Bodyweight exercises and modifications to try at home

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Gyms are closed and likely will be for the next month or so due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many people do not have training equipment at home so how can you stay active? Daybreak’s Amanda Peterson shares some bodyweight exercises to try.

Amanda has a certification as a personal trainer. She says now is a great time to evaluate your form on basic bodyweight movements.

For lower body, a squat and lunges work your leg muscles. For those new to exercise or with balance concerns, use a steady surface for support.

“When squatting, lower your hips to the height of a chair while keeping your chest up, with your core engaged,” says Amanda. “You can sit onto the chair if you need to, but when standing really focus on using your leg muscles to raise you up.”

In lunges, you can step back or forward. Hold on to a steady surface for support if needed. In either direction, keep your chest upright and lower down until your knee joints get to a 90-degree angle.

A plank is a great total-body movement. In a plank, the goal is to stay still, holding the body and muscles in one position.

“Place your hands under your shoulders and then press up, from the side your shoulders should be stacked over your wrists and from your head to your heel, you should be in a straight line,” says Amanda.

The plank is the starting position for a full push-up. When lowering, drive your elbows out and back to a 45-degree angle. Also, aim to get your chest to the ground while maintaining that straight body alignment.

If you can’t get the full range of motion in a push-up, Amanda offered two modifications to try.

First, a half push-up done from your knees. When that feels easy, extend to your toes and do a deficit push-up where you lower the full way but push up on your knees, then return to your toes for the next rep.

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