5 Cues for Solo Workouts

Small, smart changes to your form can make a big difference in your performance.

When you’re in a group fitness class, it’s arguably easier to perform exercises properly, using good form; an instructor is present to give you cues. However, if you’re at home or on your own, you may not pay quite as much attention to what your body’s doing while you exercise. Form—and ensuring that you’re executing exercises correctly—matters. Below, form checks for popular moves will keep you accountable even during solo workouts.

Push-up

Flex your feet and squeeze your heel bones together to activate your glutes. Keep your abdominals lifted, shoulders activating down your back, and pelvis in neutral alignment. Avoid lifting your tailbone up and shortening the front of your hips. 

Plank

Brace your abdominals in and up. Drop shoulders down the back. Avoid looking under your body and lifting pelvis higher than the height of your shoulders. Focus your eyes right between your forearms, keeping your neck long.

Triceps dip 

Keep abdominals inward, and knees squeezing together, to activate your inner thighs.

Upward-facing dog

Activate your quadriceps to protect your lower back and keep the tops of your feet on the floor.

Lunge

If you’re using dumbbells, retract and depress your shoulders, and hold your arms between the front foot and back knee. In doing so, you’ll distribute equally the force of the movement between the knee and the hip. This does two things: It forces the hips and glutes to work harder while taking some of the stress off the knee joints.