Home improvement with online videos

A student exercising on a stationary bike in Yunyang county, Chongqing. The county, in response to the new coronavirus outbreak in China, had called on students to minimise outdoor activities during the holidays. It suggested that parents guide their
A student exercising on a stationary bike in Yunyang county, Chongqing. The county, in response to the new coronavirus outbreak in China, had called on students to minimise outdoor activities during the holidays. It suggested that parents guide their kids in their studies and strengthen indoor exercise training. PHOTO: XINHUA

WeChat group provides free indoor fitness guidance after the coronavirus outbreak

CHANGSHA (China) • Recently, Wang Haibo has been spending several hours every day recording and editing fitness videos by himself and sending them to a WeChat group to teach the members how to train indoors.

After the outbreak of the new coronavirus, gyms and stadiums were closed, and sports enthusiasts could only stay home to exercise.

Wang, the deputy secretary-general of the Hunan Physical Fitness Training Association, decided to call together the association's coaches to provide free online professional guidance to people on exercising at home.

A WeChat group called "Online Teaching For Basic Physical Training" was established on Jan 26, attracting nearly 200 people to participate immediately, and the number is still increasing.

Members are divided into four categories: zero basis, regular practice, optimised and advanced, so as to facilitate the coaches as they answer individual questions.

The fitness coaches in the group are all accredited by the association, covering a wide range including fitness, gymnastics, triathlon and football. Zhang Kuo, a former trampoline world champion, is also on the service.

"We have several coaches each day recording a video on different topics to post, such as core strength and injury prevention," he said.

Pi Tao, a physical fitness coach for the Hunan women's football team, is one of the founders of the group.

He said the coaches' teaching plans and answers to the questions are also put on a service account for more people to learn from.

To make the content easily understood, in the few days since the WeChat group was founded, the coaches have taught themselves editing, adding music and sub-titles.

It usually takes them two hours to make a video that lasts less than two minutes.

Any equipment needed can be replaced at home.

"A bottle of mineral water can be used for dumb-bells, a grapefruit can be used as 'pot bells', and a bag of rice can be used as barbells," Pi said. "You can exercise as long as you want."

Liu Fangyan, who started to exercise four years ago and entered the group immediately after its establishment, said: "The fitness groups I joined before have now become 'chat groups', but the atmosphere here is completely different.

"Due to my laziness, I always need supervision."

In addition to Wang and Pi's team, sports professionals of Hunan have also taken action.

Hunan Sports Bureau and local media have jointly launched online teaching to guide people to exercising at home.

This is in line with the Jan 30 notice issued by the General Administration of Sport of China, directing sports authorities around the country to actively promote the importance of home fitness and introduce simple, scientific and effective methods to achieve the goal.

The organisation said it also brought in experts to study and launch a variety of home fitness methods, which have been promoted through new media with "good results".

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 09, 2020, with the headline 'Home improvement with online videos'. Print Edition | Subscribe