Open any fitness magazine or scroll through fitness posts on your newsfeed and you will find workouts for you to do at home. Bodyweight, Kettlebells, Tabata and HIIT are all regular features. They all look great telling you what to do and highlighting which muscles you will be working. But what about injuries or weaknesses that you have? Will it be okay to do the workout with sore knees or a painful lower back? Will it help or will it do more damage? Read on to find some easy tips to help you to tailor these workouts to suit you.

Could you do this workout?

Take the tabata workout featured in the September edition of Women’s Health magazine as an example. This is a tabata workout consisting of 4 exercises. For each exercise you do 8 sets of 20 seconds resting for 10 seconds between each set and you then repeat the whole circuit. So far so good. You can download a free tabata app for your phone to do the timing for you. In total you will do 8 lots of 4 minutes which is a reasonable time period to fit into your day and to get you results.

Time to take a deep breath. The 4 exercises are Skater Jumps, Mountain Climbers, Squat Jumps and Burpees. I know for a fact that many of my clients would struggle to complete this workout and would be sore if they tried to. All of these exercises are high intensity and need to be done well. For most people that is a lot of jumping and weak hips, knees, backs and ankles will object loudly both during and after. 

A More Sensible Approach

A smarter way to train if you do have niggles is to mix in some lower intensity exercises giving your body a chance to partially recover between the exercises given. You could add in some core work such as crunches, reverse curls, superman or some yoga inspired options like Cat & Cow or Up & Down Dog. If you added in 4 different exercises you would then just add in the 4 jumping ones to complete your workout of 8. 

So you could do Skater Jumps, Cat & Cow, Squat Jumps, Reverse Curls, Mountain Climbers, Crunches, Burpees & Superman.

Another option would be to take out the jumping altogether. You could switch to lower impact versions of those exercises and build up gradually. Skater jumps could become curtsy lunges and squat jumps changed to squats and so on. As you build up your strength and fitness you can add the jump in with the confidence that you will maintain good form and not injure yourself.

Final thoughts

Tabata and HIIT are great ways to train and to get good results. There are great resources out there that are easy to access and well balanced. It is vital that you start at a level where you can maintain good form and can work hard without doing yourself harm. If it hurts – stop – and think about how you can amend the movement to work for you. Feeling some discomfort is a sign that you are working at your limit, what you don’t want to experience is pain as that can lead to injury. It is about being clever and realistic about what you can do. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t work hard. It is about working smarter and listening to your own body. 

That is what I do every day with my clients. Their workouts take into account any niggles and imbalances and we work hard to address these. As they get stronger I increase the intensity and move to the next level. They see a real improvement in strength, function and confidence. The advice for many injuries and niggles is now to move and to build the strength in the muscles surrounding the joints. It is all about finding a way to get moving and to do so safely.

More Resources

If you want more tools and tips to help you then you can find lots of free resources and blogs on my website. I published my book ‘ Moving More’ at the start of 2018 which brings together all of my advice and expertise to get you off to a great start or to move to the next level. You can buy your paperback or kindle copy here. There are trackers, planners, help to get you started, recipes, workouts and more.

Here are some of the reviews from those who have already purchased the book from Amazon.

‘I enjoyed reading Clare’s book immensely. It is user friendly, full of helpful advice and taking you carefully through the stages necessary to achieve success in finding a healthier, happier lifestyle. The use of quotations from her clients is extremely motivating – if they can do it, I can. I have already recommended this book to my family and friends here and in North America.’

‘This book will have you off the sofa and moving well before you get to the end. Clare takes a simple no nonsense approach that is impossible to ignore. She is the little angel on your shoulder dismissing all your excuses with sensible and practical advice. This book is definitely worth the small investment and you also get access to lots of additional advice and support through her website. The stories of real clients making small steps are hugely motivating too. You won’t regret buying it.’

Buy your copy of Moving More by Clare Nielsen

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