Scaling Your Workout

About a month ago, I took on some regular classes at ENRGi Fitness in River North. You can find me there on Sundays for S.W.A.T. at 10:15 and Shredded at 11:05. The reason I love teaching at ENRGi is that the gym focuses on making each and every exercise scalable and challenging for anyone at any fitness level.

That’s important for a lot of reasons, including safety, but the biggest reason is this: being able to scale exercises keeps you feeling like you’re able to always do the workouts while also feeling challenged no matter your fitness level. If you’ve ever walked into a class that was so challenging you couldn’t do it, chances are, you didn’t go back.

The important thing to remember is that your workout is personal and we all start somewhere. Your “somewhere” may be tomorrow or your somewhere may have started as you got serious about a sport.

Never feel bad in a class about doing a push-up on your knees if you’re truly challenged by it, but always remember to push yourself as you get stronger. If you’ve been thinking of getting started with fitness or you’re just interested in scaling your workout to be more challenging, try theses levels,

Push-ups: the goal here is that your body will be in a plank position as you do your pushups. When you’re on your knees, a plank is a straight line from shoulders to knees.

Beginner move: Push-ups on the wall can be done with a narrow or diamond variation.

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Level 1: Push-ups on the knees

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Level 2: Push-ups on your toes

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Level 3: Push-ups with a toe lift

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Planks: Your goal here is to keep your body in a straight line while also keeping your core tight.

Level 1: Planks at an inclineasweatlife_Scaling Your Workout_13

Level 2: Planks on the knees

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Level 3: Planks on toes

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Crunches in a table top: The goal of this exercise is to keep your lower back glued down to the floor as you’re crunching up. Advance as you’re able to do that.

Level 1: Feet against the wall in a table top

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Level 2: legs in a table top

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Level 3: Straighten legs at a 45 degree angle

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Squat: With perfect form, your butt will go back as you go down, your posture should stay up and your weight will stay in your heels.

Level 1: with support for the bottom of your movement.

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Level 2-3: bodyweight squat and weighted squat. Once you have the bodyweight squats down, you can add some weight to this motion. I don’t squat as low as some, but I have a touchy knee.

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Level 3: Jump squats

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These are just four examples, but every exercise can be scaled.

(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.