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Easy Exercise: How To Make Exercises Easier

Updated on June 5, 2013
Me doing incline push ups on the stairs.
Me doing incline push ups on the stairs. | Source

Reduce The Weight

Body weight exercises use your body weight. You can't quickly reduce your body weight but you can reduce the weight of your clothes. Change into some lighter clothes to drop a few pounds. I just lost 5 pounds by changing my clothes. You can also alter the exercises so you are lifting less of your body. For instance when doing push ups you can lower your knees to the ground. This makes the push ups much easier. You could also do the push ups on an incline. When you do an incline push up your hands are above ground level and your feet are on the ground.

Reducing the weight of your clothes and lifting less of your body is the equivalent to switching to lighter weights. Another way to reduce the weight is to reduce your body weight. Get rid of some fat. If you are overweight then reducing the amount of fat on your body will make exercising easier. Improve your diet and be more active. It takes time but most people can lose 1 or 2 pounds within a week.

Me doing dumbbell curls.
Me doing dumbbell curls.

Build Up To It

If you want to do chin ups then it helps to have strong biceps. Dumbbell curls can strengthen your biceps. So it is a good idea to start with the dumbbell curls. If you want to run 12 miles then you should start with 1 mile and work up to 12 miles. Strengthen the muscles you are going to use before attempting something more difficult.

It should be a progression like walking up some stairs rather than climbing a wall. Taking it step by step can make the exercises much easier. Literally build up to it by building up your muscles.

Do Negatives

Lifting weights or your body weight is harder than lowering the weight. The positive part of the exercise is when you are pushing something away or pulling something towards you. You move the weight. The negative part of an exercise is when a force like gravity moves the weight. You just use your muscles to slow down the movement. If you are doing body weight exercises like push ups then lowering your body would be the negative part of the exercise.

You can make an exercise easier by spending more time on the negative part of the exercise than the positive park or by skipping the positive park. Rushing through the most difficult part of the exercise makes it easier. Skipping the hardest part means you are only doing half of the exercise. To skip the positive part while doing pull ups you can stand in the top position, lift your legs and lower yourself down. Then stand up again to get back into the starting position. For push ups go onto your knees, lean back and then get back into the raised push up position to avoid pushing yourself up.

When using weights switch from using one hand to two or two hands to four. You can lower a heavy dumbbell with one hand, grab it with your free hand and lift it back up into the starting position. If you are already using two hands then you can get a spotter to help you. They can grab the weight or your body and move it.


Simplify It

Exercises can require a combination of strength, balance, speed, endurance and good posture. Reducing the requirements makes the exercise easier. You can make a handstand easier by reducing the need to balance. To make it even easier you can reduce the need for endurance. Use a wall as support and lower yourself down shortly after getting into position. When you think you can handle more add endurance and balance back to the exercise.

Weight lifting with free weights requires strength, balance, endurance and good posture. Using an exercise machine can make it a lot easier. Most exercises can be simplified to make them easier.


Changing the way you breath can give you more power. Exhale during the positive part of the exercise and inhale during the negative part. Your breathing should be loud for exercises that require a lot of power. Time the breathing with the exercise when it is appropriate. If you are moving fast then breath fast. If you are moving slowly or not moving then breath slowing. Don't hold your breath and don't use shallow breathing. Breath deeply.

Attempt It

Tell yourself it is okay to fail. You don't need to successfully complete an exercise to benefit from the attempt. If you push yourself upwards it does not matter if you raise your body off the ground or not. If you pull yourself upwards it does not matter if your body stays on the ground. What matters is that you pulled or pushed. The same goes for lifting weights. Don't see failure as a reason to quit. If you can't complete an exercise make it easier by just attempting to do it.

I added some exercises to my workout routine that I could not do. Every day I attempted to do them. I treated them just like the exercises I could do. For example I added the L-sit to my list of exercises. I could not completely do the exercise but I could easily put my hands on the ground and push my body upwards. At first my body did not even move. After about a month I could push my body off the ground and hold the position for 30 seconds.

Most exercises are easy if you focus on the attempt rather than the completion of the exercise. You just need to try hard enough that you feel like you got a good workout.

I Can Do It

Your thoughts are important. Exercises are easier when you are focused on the exercise and you are thinking positive thoughts. Visualize yourself doing the exercise before you do it and use positive self talk. When you do the exercise be in the moment. If you are not focused and thinking positive thoughts then you are making it more difficult. Sometimes people decide they can not do an exercise and either don't attempt it or they don't put very much effort into it. Other times people think they are trying their best but their thoughts are holding them back.

I tried lifting a heavy dumbbell but I could not get it off the ground. Then told myself "I can do it." and I did. I went from not being able to lift it to doing 2 sets of 5 dumbbell curls. The only difference was that I changed my thoughts. Positive thoughts may not be enough to complete the exercise but they will make the exercises easier. When using self talk use repetition. I repeat the affirmations at least 5 times. You can use the visualizations and self talk right before you exercise or throughout the day to reprogram yourself.


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    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Yes. I found that the "bunny jump" exercise was hard for me to do with my hands on the ground and jumping both feet in towards the body then back out again, because I felt like it was constricting my breathing and at my age I need all the breath I can get. But by putting my hands on a bench or a step, I was able to do the exercise much more easily because my body didn't feel constricted. And as you say, better doing a modified form of an exercise, than no exercise at all!