• fineformphysio


For most of us, this lockdown has meant we have to forfeit our usual exercise regime of going to the gym or an exercise class and motivate ourselves at home. With a few adjustments, strength training is still achievable. Have a look at these tips to ensure you can still get those gains or at least maintain your muscle mass.


Our home and budget limits the amount of equipment available. If you are in a position to buy equipment here are some ideas on what to invest in.

Resistance bands

These are perfect for a beginner who is using low weight. You can use them to work just about every muscle in your body. They are cheap, easily available and don't take up much space. If you are using a weight you can incorporate the resistance band into your exercise for added resistance or burn.

Useful tip: Try wrapping the band around your thighs while squatting or threading it through a kettlebell and standing on each side of the band to add resistance to your deadlifts.


There are so many exercises you can do with a kettlebell, they are usually smaller than a dumbbell of the same weight so take up less space.

Useful tip: Get your kettlebell swings right and your glutes will love you. They are also perfect for performing a single leg deadlift.


An adjustable set with weight plates and a bar is probably the most cost effective and versatile choice.

My fav way to use: Burpees with a shoulder press for an overall body plus cardio workout. Lateral raises, to achieve a nice curve to your upper arm. Arnold press for a full shoulder workout.

Get creative: Short on cash or can't get access to any weights? Fill up a couple of durable shopping bags, a backpack or duffle bag with whatever small heavy items you can find around the house. Bunnings sells 20kg bags of gravel for less than $10, you could fill up a bucket or two to lift.

How to use: Use your bags or buckets to perform suitcase deadlifts, these are a great way to build lower body strength and are an extremely functional exercise. Use your weighted backpack to perform squats or lunges.


Increasing the weight isn't the only way to build muscle. Shake up your program with these 3 ideas:

  • Add reps or an extra set. Challenging your muscles for longer will cause that extra fatigue and micro damage needed to increase muscle mass.

  • Use pulsing movements to increase fatigue. For example, after each chest press set add 20-30 push up pulses in the bottom half. Alternatively, add a pulse at the bottom each squat or lunge for an extra burn.

  • Change up the tempo. Tempo refers to the number of seconds you spend in each phase of a rep. For example 1013 for a squat translates to 1 second down (essentric phase), 0 second hold, 1 second up (contraction phase), 3 second rest before the next rep. Play around with the numbers to challenge your muscle. A 3313 squat would mean you are taking 3 seconds to go down, then you will then pause for 3 seconds at the bottom, take 1 second to come back up and rest for 3. This is going to really fatigue your muscles and you may find you can't even perform the same number of reps you usually would.

In the meantime, if you are keen to get started on resistance training, you are welcome to message me to arrange a free trial training session. I am available to come to you or can train in a park in Ryde and surrounding areas.

Sarah Hanna Fitness

M: 0405 417 388

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