In my quest to strengthen my arthritic hips and reintroduce myself to strength training on my own terms, I made a list of exercises that are gentle enough to do every day but hard enough to make me sweat a bit and dread them a little (that’s how you know they’re effective!). My physical therapist added the clams and the crane/heel taps which are the most dreadful/effective of all.
Someone on WW Connect posted a question about workouts at home that require no equipment and little space, so I’m sharing my routine here.
Bonus: The standing ones can be done throughout the day as you have time! Five minutes here and there… No need to do them all at once. That would take a long time.
If you’re unsure of what the exercise terms mean, a quick Google search will show you examples of each.
1) Cat-Cow (about 15 times)
2) Plank-Down Dog (about 15 times)
3) Table Top with Opposite Arm-Leg Extension 15 each side (30 total)
4) Bridges with 2 feet on the ground (30) or single leg (15 each leg)
5) Clams with bottom leg on ground, top leg in air (25 each leg) **see note below**
6) Forearm Plank Hold (60 seconds) keep in straight line, hands a little apart, and squeeze your butt!
6) Pushups (to fatigue) Easiest: standing, using a table or counter. Harder: On floor with knees. Hardest: on floor on toes.
7) Standing Hip Abduction (10 reps each leg, 3 sets. Or just go for 30 each leg.)
8) Crane & Heel Tap (Look up Crane position in yoga. Alternate back and forth between that and bringing that back leg forward to tap the heel.) To fatigue or about 15 each side.
9) Partial Lunges (one leg behind you) 15 each leg or to fatigue on each leg
10) Squats (30 reps, 3 sets) Feet shoulder width, knees not past toes, butt out back, squat as if sitting in chair. Hands in front of you for balance.)
11) Standing Abs: Standing bicycles (hold knee/elbow 2 seconds each time) (10 reps, 2-3 sets each side)
12) Standing Abs: Toe Touch Kick (15 each leg) Raise one leg in front of you and try to touch toe with opposite hand. You will twist a little with this one.
**There are a couple variations of clams. The one I do looks like this, except my top leg hovers a bit in the air above the bottom one to give me more range of motion.