Create a home practice you'll actually stick to

Words: Gemma Dawkins

Take one quick scroll through instagram (the source of all reliable news) and you’ll see that home workouts are in high demand. Gone are the days of a few lazy leg lifts in front of the couch. And say goodbye to the high-cut leotard lines of that old jazzercise VHS. Instead, head to Barre Body Online for an enormous library of gorgeous (and gruelling) classes with our very own studio teachers.

And why not? Home workouts are cheaper, accessible at any time that suits you, and very flexible. But – and this is a big but – how do you actually commit to a routine when you have no one holding you accountable? Personally, I know I always manage to find that extra 10% when I have an instructor or trainer coaxing me through a sequence. And there’s nothing quite like glancing down the barre to share a knowing, pained look with your neighbour to make you feel that you’re not in this alone.

Here are a few ways you can set yourself up to get it done, even when you’re feeling less than enthused:

  1. Create a designated workout space

Our studios are designed to be beautiful and calming for a reason. When you’re trying to squeeze a workout into a busy day, a clear space quite literally helps you to clear space in your mind. You’re able to focus and really commit to your body, without the distraction of your emails pinging, phone ringing, or the dirty dishes in your eyeline. When you’re exercising at home, you likely don’t have the luxury of entering a bespoke space to help you mentally switch off from the rest of your day. So, put a little effort into sectioning off an area that feels comfortable and clear. Make sure you have enough room to move freely, pack away any surrounding clutter, and add a few little touches to make it feel indulgent. A piece of greenery, oil diffuser or even a crystal can help to make this space feel like an escape or an oasis – which makes those weekday workouts just a little easier to look forward to.

  1. Get the bells AND the whistles

If you’re starting out or on a budget, you can absolutely make do with water (or wine!) bottles for weights, a towel instead of a mat, and not much else. But if you’re looking for a little motivation boost, kitting yourself out with purpose-built equipment makes everything that little bit easier. Our picks? A set of handweights, a pilates ball, and a non-slip yoga mat (bonus points for pretty patterns). When the time comes to advance your practice, a set of resistance bands adds major burn to almost any exercise. A bolster or meditation cushion is also a delicious addition for those quieter, more yin-focused sessions.

  1. Tune in

One of the best things about practicing at home is that you get full control of the sound system – no judgement. Music is the most effective motivator for a host of reasons, and most importantly, it makes exercising much more fun. So tune in, turn it up, and be shameless in your devotion to the Backstreet Boys.

  1. Plan your week

Attending a class in studio usually requires you to make a booking to reserve your spot. There’s a practical reason for this of course – busy classes tend to book out – but it also has the added benefit of helping you to commit to your weekly workout plan. While you can’t book yourself in for a home workout, you can make a schedule for the week. Research shows that putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and writing down your goals ensures you’re far more likely to achieve them.

  1. Reward yourself

If you managed to stick to your plan, get yourself to your mat and break a sweat all by yourself – make sure you reward yourself! It helps you to stay on track, and to form a mental association between exercising and feeling good. A weekend massage, hot bath or a sneaky new pair of tights are all great ways to thank yourself for investing time and energy into your health and wellbeing.