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The Super Subtle (But Common) Way You’re Sabotaging Your At-Home Workout

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By now, you’d think we’d all be pros at working out at home (thanks a lot, global pandemic). But in reality, most of us are still figuring out how to blur our Zoom backgrounds and gracefully unclip our cycling shoes. That’s why when we got a chance to chat with Joey Gonzalez, fitness expert and CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp, about the launch of the Tequila Don Julio x Barry’s Cocktail Kit, we had to ask: What’s the biggest mistake you see people making when working out at home?

The answer: Turning off your camera.

Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

We told you it was subtle! But think about it: When you’re in a Zoom meeting for work or a family gathering, aren’t you more engaged when your camera’s on? The same goes for your workout. After launching Barry’s At-Home, a virtual instructor-led group class conducted via Zoom, Gonzalez noticed the off-camera trend and has since tried to encourage clients to keep that feature turned on. “There's just so much added value from sharing the camera,” he says. This includes professional support, real-time modifications, form adjustments and encouraging motivation. For example, “If you're doing a deadlift and you're rounding your back, we can help correct any mistakes” before they result in injuries or overextension.

And the science backs Gonzalez’s instincts. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of accountability in fitness, and according to the Köhler Effect, you’re more likely to push yourself physically when motivated by a group, as compared to flying solo. When the camera’s on, you work harder. And the harder you work, the more calories you’ll burn—it’s as simple as that.

THE AT-HOME EXERCISES GONZALEZ SWEARS BY

So, how does the CEO of a nationwide fitness studio work out at home? “I love integrating equipment into full-body compound movements,” he explains, including free weights and resistance bands. Here are two of his favorite moves:

1. Squat + Shoulder Press + Bicep Curl

Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand up by your shoulders. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then press through your heels to rise back up to standing. Simultaneously press your arms high above your head to complete the shoulder press. Lower your arms back down until the weights hang down by your hips. Finally, curl the weights up toward your shoulders keeping your elbows tucked in close toward your body to complete the bicep curl.

2. Push-Up + Renegade Row

With one dumbbell in each hand pressing into the ground, begin in a pushup position with your feet hip-width apart. Engaging your core to maintain this position, lower your chest toward the ground, then press back up to the starting position. Lift one dumbbell off the ground, balancing on the other anchored arm. Row up sending your elbow back toward the ceiling while keeping the weight close to your ribs and squeezing your shoulder blades at the top. Slowly lower back down and repeat on the opposite side.