Understanding how joints function is vital in understanding how the body moves. This information is needed by personal trainers and everyday exercisers like you in order to truly understand what is happening during training. With at-home exercise, this is doubly important, as all the fancy signs and diagrams you find at the gym are gone, so it helps to know what’s going on and why to do certain exercises or to hire someone who does!
As always, check with your doctor if needed before trying a new exercise program. While not a complete list of joints by any stretch, here are six notable joints we’ll focus on in this article, along with exercises you can do at home that involve that joint:
At-Home Exercise by Major Joints
1 – Hips:
Your hip joint is a ball and socket joint controlling movement of your leg about your midsection. Examples for at-home exercise include performing hinging at the hips with single leg deadlifts, and squats weighted with everyday objects like a gallon jug of water or a backpack of water bottles.
2 – Knees:
Your knee joint is a hinge joint responsible for bending and straightening your legs. Two exercises you can do at home involving your knees include reverse lunges and step ups elevated onto a stair step.
3 – Shoulders:
Your shoulder joint is ball and socket joint controlling movement of your arms as a whole in all directions. Exercises at home to get the shoulders moving include an overhead press with a bag of potatoes and reverse flies with large water bottles.
A great example of an at-home exercise involving all three of the above joints: hips, knees, and shoulders is an overhead squat, keeping your hands overhead while sitting into a squat, then standing back up.
4 – Wrists:
Your wrists are a gliding joint that is responsible for the movement of your hands throughout daily life and exercise. An example of an at-home exercise involving your wrist is a bicep curl holding a gallon jug of water by the handle.
5 – Fingers:
Your fingers are hinge joints giving you dexterity, and of which your thumbs make you officially a primate! Exercises at home that involve these joints include rice digs, running your hands through a bucket of excess rice, and suitcase carries, stabilizing a heavy object on one side while walking and keeping your grip tight.
6 – Neck:
Your neck is a pivot joint critical for the movement and function of your head. A heads-up exercise you can do at home is the static strengthening routine for the neck, pressing in one direction at a time against either your hand or a towel.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you got some valuable information! To help turn that information into action, we’re offering you a complimentary workout with one of our in-home or on-site Personal Trainers! You can schedule yours by calling (844) 704-9477, or sharing your contact information here so we can reach out to schedule!
This article was inspired by work from Golden Home Fitness Coach Jake Freedman and adapted for use here with permission.