By in Yoga & Pilates

Your Home Is The Perfect Gym!

How many of us have frozen or even cancelled our gym memberships this year? I know I have. And even if you never had a gym membership in the first place, between lockdown and covid infections going up and down most of us have felt stuck in our houses a lot this year.

It is easy to feel that we can not exercise as much as we would want to these days, because we don’t have the space or the equipment at home. But that really is a matter of perspective. Every stair case, every wall and every chair in your home, as well as any of your kids toys that needs picking up of the floor is potentially your gym kit!

Below you find a list of inspirations and ideas of how to turn your home into a fun gym floor that provides you with super functional exercises.

  • The Crumpled Towel:

– Balance Challenge & Ankle Stability Squat

Balance practice is vital for all of us. There still tends to be a trend where people seem to believe that core strength comes from working the abdominals. In actual fact deep core control is stimulated when we work with balance challenges. It may be enough for you to take a minute to balance on one leg (perhaps close to a wall that you can hold on to if things get too wobbly) however if you are looking for some new balance challenges crumple up a bath towel on the floor and stand on it. Take a moment to take in the uneven texture under your feet. You may already find that your ankles become active. Then repeat your one leg balance on the crumpled towel. After you have repeated this a few times on each side, explore a squat on this uneven surface. Apply the same protocols you would normally apply to your squats, maintaining good leg alignment and an upright posture. Feel your ankles working out the imbalance underneath. This is a great, functional exercise, after all when we are out and about, the ground is not always even either!

  • The Cardio Stairs

-Front and Side Step Ups & Stair Climbing

If you have a step in your house this is gold! Have you ever been to a Step Class in the old days? A step really is all you need to get your heart going and the sweat dripping. You can play with simple step ups and downs on one step. If you feel secure you can speed this up. For variety, try standing beside the step, so that the step is next to your foot, rather than in front of it, and repeat your step ups and downs moving sideways. If you have a full staircase and you feel secure on it there is nothing wrong with walking up and down your stairs 10 times. It can be surprising how exhausting this it.

  • The Chair

-The Squat with Beans

You do it every day. You get up, you sit down, you stand up…and it goes on, -especially if you make an exercise out of it. Transition from sitting to standing repeatedly with good form and it will begin to feel like exercise. By doing this regularly you are improving your chances that you will still be able to do this at old age! If you want to challenge yourself, hold two cans of beans or a big plant pot while you do it, just adding a little weight to the movement.

  • The Wall

-Upright Press Up

Conventional Push Ups can be quite something to aspire to. If you are not there yet it does not mean that you can not gain the benefits of a push up at a level that is right for you. If you have a wall in your house (most houses have walls) stand facing the wall and reach your arms out to put your hands against the wall. Step back a little so that you are leaning into your hands. Let your arms keep space between you and the wall and assume general alignment in your stance. Then bend your elbows to bring your face closer to the wall and push away. Repeat this with your hands in varying positions, sometimes wider apart, closer together, higher or lower. You can even close your eyes and imagine you are doing a real push up! After doing this for a few minutes you will feel that your arms and shoulders have had a good functional workout.

  • The Scattered Toys

-Pick Me Up & Hold Me Up

Okay, it is time to tidy all this stuff off of the floor. No problem because you can turn this alone into a fun exercise routine. At the end you have had your workout and the home is tidy!

So start by stepping next to something you want to pick up off the floor (something small enough to pick up with one hand, like a small toy or a magazine). Maintain an upright posture and squat or lunge down to pick up the item. Repeat this with each item but vary which hand picks up the item and how you line yourself up to it. Sometimes you may just squat down right next to the item on your right and pick it up with your right hand, maybe next time you line up in the same way but reach over with your left hand to pick it up. Mix it up to make it varied. Alternatively, if you have had enough from squatting. Sit or lie down next to the item on the ground. Hold the item up into the air above you with one or both hands. Then transition back up to standing without using that hand or both hands to help you. This can be really good fun, you might even get the kids involved and you will never have to tidy up after them again!

Of course with all of the above exercises be mindful of any limitations or injuries you have and never ignore pain when exercising.  

If you would like more home exercise support, or if you would like to know more about online Pilates classes contact Kristin at The Body Matters on 01702 714968.

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