Joel Peterson, Personal Trainer

Home Workouts and Variation of Movements: Part 2

Joel Peterson – Level 5 Personal Trainer Apple Athletic Club

Last week we gave you several great exercises and variations that you can do at home or anywhere for that matter. If you missed last weeks installment, please go back and review. There are many previous articles here on Doctor Ward’s website that explain the amazing benefits of exercise. Go back and refresh yourself. It will help keep you motived. Don’t give up on yourself. It’s not easy to get into a good exercise program but as time goes on, and it will go on, they will become more fun and easy to perform. You are worth it, aren’t you? Of course you are.

Home Workout and Movement Variation part 2


Push-ups are so common because they can be done almost anytime and anywhere. When done correctly, you’ll engage your core and lower back thus improving your posture and increasing your results. As with any exercise, doing fewer reps with correct form is more important than increasing your reps before you are ready. Pay close attention to technique when adding variations to avoid injury and allow for maximum results.

Push Ups


Begin in a plank position with your body weight supported by your feet and hands. Your body should be in a straight line from your feet to your head and your hands should be under your shoulders. Lower your chest to the ground without losing the straight line of your back and keeping your elbows in toward your side. Push back up to the top and repeat. If you are a beginner, you can start with your knees on the floor and work up.

Elevate Feet with a Box

To really blast those shoulders and triceps, elevate your feet using a box or step and perform a decline push-up. The higher your feet are elevated, the more difficult this exercise becomes.

Box Push Ups


Your form and the process for these is the exact same as a standard push-up, only you’ll start with your feet on top of a step, box or bench. Make sure you’re lowering your chest to the ground and not your hips or belly.

Add Weighted Rows

For this variation, your wrists will receive less stress as you hold a dumbbell with each hand. Dumbbells not only add weight but by using them for the rowing motion it also increases the work your back, shoulders and triceps do. Additionally, rowing allows you to increase the weight more quickly than if you were pressing or curling the weight.

weighted dumbbell rolls


Once you’ve completed a standard push-up, lift one of the weights off the floor and up to shoulder height before setting it back down. Do the same on the other side before lowering down for another push-up.

Step-Ups (one of my favorite leg exercises)

Step-ups are a great way to build your leg muscles — specifically your glutes and hamstrings. Though your core is activated, to get the most out of the move it’s important to have the leg that’s stepping up do most of the work and not push off too much from the ground. This move is also a great substitute for the stairs while still giving you some cardio and strength training for your legs.

Step ups


Get a step or a box that’s no taller than knee high. Step up with your right foot onto the box or step leaving your left foot suspended behind you. Step down and land on the left foot before switching legs and repeating on the other side.

Add Single-Leg Push-Offs

To take your step-ups to the next level, add a push-off at the end to add the joint-strengthening benefits of plyometric exercise and increasing the workload required of your muscles. This explosive movement will work your quads and the entire back of your leg. The higher the box or platform the more difficult the move will be, so start with a lower step or box.

Single Leg Push Ups


From standing, step onto the box with your right leg. Push up off your right leg and jump straight into the air above the box. Land back on the box on your right leg, then step down and repeat on your left leg.

Add Dumbbells

Adding weights to the step-up exercise increases the workload and positive stress placed on the muscles and joints of the lower extremities. Use your upper body to keep the weight of the dumbbells from swinging forward while still getting the added benefit of working each leg separately and equally.

Dumbbell Push Offs


To add resistance to a step-up, simply hold dumbbells at your side while performing the move which will require more balance and add a level of difficulty.

Remember to master the basics before attempting more difficult moves. As with all other exercises of this type, perform 3-4 sets of 10+ repetitions three times per week.

Go for it!

Back to the main Let’s Get Healthy Together page.