Home Exercise Progression – Matthew Osborn AEP

As the COVID-19 emergency continues, we are encouraged more and more to self-isolate.  Because of this, many have transitioned to doing their exercise regime at home or at a park.  A common issue that people have when exercising at home is finding ways to make their current program more challenging with limited equipment. This article will explore various ways that you can progress your current program at home.

The first way to progress your exercise is to increase the amount of repetitions, increase sets, or reduce the rest time between sets. The idea behind increasing sets or repetitions is that you are increasing the volume of work that your muscles must do, which can induce muscular fatigue and makes the set harder to complete.  With reducing rest duration, you are limiting the time for the muscles to recover and to prepare for the next set.  Consequently, you are working the muscles that are already in a fatigued state.

Another way you can challenge yourself is to increase the range of motion of your exercises. Changing the position of an exercise will require the muscles to work in a greater range of motion, which will make the exercise more difficult if the muscles are weaker at deeper ranges.   An example of this is if you are doing a push up against a wall, you can increase range of motion by doing a push up on  a bench or on the floor.

Finally, you can change your exercises from double sided to single sided (e.g.  shifting from a standing row with a band to a single arm row).  This can be challenging as the weight that is normally distributed between the left and right side of the body is put onto one side, thus increasing the intensity of the exercise. Single sided exercises provide additional benefits as it challenges the weaker side of the body, assists with muscle imbalances and improves stability, which can prevent future injuries.