I have trouble following along with a lot of exercise videos and classes, so I decided to do some research to see if I could use my favorite technology to create an audio-based exercise routine that I could use as needed. My favorite option that I discovered was the ability to create custom workouts with Amazon Alexa, a tool that I use several times a day as a student with low vision. Here are my tips for creating custom workouts and exercise routines with Amazon Alexa and the official Alexa Skill Blueprints website.
All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Consult with your physician before beginning any exercise or health care program.
What are Alexa Skill Blueprints?
Alexa Skill Blueprints are a free official Amazon tool that allow users to create their own custom Amazon Alexa skills. There is no coding required and the finished skills are linked to the user’s Amazon account for use across all devices. Creating a skill is as simple as typing in a text box and skills can be customized in a variety of different ways. Information shared with the skill stays private and is not added to the public Amazon Alexa Skill website. Alexa Skill Blueprints require users to have an Amazon Echo device- I have an Echo Dot and love it!
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About the Personal Trainer skill
The Personal Trainer skill was created to help users create their own structured workout routines that they can use throughout the week. Users can create several different workouts and edit them from the Alexa Skill Blueprint website by changing the exercises and their duration. The default command for the Personal Trainer skill is “Alexa, start my workout.”
After clicking on the “Make Your Own” button, users are taken to a page where they can begin customizing their skill, starting with a list of exercises they would like to have available to choose from when creating a workout. Users can add as many exercises as they want by clicking the “Add Exercise” button, and edit the names of exercises as needed.
Default exercises that are listed in the Alexa Personal Trainer skill include:
- High Knees
- Jog in Place
- Jump Squats
- Jumping Jacks
- Leg Lifts
- Wall Sits
Creating and scheduling workouts
After choosing exercises, users can then start to create and schedule their own workouts by following these instructions:
- Type in a name for the workout (e.g Cardio)
- Choose what day(s) of the week to play the workout- users will need to launch the skill themselves, but their workout will automatically play on set days
- Choose an exercise from the left drop-down menu, along with the duration from the right drop-down menu. Users can choose to do one exercise for 15-75 seconds, and will need to repeat this for each additional exercise
- Click the “Add Exercise” link at the bottom of the screen to add additional exercises
- Choose the number of sets, or repetitions, for each workout, up to 5
Users can add as many exercises to a workout as they want, and can also set up multiple different workouts a day, which will play in order. Users can create an unlimited amount of workouts in the Alexa Personal Trainer skill.
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Customizing sounds and phrases
Users can choose to customize different sounds and phrases for their workout, including:
- Introduction- Alexa will choose one of these messages at random when the user opens the skill
- Sounds to start/end exercises- users can choose from a variety of different categories for each sound
- Start workout phrases- Alexa will choose one of these messages at random when the user starts a new workout
- Encouragement phrases- Alexa will choose one of these messages at random to say during a user’s workout
- Workout complete phrases- Alexa will choose one of these messages at random when the user finishes with their workout
- Progress report- Alexa will choose one of these messages at random when the user asks for a progress report update, which will tell them how many workouts they have done this week
For the last step of the Alexa Personal Trainer skill setup, users can customize the name of their skill so that it’s easier to remember or activate on their device. Users can create multiple different versions of the Personal Trainer skill with different names so that they can have different routines stored- for example, a warm-up and cool-down skill.
Some potential uses for the Personal Trainer skill include:
- Creating a playlist of exercises for Adaptive PE classes
- Trying out different exercise routines from social media
- Customizing a warm-up routine for other forms of exercise
- As a way to do guided stretches during a study break or before bed
- As an extension of physical therapy at-home exercises
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I love getting to create my own custom Amazon Alexa skills with the Alexa Skill Blueprints website, and I know the Personal Trainer skill will be useful as I try to incorporate different stretches and simple exercises to help me deal with muscle spasms and similar issues. I hope that this post is helpful for others as well!