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 Modify Your Workout To Meet Your Fitness Level

7 Ways to Modify a Workout so it Works for You!

exerciseforbeginners exercisemodifications fitnessover40 home workout strengthtrainingforbeginners Sep 26, 2021

Whether you're just starting a fitness routine, coming back after a break, or working through an injury, you absolutely can modify your workouts and still get great results.

You don’t need to follow the workout to a “T” for it to be effective. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Perfect is not the goal. Making the workout safe and effective for you, is. 

How To Modify Your Workout To Meet Your Fitness Level

1. Reduce the Impact - If you have joint or knee pain, or aren’t quite ready for higher intensity moves yet (jump squats, hops, etc.) just take out the impact. Instead of doing a jump squat, do a bodyweight squat … for jumping jacks, try tapping your foot side to side — it’s that simple.

2. Lower Your Weights - You want to master the form and movement pattern before adding resistance (weights) to any exercise. Start with bodyweight only, then add in light weights. The final 3 reps of a set should be HARD (with great form, of course). If you feel like you could have done a few more, its time to bump up the weights. 

3. Slow The Movements Down - If the tempo is too fast, s-l-o-w down. Instead of running, do a light jog, or power walk. With strength training, do 12-15 reps at a slower pace vs. 20 quick ones. When you slow down, you’re also able to work on better form, so it’s a win, win.

4. Decrease Your Reps - Along with slowing things down, you can also reduce your reps. You don’t have to do all 20 burpees (ugh!), or hold a plank for a full minute. If it feels like too much right now, reduce the volume and work your way up. Form first. 

5. Increase Your Stability - Feeling wobbly and want some extra stability? Skip things like stability balls or single leg moves for now. Use steady surfaces instead like the back of a chair for balance. 

6. Use Props (Ball, Yoga block, Strap) - Props are a great way to modify. Using a ball behind your back during core work supports the low back and takes pressure off the spine. A yoga block or strap can be a great assist in stretches or held postures.  

7. Decrease the Incline - If you are new to fitness, or working with any wrist or shoulder issues, try taking your planks and push-ups against a wall to start. As you progress, you can move to a countertop to back of a couch for more challenge. If being on your wrists isn't an option right now, swap out a move for one that works the same muscle group without the pressure into your joints. A great instructor will offer alternate exercises for you.  :) 

Need MORE of a Challenge? Try adding a few more reps, choose heavier weights, or repeat a circuit again and see if that does the trick. Your instructor may also offer different variations or advanced options for a move. If you’re feeling strong, try one of those challenge options to kick it up a notch! 

Learn more about how to "Make Midlife Bolder!"