With gyms closed and most medical professionals conducting appointments via telehealth, it’s more important than ever to do our home exercises to stay as strong and healthy as possible, and maintain the progress we’ve gained from our physical therapy sessions.
I am lucky enough to have an amazing exercise physiologist on my healthcare team who has devised a great home exercise program tailored for me, and we’ve modified my usual PT exercises to adapt to what I have around the house.
- 4 kg dumbell (but you can substitute with a pantry item like flour/sugar etc.)
- 2 litre water bottle (when full it makes a 2 kg weight)
- Therabands (I’ve also used an old pair of stockings or leggings)
- KIWSS resistance bands – ranging from light to x-heavy
- Yoga block (I’m using this because I don’t have a step)
- Yoga mat
- Skipping rope
I’m keeping it as simple as possible – I have a roughly 2 x 2 m2 space, and I usually spread out my yoga mat in the middle of the space.
I keep all my equipment in a big plastic tub that I can leave on the balcony – if it’s already ready to go and in my line of sight, I’m more likely to use it!
While everyone’s PT exercises should be tailored to them, and I am by no means any kind of fitness or sports-med professional, these are some of my favourite exercises because they are easy to do at home with very little equipment.
I like this exercise because it can be easily modified depending on how my body is feeling each day – if things are sore and unstable, I can do it in a slow standing march, or if I’m needing more of a challenge, I can do it at a running pace.
Also known as lateral banded walks, this has been great for improving my knee tracking and stability.
This attractively named exercise works both my shoulders and my core and is a great way to get a handle on how my sholders are tracking.
Another core exercise which is easy to modify so you can work through the progressions. Bend the knees and/or lower the arms to reach past your legs to make it easier.
These are particularly good for improving my shoulder stability, by strengthening my scapula and encouraging healthy tracking over the ribcage. (I use 2kg)
It’s at this point I have to be very conscious about my knee tracking. To increase the difficulty, you can either increase the weight or increase the reps, so you can still progress at home with only one weight. (I use 4kg)
More shoulder strengthening exercises – can you tell my shoulders are my worst joint yet! Again, you can increase the difficulty by either increasing the weight or reps. (I use 4kg)
Now we’ve got another core exercise so that I’m strong and to encourage my core to support my weight properly. Challenge yourself to see how long you can go!
Although I *can* do a normal plank, I always worry about my shoulders, so I usually do a modified plank so that I can concentrate on correct form while not being stressed.
SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT
This exercise is brilliant because it does so many things at once – improves your proprioception & balance, and works your core & legs. If you want to work your feet too, tie a theraband around something, give it some tension, and stand on it.
ELEVATED CALF RAISES
I do these on single and both legs. It’s great to do these on a step because it makes you use your whole leg and increases the difficulty. I don’t have any stairs, so I stand on a yoga block.