Consistency while working out is crucial to meeting your fitness goals. With the many challenges the current pandemic has brought to all our lives, our workout schedule and favorite gyms have been affected somehow. We have had to adjust our workout routine, and for most of us, that includes doing our workout now from home.
A steady workout routine as well as maintaining proper form are both essential to meet your goals and reduce your chances of injury. We will discuss the best methods and tips to stay consistent at home and go over proper exercise form for common upper, core, and lower body workouts that you can do from the comfort of your home!
Common At-Home Exercises
We all know the push-up one way or another, whether part of PE as a kid, something you do regularly, or even just part of that awful burpee. How you do your push up determines what you’ll get out of it. When done correctly, it is a great exercise that works your arms, shoulders, chest, and core.
How to perform a Push-up:
Start with your hands on the ground, shoulder distance, or slightly wider than shoulder distance apart. Your elbows are straight, and your shoulders are engaged (think of pushing the ground away from your body through your shoulders).
Legs extended back and feet about shoulder distance apart. Keep your lower body engaged by squeezing your glutes and quads. Keep your core tight by drawing your abs in. (Do not let your lower back sag down towards the ground).
Your neck should in a straight line with your spine, not looking up or down.
Lower yourself down towards the ground by bending your elbows while maintaining this straight-line body position then back up.
Pro-tip: If a push up causes pain in your wrists, try gripping a handle or dumbbell instead of having your palms flat on the ground.
How to perform Marches:
Lie flat on the ground or table on the back with the knees bent.
Keep the tailbone down, and the neck relaxed.
Raise one leg up to table top position to begin.
Exhale down, Inhale before lifting, pulling the bellybutton, and continue through the lift. Exhale down.
Repeat 3 sets of 10 on each side.
While counting down planks, we cannot wait until we hit Zero! Both the front and side planks are great exercises to strengthen your core.
How to perform a Front Plank:
Front plank proper form should have hips parallel and lumbar spine in neutral. Your back should be flat like a board.
Feet should be hip-distance apart. Your head should be in neutral without flexing towards the ground.
The common errors are that the hips are rotated or uneven. The low back is overextended or compensated by having hips elevated due to weakness in abdominal muscles. Squeezing thighs together is a way to overcompensate for lack of stability in hips.
How to perform a Side Plank:
Side plank proper form is maintaining head, shoulder, hips, and knees in a straight line without hips dipping. The elbow should be directly below your shoulder.
The common errors are hips sagging, rotating body towards your arm. Straining neck for stability. If the elbow is not placed directly under the shoulder, it can cause shoulder shearing or impingement.
Oh, the forward lunge, an exercise so many of us love to hate. You may dread this exercise because of the deep burn it produces in your quads. When done correctly, it can be a great movement to improve lower extremity strength and power that can help performance in various life challenges. From walking upstairs to improving your vertical jump – the forward lunge is essential to any lower body strengthening routine.
How to perform a Forward lunge:
Stand tall (hold dumbbells for an added challenge) with arms by your sides and feet hip-width apart.
Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and core braced with a neutral, low back position. Take a large step forward, lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your back knee is bent 90 degrees.
Pause for a moment at the bottom of the lunge before reversing the movement, pressing through the forward heel to return to a standing position. Continue alternating legs with each repetition.
Pro-tip: keep your hip, knee, and ankle in one line to avoid unwanted stress in the knee joint.
The squat has been deemed the king of all exercises. Why? Because it requires all the muscles responsible for keeping our bodies upright to work! Squats work your whole body – abdominal and lower back muscles stabilize the trunk while your legs move. Your hip muscles control your body down towards the ground before propelling it back up to a standing position, helping our ability to fight gravity as we age. This is one movement you do not want to leave out of your routine!
How to perform a Squat:
Stand tall with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width and slightly turned out.
Squat down as if you were sitting into a chair by pushing your hips backward as your knees bend, keeping the weight on your heels – make sure to push your knees outwards to keep them in line with your hip and ankle.
Try to get low enough, so your thighs are parallel or below for best muscle contraction before squatting back upright to a standing position.
Pro–tip: keep your low back in a neutral position by bracing your abs and don’t let your heels come off the ground.
With these pro-tips and proper form adjustments, you can utilize to meet your fitness goals! Every Friday, one of our Physical Therapist does a new Form Friday post and demonstrates the proper way to do various exercises. Be sure to check our Instagram and Facebook page every Friday to get the latest proper form tips!
Tips to stay consistent with your workout routine at home!
Pick a workout time - select the best time of day to fit your schedule to get in your 30 minutes of moving, and a better chance you will have to stay consistent with your workout plan.
Take a walk outside to change up the scenery!
Keep it light over a strenuous activity and help prevent any injuries!
You can use all of these tips to stay consistent, active, and injury-free! If you have started a new workout from home or have a pain from any other new at home activities during COVID-19, feel free to contact us and schedule a Free Injury Assessment. To get more information about our Free Injury Assessments, click the link here https://www.envision-sport.com/free-injury-assessment or call us at one of our locations below!
Rancho Santa Margarita: (949) 713-6445
Irvine: (949) 262-9142