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Home workouts can be a convenient way to keep up with your fitness goals when time or other constraints keep you from getting to the gym.
Just because you’re at home, that doesn’t mean injuries aren’t waiting for you.
Here are some tips to prevent home workout injuries so you can keep moving!
Be conscious of your workout surface
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, plantar fasciitis, 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.
Give yourself plenty of room to move around.
Wipe-outs are not cool; they bruise at best.
Caution with complex movements
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.
Add variety to your workouts
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.
There are plenty of workout apps or free exercise routines on YouTube to get you started.
You can grab a free 30 day trial of the Aaptiv fitness app here.
Recommended read: 12 Ideas to Make Home Workouts Less Boring
Focus on form
It’s easy to get distracted at home. There also isn’t someone watching you and correcting your form.
Sometimes, performing movements badly is worse than not exercising because you’re placing yourself at risk for several different types of injuries.
Pay close attention to your form to avoid injury.
Caution with improvising for exercise 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.
Maintain your home fitness 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).
Treadmills need periodic lubrication to keep the belts running smoothly.
Multifunction or cable machines need to be checked for wear and tear.
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.
Dress the part
It’s easy to slack off because you’re at home.
You still need to wear appropriate workout attire, including footwear with good arch support.
Getting your gym wear on can also help with the mental motivation that it’s time to workout.
Resist the urge to workout barefoot. (Unless it’s a workout that doesn’t require shoes.)
If you’re just starting out, make sure to work at your level and not overdo it. Killing yourself on day one won’t make up for a lack of activity.
You don’t have to follow a workout exactly if something doesn’t work for you.
Familiarize yourself with modification options that you can plug in to personalize any workout.
What home exercise equipment do I need?
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.
Be sure to check out Game-Changing Exercise Equipment for Small Spaces for some creative ideas.
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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