All of us are spending more time at home and many of us may be wary of going to the gym, so let’s review creative ways to exercise at home. Strength training is a great home exercise because it does not need a lot of equipment and can be done on days when you don’t want to do cardio, like a walk or a run.
Before starting any fitness routine, you should consult your physician to ensure the exercises are safe for you!
Strength training is an important part of overall health and fitness for everyone, regardless of age, shape, or size. Two or three 20-30-minute strength training sessions each week can result in significant wellness benefits; including:
Stronger bones: Weight bearing exercise can increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.
Increased muscle mass: Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but strength training can help reverse the trend.
Weight control: As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more easily, making it easier to control your weight.
Joint flexibility: Strength training helps joints stay flexible and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Balance: Strength exercises can increase flexibility and balance as people age, reducing falls and injuries.
Calorie Burn: The greater your muscle mass, the more calories you burn throughout the day and when you exercise.
Strength training does not require any equipment. You can use your own body weight to do a lot of different exercises such as pushups, pullups, planks and air squats. If you are ready to start using equipment, you can add:
Resistance bands: Resistance bands are inexpensive and provide great resistance, especially if you don’t have access to free weights. These bands vary in thickness and resistance and can be found at almost any sporting goods store, and online.
Free weights: Barbells, dumbbells and kettlebell are classic strength training tools. If you don't have weights at home, you can use soup cans, water bottles, or anything heavy lying around your house. Get creative!
Weight machines: Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can invest in weight machines for use at home, too.
What are some examples of strength training exercises?
There are many exercises to choose from but let’s go through how to perform some of the basics that require minimum to no equipment:
Squats: Squats are great to challenge most of the muscles in your body. Check out this short video to learn more about how to perform a squat correctly.
Lunges: Lunges help strengthen your lower body and increase both core strength and muscle tissue. Check out this short video on how to do a proper lunge.
Push-ups: Push-ups are one of the most effective body weight exercises. Check out this short video to learn four different variations in order to master the push-up.
Let’s do a workout together!
This workout is designed to be completed in the comfort of your own home! Absolutely no equipment is needed, however if you have dumbbells or resistance bands at home, feel free to add them in for extra resistance!
This is designed to be a circuit workout. You will perform each exercise back to back to complete a single round. Set a timer for 20-30 minutes and complete as many rounds of the circuit as possible during this time.
Plank hold – 30 seconds
Squats – 15 reps
Pushups – 10 reps
Walking lunges – 12 each leg
Burpees – 8 reps
Rest after the last exercise (burpees) and then repeat! Try to limit your rest times between rounds to keep your heart rate elevated.