Given the current situation with the COVID-19 Virus we thought it would be a good idea to discuss how gym exercise’s can be modified to be completed at home should there be further restrictions on public gatherings or closure of gyms.
Below I will touch on how to modify and progress exercises at home with minimal equipment.
Lower body exercises
Squats are one of the most common exercises performed in gyms and can also be modified without the use of equipment to increase difficulty.
Squats train your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
Some progressions of squats are:
- Single leg squats to a chair (the lower the chair the harder the movement) you can also make this harder by squatting until you touch the chair but without sitting down.
- Pistol squats – Initially use a chair or table as support, squatting down on one leg until your bottom touches your heel.
These exercises can also be made more challenging by adding weight. Consider using a backpack or shopping bags filled with heavy household items.
Note: when completing single leg squats try to make sure your pelvis stays level throughout the whole movement
Deadlifts can also be modified to be completed at home.
Deadlifts train your glutes hamstrings and quads.
Again you can use weighted shopping bags for this exercises however another variation is Single leg deadlifts. Completed in a similar fashion to deadlifts standing on one leg with a slight bend at the knee and hinging at the hips to reach for the ground.
Make sure that your foot maintains a neutral position/points to the ground throughout the entire movement to ensure that you aren’t rotating through your hip or pelvis.
Lunges train your glutes hamstrings and quads.
- Can be progressed by adding weight
- Can be done as split squats with your back foot on a chair
- Can be done as jumping lunges
Bridges train your glutes and hamstrings
Some progressions of bridges are:
- Single leg bridge (make sure that your pelvis stays level)
- Box bridge (to a chair)
- Single leg Box bridge
- Bridge sliders, whilst wearing socks or on a slippery surface such as tiles or floorboards come into a bridge holding your pelvis in the air and then sliding your heels out and then back in.
This exercise trains your adductors (inner thigh muscles)
There are multiple ways to complete this exercise with varying degrees of difficulty
- Side plank leg raise, placing one leg on top of a chair and the other underneath whilst in a side plank position raising the bottom leg up to the chair and then lowering back to the ground
- Short lever Bridge, Placing your knee on top of a chair and your other leg underneath whilst in a side plank position lower your hips to the ground and then raise them up again (you should feel this in your leg that is on the chair)
- Long lever Bridge, Placing your foot on top of a chair and your other leg underneath whilst in a side plank position lower your hips to the ground and then raise them up again (you should feel this in your leg that is on the chair).
This exercise trains your calf muscles
Consider adding weight to these exercises to increase the difficulty.
- Calf raises off a step, standing with the front third of your foot on a step so that your heels are hanging over the edge (this increases the range of motion that your calf is required to work through)
- Single leg calf raises, with one foot in the air completing the calf raise on a the ground or a step.
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