With the uncertainty of gyms and people resorting to staying home to do their workouts for ease of mind, body weight workouts have been a long tried, tested and true way to exercise when the added bells and whistles of equipment aren’t options. Whether you are doing body weight workouts or prescribing them to your clients, an important factor to consider is, the more you weigh, the more difficult it can be. Some body weight workouts simply aren’t suitable for higher weight folks or for those with injuries. There are ways to add adaptations to avoid excessive joint loading on the wrists, shoulders, or knees and to make body weight options available to those who may have challenges getting up and down off the floor. Body weight workouts, when done right, can be for every body.
Low Impact Warm-up:
45 Seconds Each / 2 Sets
• Jumping Jacks or Half Jacks
• High knees
• Fast feet
• Cross Country
• Airplane (wall assisted right / left)
1 ASSISTED LUNGES
10 reps/side / 4 sets
For some people, core stability and joint loading can be an issue when moving to any split-stance exercises. If you are struggling for balance in split-stance moves, you lose the purpose and benefit. Having an anchor to hold on to will train the brain to develop strength and balance slowly and will assist in keeping sound form while lowering your body. An assisting anchor, such as a railing or chair, can also remove some pressure from the knee joint.
1. Stand with your feet together and rest your hands on stabilizing rail or chair
2. Step your foot backward about two feet now on the ball of your foot keeping your heel elevated.
3. Bend your knee and slowly lower your body until your back leg forms a 90-degree angle. Pause, then return to the split stance.
2 ELEVATED PLANK TAPS
30 – 45 seconds / 4 sets
Performing plank taps from an elevated position can do two things: it allows for individuals who are challenged getting up and down off the ground to still enjoy this exercise and performing the exercise from an elevated position can reduce joint loading in comparison to the more challenging prone floor position. By having the feet wide apart you can create a bigger axis point to alleviate joint pressure in the shoulders.
Place your hands on an elevated surface, keeping your core strong while gazing forward so your neck is aligned with your spine.
Part your feet for a wider axis and hold a plank position.
Every 2-3 seconds, while keeping your hips square, lift one arm and tap the opposite shoulder for 1-2 seconds. Repeat for the duration.
3 ASSISTED SQUATS (OR BOX SQUATS)
12 reps / 4 sets
Performing squats down to a base is a great way to execute with good form. For some people, it helps to have a touch point to bring the hips back while keeping the knee to ankle alignment. For those just starting off, you may consider a more elevated base to reduce joint loading and squat to 45 degrees instead of a full 90 degrees.
1. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.
2. Bend your knees and slowly lower your hips backward until your legs form 90-degree angles and your seat touches the bench base. Keep your chin parallel with the ground and avoid facing down and tension on the back. Pause, then return to standing.
4 INCLINE PUSH-UPS
12 reps / 4 sets
Incline push-ups are a great adaptation from prone, floor push-ups. Starting from an elevated base and wider stance position will alleviate joint loading to the shoulders and allow time for someone with higher-weight or injury to develop muscle strength to potentially progress. Incline push-ups are also great for those who have challenges getting up and down off the floor.
1. Place your hands on an elevated surface, with straight arms, widen your stance on the balls of your feet.
2. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body, in this case, only half-way down for beginners or full range for more advanced.
3. Engage your core to prevent sway back, then push into your hands to return to starting position.
Photography by Vairdy Frail
Read This Story in Our 2022 Inspiration Digital Edition
Read about Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers 2022. Need new ideas for your next workout. Test your fitness levels and see how you measure up. Just breathe. World-renowned breath expert, Richie Bostock shows us how to breathe correctly, 7 yoga poses for a better sleep, and much more!