Exercising at home Tips and Examples.

On social media this week I shared the above post and in doing so had a lightbulb moment 💡 – I decided to write an entry about ways to exercise at home.

So here it is!

I’ve divided the body into parts and tried to find a home exercise for each muscle group to provide a full workout. There are a lot more variations available than I feature, but I hope this post will at least give you some ideas and help you come up with more home exercises that work for you.

Calves:

Calf raises are great for toning calves and also for loosening those tight muscles. I employ my bottom stair to do mine, it also means I can hold onto the rail if I’m feeling unsteady. Of course, if you have no steps or stairs at all, these can be done on level ground, simply by raising from flat foot to toe and back.

 

Here’s some I prepared earlier!

From the picture I hope you will see that in order to maximise impact on all parts of my calf muscle, I turn my feet in three directions – straight, toes turned out, toes turned in.

The balls of my feet are placed firmly on the step with heels hanging off. I then raise up onto to my toes stretching as far as I can and then pushing down into my heels to feel the reverse stretch. Up, up, up & then, down, down, down!

Try to do 3 sets of 10 repetitions but obviously stop if you feel any pain – this is about feeling better not worse! Any amount is progress. I do:

1 x 10 repetitions foot straight. 1 x 10 toes pointed out, 1 x 10 toes pointing in. 30 repetitions in total…pretty good for five minutes work.

Legs:

I’m still unable to train my legs for a few more weeks, I think the calf raises pushed them enough, I know you’ll understand. Instead courtesy of Pinterest, (I think posted by Snow Rehab)  I found this leg workout that I would do at home.

 

I tend to focus on squats, lunges and the wall squat. If, like me you have wood floors, be sure to wear trainers or go bare feet for more stability. Socks are fine on carpet I find. You could do 10 lunges, 10 squats and the 50 second wall squat or try them all! Whichever works best for you.

Abdominals 

By far the best ab workout I use is the 7 minute ab workout by Athlean X. I either follow it, or complete variations I’ve learnt from it. The link is attached in my post The Challenge of Fatigue part 2 but to save you time…….

 

However for something more gentle, because of my leg injury, I have been supporting my legs by resting them on my armchair and performing a version of incline sit ups.

I place a throw under me for support (who needs a mat!!) I lift and squeeze my stomach muscles as I do, relaxing as I lie back. To focus on my obliques, I add a variation by putting a twist in. 

 Chest and back & shoulders.

Yup, it’s gotta be the press up. It doesn’t matter if you do them on the stairs, half or full, they’re great for working your chest, back and shoulders. It’s an all rounder – a must have like the squat.

I’m doing half press ups on my knees, well I’m actually doing a demo only because of my legs but usually I would do as many as I can. I’m still working on full press ups…but I will do 10 one day soon. 😏

I have my trusty throw under my knees for support and I’m using grip handles. If you can afford to spend out a little there a lots of small items that can be useful. For me, my wrists are very weak and hurt when my hands are flat on the floor, the handles takes the pressure off the bend in my wrist. I found mine at Lidl, for £3.99!

With your back straight, bend your arms and imagine you’re going to gently touch your nose on the floor as you lower, but stop before you do! Then push through your back, chest and arms back up. As many as you can. 

Arms

Bending or raising your arms is pretty much the core of most arm exercises. If you can afford some free weights, great but if not water bottles are great. I’ve also used a chair to complete some tricep bends by gripping the chair behind me and lowering myself down and back up.

I’m again working my triceps by bending over, holding the bottle with my arm bent to begin and then pushing my arm straight out behind me. You should feel a stretch to the back of your upper arm. Another trick for bingo wings is to hold the bottle above your head and keeping your elbows in to your sides, lower your arms backward as shown. 

In the other two pictures, I’m holding the bottle from beneath (in the middle) and then curling my arm and squeezing my bicep. I haven’t included pictures but you can also do shoulder raises by holding the bottle on one shoulder and then pushing it up toward the ceiling. Don’t forget to swap arms. Keep a slight bend if you have sore elbows or they over extend like mine. 

You can then drink the water to maintain your hydration and refill the bottle to help the environment – multi benefits, what more could you ask?! 

Well that’s it. I hope I’ve left you feeling creative about how you can exercise at home. I realise that when living with pain and fatigue, exercise can feel too much, this is where a home workout can be a small step or a healthy compromise. 

Sometimes, when I don’t feel like going to the gym, a home workout is a great alternative. Of course it’s always important to listen to your body but I maintain that such listening should be honest. I put myself through a little test to check if I really need to rest or just can’t be bothered. You’ll laugh but I do this; 

1st, I put on a you tube video of inspirational female bodybuilders and usually think “if they can do that, you can do 30 minutes in your living room”. I also look at them in awe and think if I want it, I’ve got to work for it. Or, when I’m watching TV, I challenge myself to complete an exercise but only for the duration of the adverts. This feels like a generous compromise and once I start, it’s usually longer. They’re small tricks but work to motivate me.

Of course there are times when 2-3 repetitions confirm that I’m not up to it. That’s ok at least I know honestly what my body needs. 

Bye for now 😀

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