Therapist demonstrating correct push-up form


Check Your Form: Five Exercises You Can Do Without Equipment 

Posted By Gina Clark, PT, DPT


Right now, it’s so important to find ways to keep moving! This home workout requires no equipment, uses minimal space and targets your upper and lower body. To get the maximum benefits, correct form in doing them is KEY. The following are common mistakes and how to check your form.

1. Side-lying leg lift

Lying on your side, place your foot and shoulders flat against the wall. Keep your toe pointing forward as you raise your leg. Don’t let your shoulders and heel come away from the wall. You should feel this one working at the side of your hip.

Side-lying leg lift form

2. Squats

Keeping your knees behind your toes, shift your weight through your heels. Sink your hips back as if you are about to sit down in a chair.  

Squat Form

3. Reverse partial lunges

Keeping your front foot stationary, slide or step back with your other foot. Allow your front knee to bend, and make sure that your knee stays behind your toe, as in the last exercise. Focus on keeping your knee over your ankle, and don’t let your knee tilt inward. Doing this exercise correctly will engage your gluteus medius muscle at the side of your hip.

Reverse partial lunges form

4. Push-ups 

Are you taking part in the push-up challenges on social media? Make sure you’re maintaining the correct form. Keep your bottom down and elbows in, and don’t let your head drop.

Push-ups form

5. Shoulder-blade squeeze 

Allow your shoulder blades to guide the pinching motion, rather than your arms. Image you have a $100 bill on your spine, and you want to grab it with your shoulder blades. Maintain good posture, and be careful not to hunch your shoulders.

Shoulder blade squeeze form


Gina Clark, PT, DPT

Gina Clark is one of our outpatient physical therapists at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is now offering physician and therapy TeleHealth appointments to provide patients easy access to our expert clinical teams. New and existing outpatients can schedule and appointment at 312.238.1000 or here.

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