If going to the gym is impossible or doesn’t seem appealing to you, we have some good news. Staying in shape—losing fat, gaining strength, and improving balance—is possible in the comfort of your home. Exercising at home can even be the catalyst that inspires you to look for ways to enhance your health and well-being.
However, before you begin any exercise program, make sure to check with your primary care physician, prosthetist, or physical therapist. Don’t start this workout plan until they clear you to do so.
Next, it’s important to remember that staying in shape is a marathon, not a sprint. So, don’t get discouraged if you can only log in five minutes. The great thing about working out is that you can work your way up. You can start slow and take into account your current ability level—stamina, stability, and strength. The major mistake most people make when working out on their own is being too aggressive in the early stages, which leads to burning out.
Lastly, listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, stop what you’re doing immediately. If you feel sore, take a day or two of rest. Resting won’t impede your progress.
About the exercises
This workout plan is designed to help you build strength and muscle tone in your core, upper body, hips/glutes, and lower back. The only equipment you’ll need is an exercise mat. None of the exercises will require wearing a prosthesis. But you might want to look for an elevated surface, like a chair, an ottoman, or a stool.
Most of the exercises we discuss below are for lower-limb amputees. To personalize the exercises for your level of amputation, you only need to adjust your leverage, which is why you will need that chair.
This workout routine can be done three to five times per week, depending on your activity level. Take a minute or two of rest in between sets, and make sure to keep hydrated. The entire set would take 30 minutes at most.
For best results, combine this workout with a healthy diet and overall lifestyle improvements, such as getting enough sleep.
The workout plan
Planks are famous for building functional core strength.
To execute, place your forearms on the mat with your lower limbs stretched behind you. Raise your body. Make sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Focus on bracing the muscles of your abdomen, but don’t forget to breathe normally.
Hold this position for three sets of 15 to 30 seconds.
Hip bridges are perfect for lower-limb amputees who want to regain functional strength in the hips or butt area.
If you’re a bilateral above-knee amputee, place your lower limbs on a low stool or footrest to create leverage. If you are a unilateral lower-limb amputee, you can use your sound side leg as a balance point. For example, you can execute this exercise by keeping your residual limb in line with your sound side.
Place your arms with the palms down on the mat. For added support, you can position your arms into a wide V-shape. Press onto the mat or chair and raise your hips off the ground. Focus on squeezing your butt muscles, and keep your core braced as well. Maintain good posture by envisioning a diagonal line from your shoulder to your hip to your knee.
Do this for two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
This classic exercise is excellent for building the upper body and core strength.
Start in a high plank position. Make sure your shoulders, lower back, and the end of your limbs form a diagonal line. Place your hands just outside your shoulders, and keep your elbows directly above your wrists.
Lower yourself onto the mat until your chest touches the floor, then push the floor away as you extend your arms.
Do this for two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Do these exercises regularly within one month. Coupled with a healthy lifestyle, you will surely feel stronger and better in no time.Have you tried this workout plan? Please share your experiences with the rest of the community in the comments section below.