Gyms have closed around the country due to COVID-19. Working out and staying active has become challenging as we all abide the social distancing mandate. Maybe you?re trying to hold onto your personal bests during this pandemic, want a high-quality home workout, or need a way to relieve stress. Regardless of the situation, use these helpful tips below.

When it comes to in-home, no equipment workouts, upper body and core exercises are easy. However, lower body training may present more of a challenge.

Upper Body

Pushups, in different variations, are a great place to start. If regular push-ups are too easy, place your hands on a chair or some books. Another way to enhance your push-up is to elevate your feet, again on a sturdy chair. Table rows (inverted row) are an example of an upper back exercise. You can do bench dips on a couch, chair or two chairs for more range of motion. Again, placing your feet on books, chair, or couch will make the dips more challenging. A full one gallon jug weighs around 8 pounds and would be great to use during a delt raise exercise. If 8 pounds is too heavy, water bottles or cans of soup are lighter options. Alternately, a backpack with books can be used for something heavier. The backpack can be used for biceps curls and overhead tricep extensions. The more experienced can attempt handstand push-ups, with a strong door frame, and strong finger strength. Door frame pull-ups can also be an option.

Stay At Home: Lower, Upper Body and Core Challenge

Inverted row exercise


Core strengthening is key to decreasing lower back pain. For core training, the best, simplest, but most challenging, are planks. I normally start clients around 15-20 seconds, at 2-3 sets. If you are looking to really push your core, 45 seconds to a minute is key. Some people like core exercises with more movement. Dead bug, leg raises, reverse crunches, flutter kicks, bicycle crunches are all good examples of core movement training.

Stay At Home: Lower, Upper Body and Core Challenge

Plank exercise

Lower Body

Lastly, working on your lower body at home, as mentioned, takes some creativity. It is difficult to replicate the heavy loaded exercises like back squats and deadlifts. High-rep bodyweight squats can surprise you with how hard they can be. Keeping tension in the muscles, can push even a novice client. Lunges, split squats, and step-ups (on a sturdy chair) are other options too. If you are looking to really push yourself, single leg pistol squats are a great option and will challenge your balance and strength. For glute and hamstring strength, glute bridges, two legs or one at a time is the preferred exercise.

Stay At Home: Lower, Upper Body and Core Challenge

Squat exercise

Know you are not alone as we all adjust to moving our bodies at home vs our respective gyms with perhaps our trainers and workout groups. If you need some motivation try video chatting with your workout group and do the workout ?together? virtually. Either way it?s important to continue to move your body.

Stay At Home: Lower, Upper Body and Core Challenge

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If you?re experiencing any aches and pains, schedule an appointment to be seen in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat.

We are open to serve you in every state we operate. Appointments are available in-clinic or via telehealth. LEARN MORE


By John Senft, NASM-CPT, YES, NBATA-CE for Athletico Physical Therapy

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