COVID-19 Response

UW-Madison, Division of Extension is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic for the StrongBodies programs. Below is information for Current Leaders.


As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, over 5,000 participants have lost access to their local in-person StrongBodies programming. To respond, Extension has developed a virtual adaptation of the program so participants can maintain their strength and stay socially connected with their peers and leaders.

The virtual adaptation requires leaders to undergo additional training to ensure the necessary skills and capacity to facilitate these classes in a virtual setting. In addition, Extension is providing leaders with additional health and nutrition education materials and programming to ensure a richer experience for participants. Currently, over 5,000 participants across Wisconsin are actively enrolled in the virtual adaptation of the StrongBodies program.

Steps for Virtual Programming for All Leaders


Virtual StrongBodies classes can be offered to current, past, and new participants.

Steps to offer a virtual program:

  1. Locate StrongBodies materials (registration, enrollment, consent, and reporting forms)
  2. Make sure your information is updated on this StrongBodies Virtual Class Form
  3. Create and send out Registration Form (UW-Madison, Extension uses Qualtrics)
  4. Create a virtual  link for your class (i.e. Zoom)
  5. Recruit Participants
  6. Send out email confirmation (Sample below)



This email is to confirm your enrollment in the upcoming virtual StrongBodies program. If you have never used Zoom before, here is a video to assist: Here is the link that you will use to join each class by video (if you do not want to be seen on the video, you can turn your video off)



Here are additional resources:

StrongBodies Virtual Safety Checklist

StrongBodies Exercises

StrongBodies Exercise Log

Reminders for class:

  • computer/phone connection
  • sturdy chair
  • drinking water
  • hand & ankle weights
  1. (NEW PARTICIPANTS ONLY; never participated in StrongBodies) Set up 1-2 sessions as needed to go through the series of 12 exercises to ensure proper form and technique.
  2.  StrongBodies leader to complete required  Fidelity Check on your program with Terri Kolb (
  3. After the start of the workshop, be sure to Enter a Class Report with participant numbers.
  4. Have participants fill out the Virtual StrongBodies Participation Evaluation after they complete your program

Exercise Order for Virtual Programming

Exercises Modifications
Warm-up- 5 minutes x
1 Wide Leg Squat X10 Modified Squat
2 Overhead Press X10 Lateral Raise
Repeat 1 &2 x
3 Bent Forward Fly X10 Without weights
4 Bicep Curl X10 x
Repeat 3 & 4 x
5 Wrist Curl X10  Wrist up
6 Standing Calf X10 & Toe Raises (30 Sec) x
Repeat 5 & 6 x
Getting down to the floor x
7 Back Extension Left Side X10 hold for 8 sec each Standing back extension
8 Tummy Tuck  X10 hold for 8 sec each Chair Tuck
Repeat 7 (Right side)  & 8 x
9 Side Leg Raise left side X10Chest Press x10Side Leg Raise x10 Standing Side Leg Raise
10 Side Leg Raise right side X10Chest Press X10Side Leg Raise right side X10 Wall Push up
Repeat 9 & 10 x
11 Balance: One-legged Stork (hold up to 2 min) Modified
12 Stretches (30 seconds each):Hamstring, Quads, Chest, Lats x
13 Health/Nutrition/Socialization x

For FoodWIse Extension Leaders


Please view the StrongBodies Virtual Education Process for FoodWIse Educators. (File path within SharePoint: Curriculum & Program Delivery Models > Curriculum > Adults > SNAP-ed > Senior-Older Adult > StrongBodies Wisconsin > StrongBodies.)

This new document will help FoodWIse educators walk through the steps in setting up virtual StrongBodies classes (steps to setting up registration, Qualtrics surveys, confirmation emails, and equipment loan process)

Requirements for In-Person Programs

Current In-person StrongBodies Recommendations:

Guidelines for April through June 2021:

We know that many StrongBodies leaders and participants are eager to gather together again to learn and share. We at Extension share those feelings, and as the license holders for the StrongBodies in the State of Wisconsin, we’d like to share some information about how we’re handling in-person StrongBodies programming.

Keeping the health of everyone in our community in mind, we’re approaching our programming with intentional steps. These steps follow CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and UW-Madison guidance. These requirements are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 and in recognition of risk for severe illness.

In-person StrongBodies programming will be considered under the following conditions:

  • Outdoor events of up to a maximum class capacity
  • Indoor events with group size limited to 20 people or less
  • Physical distancing of greater than 6 feet
  • Shared equipment must be cleaned before and after use with a fresh bleach solution or GTECH spray. If GTECH spray is used, you must submit a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to the site/building coordinator.
  • Or participants may have personal, separated equipment, including exercise mat, weights, water bottle, towel, etc. If the equipment is stored at the location of the class, keep participants’ equipment separated and not assessable to others.
  • Indoors: Required face-covering to be worn at all times. (If participants feel like they are having a hard time catching their breath, they can temporarily lift their mask.)
  • Outdoors: Required face-covering to be worn before and after class
  • Do not enter class if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have any symptoms of any illness
  • Disinfect chairs before and after class

For Extension programs: Every in-person event with more than 10 total participants hosted or sponsored by Extension requires approval before the event by your Institute and Program. Events with 10 or fewer participants require Program Checklist form submittal into the SharePoint, but not prior approval. The checklist is a fillable PDF. To complete it, follow the steps: HERE

Steps for Returning to In-Person Classes:

  1. View the Program Planning COVID Checklist and follow all guidelines
  2. Ensure the site is suitable for an in-person program
    1. ○ Location with space appropriate to conduct group exercise and mini lessons for 8-15 participants with wheel-less chairs.
      ○ Space reserved for 8-12 weeks, 2 times/week on non-consecutive days for 1.5 hours each time (teaching time is 60 min. for StrongBodies, 20 min. nutrition education)
      ○ Participants are interested in participating in the entire length of the program.
  3. Schedule your workshop. Make sure to update the WI StrongBodies Map.
  4. Recruit participants (ideal class size 8-15)
  5. Participants complete registration forms (Welcome Packet)
  6. Communicate with all participants the COVID practices, as outlined in the program planning checklist:
    1. • PPE Equipment
      • Staggering of arrival time
      • Social distancing at all times for those not living in the same household
      • Participant sanitation upon entry and exit
      • Sanitation of all equipment prior to and after class by instructor- or asking participants to bring own equipment
      • Pre-class symptoms check by instructor/volunteer
      Plans to be notified of canceled class, if needed.
  7. Hold classes with proper COVID plans (Set up in circle if possible)
  8. After the start of the workshop, be sure to Enter a Class Report with participant numbers.
  9. Complete post-class evaluations at completion.

ALL UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN StrongBodies leaders (Extension Educators and Extension Volunteers):

  • We have continued to refine our approval process for in-person programs as we receive feedback and suggestions from you.  We recently added minor clarifications and additions to the Program Approval Checklist. Please use the updated version moving forward.
  • We also created a companion guidance document with additional context while completing the checklist. The document clarifies current operating guidelines, including the process for approval of recurring meetings, allowance for multiple 10 person subgroups at an outdoor location (for a maximum of 50 persons total), and completion of the form when partnering with another organization’s participants.  Continue to work with your supervisors and Institute directors when you have questions or concerns.

Additional Resources

Additionally, please take into consideration important environmental factors such as temperature and air quality when delivering a program.

**Please make sure your StrongBodies Classes are updated on the StrongBodies Website.


If you are unable to offer a virtual program in your county, there are a few options to offer your participants.

  1. Link to StrongBodies Recording from Wisconsin Public Television
  2. Link to StrongBodies Recording on YouTube
  3. Sign up for Virtual Programming offered to statewide participants.

“Well I did it. Got on the YouTube for it. All the exercises were the same as I did in Florida. Felt good to be able to do them once again.  A couple of them I was a bit rusty on since I have not been doing them. Thanks a million Jean, for setting me up with this program. Now I have to adjust my BUSY Tuesday and Thursdays to get this in. Ha Ha”

-80 year old virtual class participant

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