Gentle Strength Training Exercises

This post is about gentle strength training exercises for chronic illness or surgery recovery.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on how I built strength when living with a chronic illness. I talked about building both physical strength and emotional strength, or resilience. I think both were very important in my recovery, and I truly believe that yoga can help build both kinds of strength.

In the article, I mentioned that when I was really ill, I did a few gentle exercises so that I could retain some muscle mass. I think retaining muscle mass is really important, as you will then expend less energy when you're doing basic physical tasks.

So, I decided to record a short video of the routine that I did! It's only about 5 minutes long and you can adjust the sequence according to your strength and fitness levels right now.

The video is suitable for all ability levels, but, of course, your body is your best teacher. If anything doesn't feel right, slowly come out of the pose and wait until the next exercise. If you haven't done something similar before, it's always best to talk with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before starting a new routine.

Here is the video of gentle strength training exercises

(and I apologize that I'm a bit cut off ?)


List of strength exercises:

  1. Toe stands: 2 x 10
  2. Wide-legged squats: 5
  3. Yogi push-ups with the knees down: 2 x 5
  4. Dolphin plank: 10 seconds
  5. Sphinx pose: 30 seconds
  6. Child's pose (relax): 30 seconds

I hope these gentle strength training exercises can help you maintain or build muscle mass and aid in your recovery process.

I'd love to hear how you find the exercises! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Happy strength-building!

gentle strength training exercises

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6 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for this Kayla! These are so great!! Can you tell me, if you have knee issues (mine get crunchy on up and down movement and can get sore easily), is a minimal movement in the wide legged squat still beneficial for building the quads up? Thanks so much!!
    • Yes! I had some knee troubles a few years ago and I did 1/4 narrow squats. I used a block to squeeze between my thighs, and brought my hips about half way down to my knees. It was very beneficial and also helped strengthen my inner thigh muscles which helped with the knees.
    • I just discovered this today after searching for gentle strength training exercises. I have Hashimoto's and have really been struggling with working out as I can't do anything too intense. This was perfect for me! Thanks so much for posting!
  2. Thank you Kayla. I was much more active before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. As I'm aging into my 40's, it's difficult to deal with my body changes and not being able to exercise like I should. These videos and practices are wonderful.
    • It can be difficult when our bodies change due to illness and age, but I think the yogic philosophy of meeting myself where I am each day is super helpful for me. I'm so glad you found these exercises helpful, Christianne!
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