How to push through when gyms are closed

How to push through when gyms are closed

How to sustain your fitness and performance conditioning when gyms are closed

It sucks to have to modify workouts, whether because of injury or because your gym is closed due to COV-19.

That said, you can get a great workout with bodyweight exercises.  Adding mobility with bands, lacrosse balls, foam rollers, yoga are all great ways to keep your body moving.  The bottom line is to stay safe, be cautious, but do not overreact.  Here are some guidelines to protect yourself and others


Sustaining strength is possible even when training less

If you’ve been putting in consistent hard training, you are better prepared for times when you will need to miss a few workouts.  Same goes for mobility, if you have been training for it, it is easier to maintain and hard to loose unless you get complacent and stop your movement practice for a long time….keep moving.


Get Integrated Performance Care

Get regular chiropractic care, manual manipulative treatment, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy and corrective functional exercise.


If long-term consistency and high performance is your goal…

This is a great time to shore up weakness or “gaps” in your training.  If we are honest, we all could stand to be a little more consistent with “core” training (think planks, bridges, bird dog, anti-rotation banded presses).

Maybe you need to work on foot/ankle and hip mobility so that you can squat better.

Click here for CORE training and here for Mobility Training.  You can also find more exercises for shoulder, hip, foot and ankle, knee on these playlists:

Head & Neck




Foot & Ankle

Low Back

Elbow Wrist Hand

Use this downtime to increase your durability

For athletes, what they do in the off-season sets the stage and will dictate their success or failure in-season.  Take time to prepare during down time, your “off-season” and shore up nagging injuries so that you are ready to go when the tides change, and gyms re-open and so you are ready to get after it.

One of the hardest things to do is to consistently assess risk: reward in your training.  Using tech like checking heart rate variability can be great tools to assess your ability to handle stress.  Taking a day or a week to recover is way better than a torn tendon or muscle or  a more serious back or neck injury.  Be smart and work on your durability.

The importance of Deloading

 Giving your body the proper time to recover is a critical driver to long term success with your health and fitness goals.  How often you will need to take time to deload will depend on type of training you do and the intensity at which you train spread over a certain period of time.  For example, if training 5 days a week with very heavy loads for strength and power, an athlete may ramp up intensity over a 3 week period and then deload in week 4.  I am not a fan of taking an entire week off from training, but decreasing volume and intensity can get the engine back to neutral and ready to go for the next cycle.

Eating and Cheating

Eating whole foods is the goal.  High quality protein, complex carbs, lots of veggies.  Shoot between 80/20 and 90/10> 80-90 % good healthy eating.  If you consistently do that, you can spare the other 10-20 % and enjoy life.  Zig and Zag your way consistently course correcting by generally eating well.

Training with Teammates

We can do more, accomplish more when we have the human connection and accountability from working on a team and being part of a community bound by a common goal.


If you have been training for a while, you likely have a good library of exercises to choose from.  More than just changing exercise selection, look to vary your training with regard to reps, sets, intensity.  Many programs incorporate these concepts to keep the body in need of adaptation.  Beyond just variety in strength training, consider adding variety to your overall conditioning program.  Try yoga, breathing practice, meditation.  Try variety with your nutrition.  Try Paleo or Keto.  Substitute swimming for running.  Do Juijitsu.  Mix it up.


Dr. Matt Fontaine

Clinic Director Potomac Physical Medicine