Have you been procrastinating your strength training workouts because you don’t have an expensive gym membership? There’s no better time to start than the present because you can do an effective workout at home. These innovative exercises don’t require a lot of fancy equipment, either.
All you need is a small space in your house with enough room to move about safely. If you don’t have carpet, consider buying a quality exercise mat that is slip-resistant. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can find them in any sporting goods department or online.
For an optimal workout session, wear comfortable clothes that are breathable and won’t restrict your movement. You might also keep a fresh towel handy and set up a fan so that you don’t get overheated. Also, have a bottle of cold water at your side to prevent dehydration.
Innovative & Improvised Equipment
When you have a family and money is tight, pricey gym equipment may be out of the question. Did you know that most strength training workouts don’t require costly equipment? For the ones that involve weight lifting, you can be creative and use weighted things you have handy around the house, like books, canned food, or even cat litter.
Most fitness experts advise that you do strength training workouts for at least 30 minutes per day. They can easily be integrated into your regular cardio or core routines. Here are ten of the best exercises to consider for your strength training workouts.
When you lift weights as part of your strength training workouts, they provide resistance for your muscles and help burn fat. If you are new to weightlifting, consider talking to a certified fitness trainer about the weight capacity and exercises that are best for you. As your body becomes accustomed to it, you can gradually add more weights to lift.
If you have any health issues or problems with your back or joints, consult your primary health provider before beginning a weightlifting regimen. Never lift any more than your ability, and stop immediately if you feel undue pain or strain. If you don’t have dumbbells, you can use homemade weights.
1. Dead Lift
To do this maneuver, you will need a sturdy duffle bag with side handles, filled with canned goods or books. Next, stand flat on your exercise mat with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width. Grasp the handles of the duffle bag and hold it above your head, keeping your arms straight.
Now, bring your bottom and hips back and bend your knees into a squatting position with your back straight. Squat until your knees are level with your hips, then carefully return to the starting position to equal one rep. Do from 5-10 reps, taking care that you don’t strain your back or arms.
If you are a beginner or have back problems, you can modify this exercise by supporting your back against a wall. Doing deadlifts give your entire lower body an efficient workout from your obliques to your glutes.
2. Overhead Squat
Using the same sturdy duffle bag stuffed with cans or books, stand firmly on your exercise mat with your body straight and your feet aligned with your shoulders. Take a deep breath and expand your chest muscles while lifting your duffle bag and placing it across your shoulders. This is the starting position of the exercise.
Tighten your back, hips, and behind as you lift the duffle bag straight over your head. To prevent your neck from straining, move your head slightly back while you are lifting. Hold the weighted bag straight up for 1-2 breaths, then lower it back into the starting position. Try to do 10-12 reps.
These exercises are an optimal way of working the major muscle groups in your arms, neck, and upper back. You’ll notice how the muscles stretch as you do each repetition. Overhead squats are also beneficial to your core muscles.
3. Kettlebell Swing
If you don’t have a kettlebell, you can fill a large laundry detergent jug with sand or cat litter. As you stand on your exercise mat, grab the kettlebell’s handle (or the detergent jug) with both hands. Try to keep your arms straight while leaning slightly forward with your back straight and your behind out, like a squat. This is your starting position.
Use your core muscle strength to stand while you push your hips forward. The kettlebell will move forward to the chest level by the force of your body. Try not to use your arms to lift the weight. Lower your body and push your bottom out again to return to the starting position. Do 15-20 reps.
4. Hammer Curls
Do you want biceps that will be the envy of your friends? Why not try these muscle-building hammer curls. They give your arms a good workout as they tone and sculpt the muscles.
Stand comfortably on your exercise mat with a weight in each hand. Slowly bring the weights up toward your arms in a curling formation. Stop right before the weights touch your arms and hold for 1-2 breaths while tightening your biceps.
Slowly bring the weights back to the starting position to complete one repetition. Do these steps for 10-15 reps. As you build muscle, you can increase the weights evenly for each arm.
Body Weight Exercises
These next five exercises for your strength training workouts use the weight of your body for resistance. They provide an excellent way for you to burn fat and sculpt your body. You can purchase resistance bands cheaply anywhere sports and fitness equipment are sold.
5. Resistance Bands
To burn fat and build strength and endurance, your muscles require a resisting force. Consider adding resistance bands exercises to your strength training workout. These latex bands come in different sizes and can be used to shape your arms, legs, and parts of your body.
For thousands of years, yoga has been a holistic philosophy to benefit body, mind, and spirit. Yogic exercise uses gentle movement, poses, and mindful breathing to strengthen your muscles and make your joints more limber.
Whether you are a novice or an experienced yoga student, you can find poses to help get your body in shape. Use a quality exercise mat and other specialized equipment. There are many online tutorials that can get you started.
You can’t beat a crunch for the benefit of a sit-up without the added strain to your back. You can sculpt an impressive six-pack with them. Crunches can also help sculpt your back and shoulders. For your starting position, lie flat on your exercise mat with your hands behind your head, and bend your legs as if you were doing a sit-up.
Next, tighten your abdomen and core muscles as you raise your shoulders slightly from the mat. Only use these muscles and not your neck or arms. Notice the stretching sensation in your ab muscles as you hold this position for 1-2 breaths.
On the second exhale, lower your back slowly into the first position to make one rep. Aim to do at least 10-15 reps. For an extra bit of resistance, place a heavy book on your chest as you do the crunches.
8. Chair Dips
Remember that chair you used to slump in all day? How about using it as a tool for your strength training workouts? Chair dips work your shoulders and upper back muscles well.
Make sure you use a sturdy chair that won’t move. Put your chair on the exercise mat and stand in front of it, with your face looking toward the wall. Grab each side of the seat while bending on your knees and keeping your arms out straight. This is your first position.
Next, you want to bend your arms slowly till it forms almost a 90-degree angle. You should do this while you lower your body towards the ground. Hold this second position for 1-2 breaths, and slowly bring your body to the start position on the second inhalation. Do these steps for 5-7 reps.
9. Body Squats
These squats are excellent workouts for your glutes, hips, and thighs. Stand normally on your exercise mat with your feet aligned under your shoulders. Now, move your hips back and bend into a squatting position while keeping your back straight.
When your hips and knees are parallel, use your feet to jump up, straighten your body, and immediately return to the starting position. Do these for 5-10 reps.
Use an exercise mat or a carpeted floor for comfort. Nobody has ever left high school or the military without knowing how to do a classic pushup. Whether you loved or hated them, this traditional exercise should be part of your exercise routine. Feel free to modify them if regular ones hurt your back or neck.
First, lie flat on your exercise mat with your palms flat and a little wider than shoulder-width. Keep your back straight and balance on your tiptoes. As you inhale, use your arms and core strength to lift your body until your arms are straight.
Hold this position for 1-2 breaths, then lower your body to the starting position, doing 10-15 reps. Push-ups condition your whole body, especially your arms and upper torso muscles.
Final Thoughts: Try These Strength Training Workouts, and You Will See Quick Results
Strength training workouts can help shape your body and burn unwanted fat. Use them alone or with other weight training exercises.