel like you could sleep standing up, you need to sleep, not squat.

But if you’ve been hit with an after-work energy slump and lack of motivation, these five workouts could be just what you need.

Should I train if I’m sick?

The general rule of thumb is if your symptoms are above the neck (headache, watery eyes, runny nose), you can train. But if they are below the neck (body aches, fever, cough), you’re better off resting.

And of course, given the current COVID climate, if you’re feeling sick at all, stay the hell away from everyone else.

We say if you’re sick, snuffling and sniffing, you’re not going to enjoy it, and if you’re not enjoying it, why are you doing it? And with gym equipment harboring more germs than a toilet seat, we don’t want you adding your specimens before we train (and you don’t want to pick up fungal infections, staphylococcus or even E.coli with your compromised immune system). Try our restorative bedtime yoga you can do from under the doona, or the workout for muscle soreness from the comfort of your own home.

Should I train if I’m sick and tired?

If the mundane crap of life is getting you down and you’re sick and tired of feeling flat, then YES a workout can boost your energy and give you back your glow.

Sometimes overwhelm and even anger can be expressed as exhaustion.

If your overflowing inbox, Friday’s deadline and your partner leaving his undies on the bathroom floor again are killing your motivation, get moving and get out from under your cloud. Beats on, world off. Nothing a bangin’ playlist and serious sweat can’t overcome.

1. Workout for Energy

This quick circuit will reboot your day and give you a much needed energy boost. Perfect for those sluggish mornings, or a quick afternoon circuit to get you through a hectic evening ahead.

Do 3 sets of 12 reps each:

  • Squat jumps
  • Skater jumps
  • Box jumps (pick a low box if you’re seriously tired so you don’t stumble)
  • Glute bridge (you get to lie down now!)
  • Plank to T extension

2. Workout to Restore

You can even do this one IN BED. No shiz, this is the biz. Relax and restore.

  • Reclining bound angle pose – lie flat on your back, knees open to the sides, soles of feet together. Place your hands on your belly and breeeeeathe. Take five deep belly breaths.
  • Knees to chest – draw your navel to your spine, bring your knees together and lift them up to your chest, clasping with your hands. Breathe into your spine and let it unfurl.
  • Extended leg – now extend one leg out straight to rest on the surface beneath you while still clasping your other knee. Relax into the stretch until your hips feel softer, then gently pull your knee across your body to the side and breathe. Repeat on the other side.
  • Up the wall – how is this even yoga? But it is, so don’t question it. Scooch your butt up to the wall or your bedhead, raise your legs up straight and relax. Pop a low pillow under your neck if it helps your back relax. Play with the tension in your legs – keep them straight, draw one back towards you to stretch your hamstrings, open both out to the sides to stretch your adductors.
  • Savasana – corpse pose. Lie completely flat, palms facing up, feet slightly turned out. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, while giving yourself a high five for ‘training’ while you’re #tiredaf. You athlete, you.
Legs Up The Wall pose
This is working out. For reals.

3. Workout to Ease Muscle Pain

If the DOMS has set in and your bod is feeling exhausted from training, try this gentle session to get the blood flowing, ease the muscle soreness and increase mobility.

  • 15 mins light cardio – choose your poison: bike, swim, walk or light jog. 
  • Hip flexor stretch (30 seconds each side)
  • Butterfly stretch (1 minute)
  • Lunge & twist (5 each side)
  • Down dog to low plank (or push up) (10 reps)
  • Single leg glute bridge (10 reps each side)
  • Dead bugs (10 reps)
  • Plank (1 minute)
  • Finish with 5-10 minutes full body foam rolling 

4. Workout for When You Want it Done STAT

I get it. Sometimes you just want to get in, get it done, and get your ass back to the couch / bed / bath. This 10 minute burner will get a sweat on, blast the low-energy blues and pick up your mood.

And when you think you’re too tired for even 10 minutes of training, just promise yourself to give it a go for five. Once you’re moving, you’re halfway there. Then see it through for the 10 x 1 minute intervals and you’ve crushed another session – and crossed another thing off your To Do list.

10 Minute Full Body Burner

Set your interval timer to 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off. Ten rounds. We’ll work for 40 seconds at max intensity, take a breather for 20 seconds and then go again. You got this.

  • MINUTE 1 Skipping (jump rope)
  • MINUTE 2 Mountain climbers (fast!)
  • MINUTE 3 Skipping
  • MINUTE 4 Push ups
  • MINUTE 5 Skipping
  • MINUTE 6 Air squats
  • MINUTE 7 Skipping
  • MINUTE 8 Mountain climbers (oblique)
  • MINUTE 9 Skipping
  • MINUTE 10 Push ups

5. Workout for When You Don’t Want to Workout

Do this set in front of the TV when you can’t be bothered with the gym. 

Warm up first, then do 12 reps of each:

  • Warm up with some arm circles, leg swings and air squats
  • Reverse lunges
  • Mountain climbers
  • Push ups
  • Tricep dips
  • Clamshells
  • Side plank (hold 30 second each side, 1 rep)
  • V-ups
  • Boat pose (hold 30 seconds, 1 rep)
  • Finish with some light stretches and an early night

Listening to your body is the ultimate athlete hack to avoid injury, harness your energy and attack your goals. Give yourself a pass from today’s planned session, ease your body with one of these five workouts and get back to it tomorrow, restored and ready to rock!

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