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The only 5 exercises you'll need during the pandemic

Get stronger using the basic movement patterns: push, pull, squat, hinge, and groundwork (not technically a movement pattern but essential to live well longer). These movements distill the complexity of strength training down to the essential parts. Simply, you're trying to get your shoulders and hips under load in the two planes of movement.

It can be simple, but not easy! Our clients have benefited from a return to basics to remove the intimidation typically felt at gyms: so many machines, and so much to do! Where do I start?! Forget the distractions. Your future self will also thank you for focusing on getting your shoulders and hips moving under weight.



Pick an exercise from the first category (squat or lunge) listed below. Do as many reps until you start to feel a burn, perhaps a bit of struggle - but don't go to failure! (Failing makes you slow, and your future self won't thank you for that.) Done? Good. That's one set. Walk around for 1 - 2 minutes. Move on to the next exercise category and repeat: reps 'til burn and walk around. Complete all five exercise categories and you're wrapped. Still, have energy? Try another round or two. Do this 3-5 times per week to complement your walking, cycling, or running routines. Easy peasy (but not breezy).


1. Squat or lunge

2. Push

  • wall push-up

  • knee push-up

  • push-up

3. Pull (pulling as a bodyweight exercise is tricky, but here're two movements to try)

  • elbow presses; lie on your back, arms by your sides, bend them at the elbows, drive them into the ground and lift your body off the ground until you’re just on your elbows and heels (hold for 5-20 seconds)

  • bent over rows - find something heavy-ish, perhaps a bag of flour;)

4. Hinge (deadlift)

  • body weight hinge

  • single leg deadlift

  • single leg deadlift with knee drive

5. Groundwork (plank)

  • plank (check out our step by step video below)

  • side plank

Need more? Go for more reps or try another round.

If you're short on time split your total sets up throughout the day. For example, one set in the morning after your Zoom meeting, one or two at lunch with your spouse or family, and one in the evening after your evening run/walk.

Need help?

We're offering free, no-obligation personal training video sessions to anyone interested. Whether you want us to walk you through any of the exercises noted above, fine-tune your technique or simply hear a friendly voice, we are here for you!

Give us a call at 403-305-2868 to schedule your complimentary session.

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