Exercising regularly is an excellent way to keep fit and healthy, which is why so many people take part in different regimes to meet their needs and requirements. This reason is mainly why working out is such an enjoyable part of everyday life as it can be flexible and carried out whenever is convenient. The fact that you are able to schedule training around your day to day life is what makes you excited to workout rather than dread it as you can cater it to suit you.

When it comes to the basics of exercising though, there are a variety of ways that this can be done. And within this post we will explore one type in particular, this being self-limiting. Below we will look further into everything about this style of exercising and various movements you can do which fall under this category.

What are Self Limiting Exercises?

Let’s begin with the basis that self-limiting exercises were built on. This is the fact that your body will be able to indicate easily to you when you are carrying the movement out incorrectly. And this signal will allow you ample time to adjust how you are exercising in order to avoid injury. This is where the words self-limiting comes from as when your limits are reached you need to ‘adjust or fail’ as it is known in the fitness world.

The exercises themselves are not meant to be complex, but they are meant to challenge your posture, balance and core engagement when doing them. However, when your body starts to indicate that it is hurting and needs adjusting, this should not be confused with the actual pain of injury. If this does happen while training it is highly advised that you stop exercising and allow your body to rest to avoid any further damage.

Jump RopeAlthough this exercise is very simple, the general technique of jump rope can be established at any age so is a great starting point for those looking to try this type of exercising.

Where jump rope challenges you most is your balance and timing when it comes to jumping at the correct point in time not to get caught in the rope as it comes around. This intense level of concentration will help you maintain a constant level of repetition in order to keep up the reps.

However, if the timing is off or if the focus is pulled, you will find that you will become out of sync with the movement of the rope. And here is where you would need to adjust your rhythm in order to continue with the exercise.

Goblet Lunge

A goblet lunge works by holding a kettle bell with both hands against your chest while lunging forwards or you could even try this to the side to engage additional muscles in your workout.

However, with the weighted descent, you would need to ensure that your core is engaged otherwise you will begin to fall forwards. If this happens you would need to stop yourself by dropping the weight or holding it in one hand but that would still send you off balance. So to avoid causing yourself injury, as soon as you feel yourself leaning forward, you would need to counteract it by straightening up by tightening your abs for balance.

Barefoot Running

Barefoot running is something that can be carried out on softer ground such as grass, sand, laminate and gym flooring to protect your feet from any harsh debris found outdoors on the paths.

When it comes to this form of self-limiting exercise you really need to pay attention to how your feet and ankles are feeling while jogging. As you do not have the added cushioning around the key areas of your feet, you will most certainly become more susceptible to injury if you do not take the proper precautions when running. For example if you are jogging with larger strides, you may start to feel a pain in your heels, and this can be easily adjusted by taking smaller strides.


When completing a pull-up, all of the tension is on your upper body and it is a massive test for your grip and strength of your back muscles in particular. The main reason why you would need to adjust your pull-up would be if your grip starts to loosen or you end up twisting your wrists as you pull. These will undoubtedly cause you great pain if you continue the exercise this way and you will eventually fall.

What you would need to do in that case is to cease the exercise as soon as you feel any pain or are finding it hard to grip the bar. If you try to adjust your grip and hand placement while you are using the bar you will also put yourself at risk of injury if you become off balance and slip.

Overtime you can increase the amount of pull-up repetitions in a row where you can continue comfortably, however it is advised to still pay attention to your limits as you build up this grip strength and stamina.

Single-leg Deadlift

This move is similar to the goblet exercise mentioned earlier in the sense that if the core is not engaged fully, you will risk falling forward and causing injury. The way this exercise works is that you have a kettle bell in one hand and then gradually extend one leg behind you and hinge at the waist, allowing the weight to pull your top half of your body towards the ground.

When performing this move, it is vital to keep your centre of gravity over the leg that you intend on balancing on when the other one is raised. If this weight shifts as you lift your leg and lean forwards, you will most certainly tip to one side, so you would need to correct this straight away if you feel it moving sideways.

Also, it is preferred that you carry out this exercise with a slightly bent knee, this makes the centre of gravity more stable compared to if your leg was straight. By having a straight balancing leg, as soon as you lower your body, your weight shifts over your knee and you will fall. This is why you would need to have it bent slightly to prevent this from happening as your knee will act as a counter weight to stop you leaning over the toes and going forward.

How do You Feel About This Type of Exercise?

Within this article we have explored a variety of exercises which are classed as self limiting due to the fact that they solely rely on you maintaining a solid body position and correcting yourself when needed to avoid injury.

Out of all of the example movements mentioned above, would you consider trying any out or do you find them beneficial if you do them at the moment? Also what are your thoughts and feelings on this type of exercise overall, do you like it? Find us on social media and let us know!

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This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury