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5 tips for exercising effectively at home

By Dr Fauntine Lariba (Osteopath)

Excising away from your usual training space can impose a number of challenges. Below are 5 points that are relevant for everyone who is climbing aboard the home workout train. 

1. Pretty good is pretty good 

Training at home probably means you don’t have the space, equipment and guidance that you are accustomed to. We should not not let this deter us from continuing with a regular movement practice. We won’t always have ideal circumstances available to us, so learning to self motivate in restricted conditions will serve us better in the long run. 

Anything is going to be better than nothing. A 30 minute online yoga class won’t be as good as a 60 minute in person class but that’s ok. On the plus side, when you finally can return to a group environment you will have a renewed sense of appreciation and enthusiasm.   

ACTION POINT: Some form of physical exercise and training regime is going to be significantly better than none.

2. “Warm ups” are important

It may only be a 5 minute walk from your house to the studio but this transition is important both physically and mentally. 

When departing for the studio we have a physical reminder to shift our brain into an exercise mindset. This pause in our day gives us the opportunity to process our thoughts and ready ourselves for the next phase. 

This short walk also helps the body generate heat, increase circulation and lubricate our joints, especially if we have been spending extended hours tied to a desk.

ACTION POINT: Prior to your home workout, go for a >5 minute walk to help clear the mind and prepare the body.  

3. Push & pull

We always strive to balance out the body with a combination of pushing and pulling exercises. Pushing motions is anything whereby we are pushing force away from our body and pulling motions are actions whereby we are drawing force towards our body. 

Typically we perform more pushing than pulling movements in our daily life and in our exercise routines. Pulling motions are important to incorporate as they strengthen the muscles on the back of our body (speaking in broad terms). 

ACTION POINT: A simple pulling movement you can incorporate is a row. There are a number of row variations perhaps start with a slow standing row and feel this working in between your shoulder blades. See demonstration video here.

4. Move through a full range of motion 

Most of us don’t move the body through a full range of motion on a daily basis. When was the last time you put your hands above your head or sat your hips onto your heels? We have evolved to move our joints through a complete range of motion. If we do not use our complete range our body forgets how to use it and we increase our likelihood of pain and injury.

ACTION POINT: When exercising at home ensure that you are moving in a variety of directions and planes, your body will thank-you for it!

5. Less is more, especially if you’ve had a break

We need to be conservative if we are returning to exercise after a period off. The mind will remember how to push and function at the same level prior to a break but the body has lost some of its conditioning. We must humble ourselves, quieten the ego and slowly build ourselves back up. 

ACTION POINT: Your degree of de conditioning will determine your starting point. To be conservative, start at 50% of your usual training capacity. 


August 19, 2020

  1. […] warm up serves as a bridge between daily life and our movement practice (we elaborate further in this article). Shifting into this training mode focuses the mind inwards and brings awareness to the […]

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