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  • Aidan Streat

The Home Exercise Blog

Around the world currently and for some people the foreseeable future, people from all backgrounds are trying to keep fit, mobile and healthy from the comfort of the own home. This pandemic has made us stay home and amazingly a large percentage of people have adapted, they have taken to exercising at home. The premise of home exercising is great for staying mobile and healthy, historically statistics show that exercise has a multitude of health benefits both physical and mental. As lockdown continues to ease soon you can hopefully return to classes and gyms, however for now hopefully this information will be useful for you, your friends and family.

Home exercises

How to structure your home exercise

As with any exercise you need to be aware of what can go wrong and how to prevent this. The increase chance of injury is one to be aware of, this derives from many aspects whether it’s from the modern-day home athlete that is over training, improper exercise technique or when you first start exercising or return to exercise after a long period and have limited knowledge on correct form. This blog hopes to inform you and give a little insight into how to structure your home exercise or workouts depending on your ability.

Training phases

It is widely understood and implemented into rehab and physio programmes that following a phased programme is effective and safe for injury recovery. Similarly, this can be implemented into all training, in particular when exercise training at home where little or no supervision is given. This is where there is a higher chance of injury.


The literature shown in the table.1 demonstrates the importance of achieving functional range and joint health within in rehab setting, then focus on building strength (i.e. A Press up) and doing big plyometric exercises (i.e. A Burpee). This premise should be followed within reason in home and gym programmes to ensure longevity and safety of exercise training. Do not get me wrong I’m not saying you should not do any sort of strength, plyometric or high intensity training (HIT) exercise without being the most flexible and mobile person on the planet. I am saying there is a balance that can be found.


I.e. A combination of sessions in your week of exercise including mobility, movement workouts (e.g yoga or pilates), strength and HIT sessions.


Overloading

What statistics and research do suggest is that overloaded training sessions can increase chance of injury, this increases in chance when individuals have a reduced function and range of movement at a joint. If you then decide to exercise on these at-risk joints, it can then increase pressure through the joint when implementing the incorrect type of training or load.


Suggested home exercise structure

Below is a suggested programme structure which has been adapted from Table.1 for how you, the reader, can start exercising in a structured and safe manner. You can follow this if your coping with injuries or unsure on how priortise sessions within the home exercise training programmes. YES, this isn’t neccasrily for everyone and it doesn’t state how to plan your home workouts, however it hopefully gives you and understanding of the structure and process for home exercise programmes for people managing injuries or potential issues.


Goals for home exercise programmes (beginners to advanced)

Foundation level (starting out)

  • Improve range of motion (mobility and flexibility)

Intermediate level (Regular training and exercise) 2-4 times a week

  • Maintenance and restoration of normal range of motion

  • Initiation of strengthening of joints and muscle to improve function and minimise injury

Advanced level (Athletes and highly regular training and exercise) 5+ times a week and individuals in regular competition

  • Maintenance and improvement of strengthening of joints and surrounding muscles

  • Application of training into sport specific movements

  • Implementation of other skills into training such as proprioception, balance, power, agility and others


Ensure you use the right technique

Current and previous research states the importance of having guidance when implementing home training to minimise injury, as well as increase benefits of exercising with supervision. This doesn’t mean you need to fork out lots of money for a professional trainer regularly, however receiving a little training or assistance could definitely help you gain more from your home exercises. Even if this assistance is just watching a video on the internet to ensure you have a safe technique, sometimes 5 minutes of your time can save you hours of grief or stress in the long run. Ensure you a finding a good balance of variation in your training, this can minimise injury, maximise health and keep you engaged.

It's all about balance

The idea of this blog isn’t to tell you that you are approaching your home exercise programme wrong or that you should be doing much more mobility or flexibility training. What I hope to achieve from you reading this blog is that you may have a better understanding of how a little assistance or reading can help you prevent potential injury, as well as getting more benefit from your home exercise programmes. Finding the correct balance on any type of exercise is one of the most challenging tasks. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a practitioner or trained individual to assist you. I hope this blog gives you an insight of how you can plan your sessions and maybe what other types of exercise you can do to improve your health, fitness and benefit your overall wellbeing.

Please feel free to contact me on any advice or if you just need questions answered, I hope this blog gives you the awareness of a balance in training. REMEMBER rest and recovery is key to becoming healthier, stronger and fitter.

Stay healthy,

REFORM Performance Clinic

The Research

  • Sarkar, J., & Sil, P. (2017). Benefit of exercises on health: Study of health status of young adult women participating exercise regularly.

  • Warburton, D. E., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Cmaj, 174(6), 801-809.

  • Warburton, D. E., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Cmaj, 174(6), 801-809.

  • Wendel, I., Patel, S. I., & Wyss, J. (2019). Home Exercise Programs for Musculoskeletal and Sports Injuries: The Evidence-Based Guide for Practitioners. Springer Publishing Company.

  • Yilmaz, M., Sahin, M., & Algun, Z. C. (2019). Comparison of effectiveness of the home exercise program and the home exercise program taught by physiotherapist in knee osteoarthritis. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 32(1), 161-169.

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