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How to modify exercises to fit my situation?

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Posts: 6,501
1/3/12 2:42 P

You can do seated crunches on the edge of a chair, and twists will work the obliques. Bicycle crunches can also be done standing. Canned goods (or liquid laundry detergent bottles) can substitute for free weights., or fill a reuseable bag with rocks from the yard. Take a walk, march in place in front of the TV, turn on the radio and dance.......use your imagination. Also check your cable system/satelite provider for fitness shows.

Posts: 2,707
1/3/12 9:24 A

Definitely check out some DVDs from the libaray. Also, it sounds like you have your SP generator set to core. Try switching to upper or lower or full body. You could do things like wall pushups, calf raises, seated leg raises, tricep dips (with a chair), etc. You can definitely use soup cans or milk jugs or anything else for weights.

SparkPoints: (38,416)
Fitness Minutes: (97,179)
Posts: 1,471
1/2/12 11:36 P

Perhaps you could look for standing body weight type exercises. I think the exercise library has some. Stuff like: wall pushups, squats where you slide slowly down the wall so the wall supports some of your weight, standing crunches (if not on this site maybe search youtube), standing leg lifts (you can use the wall to help you balance), tricep dips off a chair, etc. There are also chair exercises though I don't really know any, but something to look into. When you can, purchasing an inexpensive pair of resistance bands would open up a lot of options. Of course bodyweight exercises are good though most I can think of involve going to the floor--other than the standing work.

Posts: 232
1/2/12 8:32 P

You can check out dvds and exercise books from the library. Can you do an indoor walking program like Leslie Sansone? They have her videos at my library.

I've also heard that there are videos on youtube.

SparkPoints: (12,930)
Fitness Minutes: (894)
Posts: 9
1/2/12 7:37 P

Hi Coach Nancy,

Thanks for the link to the article - I had actually read it earlier today, which was why I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas for me. I don't have any trouble getting outside to walk, or onto my mother's treadmill. In fact, my cardio is going so well that I'm thinking about adding a bit of jogging or running into my walking routine. It's actually the strength-training component that I need help with.

I've heard that you can use cans or other household stuff as dumbbells, for those exercises. But my strength-training program I just got includes Bridges, Crunches, Crunches with Twist, and Back Extensions - all of which have you on the floor. Due to a bad back and painful joints, (and only partially due to my weight, which I carry a lot of in my stomach) I've not been able to get down on the floor in years, not even to play with my nieces, or to kneel for prayer in church. When I was richer, I joined a gym and tried to go to yoga and other floormat classes - they were disasters!

Can you do these sorts of exercises on a bed or another firmer surface, perhaps? That would reduce the amount of distance I'd have to go down, and it would be easier getting up. Or are there other modifications that would let you work the same muscle groups either standing up or sitting? I'll keep sifting through the articles on SparkPeople to see if one of them has specific how-tos in this department, but if anyone has any ideas, I'd be grateful!



SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
1/2/12 5:13 P


Below is a link to an article Coach Dean wrote that may help you along in your journey.

I hope this helps!

Coach Nancy

SparkPoints: (12,930)
Fitness Minutes: (894)
Posts: 9
1/2/12 4:22 P

I can't afford a gym membership, don't have any balance balls, weights or other home equipment and can't afford to buy any, AND I can't get down on the floor to do crunches and other such exercises. Can anyone advise me how I can modify some of these exercises and get the same benefit, please?

Thanks for any help!

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