So, you’re concerned about muscle loss but don’t have the space for a home gym. And heading to the community center or local gym during the pandemic? Forget about it.
But don’t forget about your muscles. Just because it seems like you’re out of options doesn’t mean you are. There is a lot of muscle-strengthening equipment built right into your home.
You should use it. You lose muscle naturally with age, and it may be worsening during the pandemic. More time sitting is no good for muscle maintenance.
Without adequate muscle, you run the risk of mobility trouble, poor balance, a higher risk of falling, lower quality of life, and perhaps most importantly, a lack of independence.
So, what are the tools you already have, and how can you use them? Let’s take a look.
Countertop for Chest and Arm Strength: You can use the edge of your counter to perform upright pushups to strengthen your chest and triceps. Place hands near the edge of the counter and stand about an arm’s length away. Slowly lower your body, keeping your back straight, until your chest is almost touching the counter (your head should be past the edge), then push yourself back up.
Keep your arms about shoulder-width apart to target the chest and bring them in tighter for triceps. If you’re not yet strong enough, you can use the wall instead. If the counter pushups are too easy, do regular pushups off of the floor.
The Wall for Leg Strength: Wall squats are an effective way to build strength in the legs to help improve balance. Start with your back flat against the wall and your feet about one step away from it. Slowly bend your knees and slide your back down against the wall until they are bent about 90%. If your knees extend beyond your toes, slowly return to the starting position and move your feet a little further out.
When knees and feet are properly positioned, perform the squats by pushing the floor through your heels and outer foot.
If this is too difficult, you can use a chair with armrests for support.
Towels: You can strengthen the muscles in your back with little more than a towel. Stand up straight, gripping a towel with both hands and arms extended above your head about shoulder-width apart. Keep shoulders locked down and in place by trying to pull shoulder blades together. Next, pull the towel downwards in a straight line (pull elbows down towards the floor) until it’s at roughly neck or chest level.
To make this exercise more challenging, you can reduce the slack on the towel or perform it while lying on the floor on your stomach.
These are only a few of the ways you can start building strength at home. Getting creative with things you find around the house can help you stay fit and save money during the pandemic.