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Body weight exercises you can easily do at home this festive season


As we all know the holiday period is used to spend with time with family and friends, to enjoy good company, good food and a few celebratory beverages if that’s to your liking. However, many of us forget the hard work we have put in during the previous 50 weeks of the year and lose focus of the goals we have set out to achieve at the beginning of 2019. This is not only for you, the client but includes those in the health profession as well (Exercise Physiologists, Personal Trainers, Physiotherapists etc). Time can quite often become a determining factor as to whether or not we go and make that gym session, or go for that walk or even complete our rehab exercises as a requirement post some sort of procedure or injury. So if you are with any of this, or just want to work off those extra Christmas calories we’ve got you covered. Here are a few quick and easy exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home to keep active this Christmas and new year.

1 - SQUATS

Squats are a regular exercise put into a program to develop stronger legs and core musculature. Almost everyone can complete a variation of a squat and you can progress or regress them depending on your level of ability.

1. Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and arms across your chest. Place weight evenly in your feet (Front to back and left and right feet).
2. Slowly push your hip back as you start to bend through your knees.
3. Continue to lower yourself down until you reach the desired depth before squeezing your leg muscles and standing back up.

Make it harder: Add weights, increase the speed, increase the number of repetitions
Make it easier: Squat down to a chair, decrease the depth, use an aid (holding onto a chair)

2 - PUSH UPS

Another popular exercise, this time used to develop upper limb strength particularly in our chest and triceps. Depending on what you are attending your session for an exercise physiologist can alter this exercise to make it safe for you.

1. Start with your hands slightly outside shoulder width and your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Lower yourself with control until your elbows reach 90 degree.
3. Press yourself back to the top extending your arms. Ensure to squeeze your glutes throughout this movement to avoid unnecessary strain through your back.  

Make it harder: Add a resistance band,increase speed, increase number of reps
Make it easier: Complete from your knees, a bench or at the wall


3. GLUTE BRIDGES

Bridges are a fantastic way to activate your gluteal muscles to assist with all the walking you will be undertaking over the festive season (Hopefully).
1. Start lying on your back, knees bent and feet close to your butt, feet about shoulder width apart. 2. Push your feet into the ground, squeeze your bum and begin to lift hips off the floor. Ensure weight is even into left and right legs, this will ensure you do not drop through your hips and stay in correct alignment.
3. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor and repeat. 

Make it harder: Single leg, add weight to your hips (dumbbell etc)
Make it easier: Use a box on your back to raise the height, decrease the hip lift height.


4. STEP UPS

Steps can be found anywhere. Supermarket, garden bed, or even inside the home and can be a great way to build lower body endurance and improve strength and balance in some respects. To start, find something you can use as a step that might be a comfortable height for you.

1. Feet together you are going to raise one leg as we balance on the other.
2. Place the raised leg onto the ledge with our full foot in contact with the ground.
3. Using the top leg, push yourself up and bring the other leg up next to the other.
4. Use the same leg you stepped up with and reverse the movement as we step back down to make contact the ground below.  

Make it harder: Add weight, increase the speed, add a knee lift at the top with bottom leg.
Make it easier: Decrease step height, use a rail to hold onto to assist the movement


5. PLANK

Everyone’s most love to hate exercise. This exercise will have you shaking in the shoulders, core and legs all at the same time while helping stabilise and brace throughout the exercise.

1. Start on your stomach with your elbows underneath your shoulders and feet hip width apart.
2. Squeeze your glutes/butt muscles and lift your hips from the floor as you make a straight line with your body.  
3. Hold for 30 seconds

Make it harder: Take one foot off the floor, alternate arms and legs
Make it easier: Plank from your knees, plank from an increased height than the floor (bench)


The festive season is meant to be for having fun and enjoying yourself, however we shouldn’t forget all the hard work that has been put in throughout the year all in 1 week of celebrations but rather find that balance to start of 2020 on the front foot.

If you would like more information about what you could be doing at home, please come in and chat to one of your exercise physiologists at EPA. We can ensure that the right exercise program is tailored to you and your needs.

*Above exercise program not specific to all needs and injuries. Please consult with your exercise physiologist if unsure about an exercise.

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