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Most people don’t have the luxury of a full home gym set up. If you’re trying to keep up with your fitness routine at home, I applaud you.
Injuries don’t care where you’re working out.
If you’re reading this during COVID-19, access to physical therapy and other services is limited. Here are some injury prevention tips for your home workout to help you stay healthy and injury-free.
The floor matters more than you think
Gym floors are made with materials to absorb shock.
At home, especially basements, this may not be the case. What this means for you: higher impact moves may start to give you some pain. The less shock the floor absorbs, the more shock you absorb.
High impact moves on hard surfaces can lead to all kinds of issues, including joint pain, tendinitis, and stress fractures.
What can you do? Be mindful of impact and take modifications.
If you’re very dedicated to your home workout, look into some inexpensive shock-absorbing tiles for your floor.
For those working out on carpet, use extra caution with pivoting moves to prevent twisted ankles and knees. (Especially during dance fitness workouts.)
Clear your space
An obvious one, but clear your clutter and shift tables, chairs, area rugs, and kid’s toys out of the way.
Wipe-outs are not cool; they bruise at best.
This isn’t the time to try wild & crazy moves
Stick with the classics and save the new stuff for when you can get back to your trainer.
At home, there isn’t someone correcting your form, so make sure you’re very comfortable with what you’re doing. If you have any mirrors, use them.
Listen to your body and work at your level. If you’re into video workouts, choose options at your level, preferably with high and low impact modifications provided to suit however you’re feeling today.
And whatever you do, resist the urge to emulate the crazy stuff you see on social media.
Kick home workout boredom with variety
I know I just said not to try anything new and crazy, but there’s a difference between a variety and unsafe workouts.
One of the best injury prevention tips is to have a well-rounded fitness routine. Avoid doing the same thing on replay and include elements of cardio, strength training, flexibility, and balance.
Bored at home? Check out my resource page for a full list of my favorite FREE YouTube workouts.
Recommended read: 12 Ideas to Make Home Workouts Less Boring
Caution with improvising for equipment
Many home workouts include everyday items like chairs. Make sure it’s a sturdy chair and back it up to the wall for added security.
Be super cautious when putting your body weight into something that wasn’t designed for exercise purposes. A sturdy chair is one thing; your coffee table is quite another. (You would think this sounds obvious, but some things need to be said.)
Pillows can sub for bolsters in your home Yoga practice. You can also roll up some towels or blankets as props to assist with padding and alignment.
Blocks don’t have a great substitute, but they’re very affordable and can go a long way in preventing at home Yoga injuries. Check out Clever Yoga’s selection of accessories.
Maintain home workout equipment
Stuff gets old and breaks down. When was the last time you did some regular maintenance on your home gym equipment?
Check those manuals! Keep your equipment running smoothly so you can get the most out of it (instead of using it as an expensive drying rack for your clothes).
This also goes for smaller equipment like resistance bands. You know, the ones that have been sitting in your drawer for years. They don’t last forever. Inspect them for cracks and always anchor them securely when performing exercises such as rows and lat pulldowns.
It’s easy to slack off because you’re at home.
You still need to wear appropriate workout attire, including footwear. Resist the urge to workout barefoot. (Unless it’s a workout that doesn’t require shoes.)
What equipment should I get to work out at home?
Honestly, it can be as minimal or elaborate as you want to get. Having a basement full of stuff doesn’t make you more fit.
There are plenty of body-weight fitness options, even if you have zero equipment. Check out my Resources page for recommendations for affordable and free online fitness options.
Ready to workout?
Home workouts can be a convenient and cost-effective way to maintain your fitness. Keep these tips in mind to workout smartly and prevent injury.
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