Strength training is an important part of any fitness routine because it helps make us stronger and also builds muscle endurance.

With strength training, we move our body against some type of resistance, such as:

  • our body weight
  • free weights, like dumbbells or barbells
  • resistance bands, also known as resistance tubing or workout bands
  • resistance machines, like cable machines, single-exercise machines, or multi-gym systems

Strength training is a type of workout that can be done in many different locations. While it is a popular exercise at gyms, it can also be done in a person’s home.

If you’re looking to get started with strength training at home, this article will tell you what you need and give you some examples of exercises to include in your workout.

What Are the Benefits of Strength Training?

Research has shown that strength training can benefit your health and fitness in many different ways. According to the Mayo Clinic, strength training may help:

  • build lean muscle mass
  • reduce body fat
  • burn calories more efficiently, even after you’ve exercised
  • boost metabolism and make weight loss easier
  • increase bone density and improve bone health
  • boost flexibility and improve range of motion
  • improve brain health and cognitive functions
  • reduce the symptoms of many chronic conditions, including back pain, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease
  • improve posture, balance, and stability
  • raise energy levels
  • improve mood and overall sense of well-being

What Are the Benefits of Working Out at Home?

A workout routine at home can be easy and convenient, so you don’t have to go to the gym.

  • It saves time. There’s no traveling or waiting for machines or equipment.
  • It’s low cost. There are no gym fees or expensive equipment needed.
  • Work out anytime. You can exercise on your schedule, no matter the time of day or night.
  • Privacy. You can work out without feeling self-conscious.
  • Go at your own pace. There’s no pressure to keep up with those around you or to push yourself beyond what’s comfortable.

Getting Started 

When you have found a comfortable place to workout, the first step is to start putting together a strength training routine. You will want to find an area that has enough room for you to move your arms and legs freely.

You don’t need to invest in much equipment, but if you do want to purchase a few items, here are some that may be helpful:

  • an exercise mat
  • resistance bands or tubing
  • dumbbells
  • a kettlebell
  • a stability ball
  • a medicine ball

If you’re new to strength training, there are many online workout routines for beginners that can help you learn how to do different exercises with proper form, as well as how to warm up and cool down correctly.

Start With a Warmup

Before beginning your workout, it is important to do a warmup routine for 5-10 minutes. This can include activities such as brisk walking, jogging, or other movements that work your major muscle groups.

Bodyweight Strength Training Exercises

When your muscles are warmed up, start doing a series of bodyweight exercises.

You can use an exercise mat if the floor is too hard.

You should perform the exercises slowly, using smooth and controlled movements.

Lunges

The basic lunge exercise works the muscles in the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

To do this exercise:

  1. Start by standing up tall, feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step forward with your right foot, and lower your hips toward the floor until your right leg is at a 90-degree angle and your left knee is parallel to the ground. Make sure your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes.
  3. Lengthen your spine to keep your torso upright.
  4. Hold this position for 5 seconds or longer.
  5. Then step your right foot back to meet your left, and repeat this movement with your left leg.
  6. Repeat 10 to 12 times, then rest briefly and do another set.

Lunges can be varied by walking, jumping, adding a torso twist, or stepping to the side.

Squat to Overhead Raise

If you are new to strength training, a good place to start is by raising your arms overhead without any weight. Once you have perfected your technique, you can add light dumbbells and gradually increase the weight.

This workout not only tones your butt and leg muscles, but also works the muscles in your abs, back, and shoulders, as well as your arms.

To do this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your arms alongside your body.
  2. Slowly lower your hips down into a squat position.
  3. Press up to come back into standing and raise your arms overhead.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Do 1–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions.

Planks

The plank is an excellent exercise for improving your overall strength and stability, as well as targeting specific muscles groups such as your core, back, chest and shoulders. This makes the plank a great all-round exercise for anybody looking to improve their fitness levels.

To do this exercise:

  1. Rest on your forearms and toes only, keeping your body in a straight line with your buttocks clenched and your abdominal muscles engaged.
  2. Try to hold this position for 30 seconds. If that’s too hard, start with 20 seconds.
  3. As you gain strength and fitness, try to hold the plank position for 1 minute or longer.

If you want to make the plank more challenging, you can try lifting one leg at a time while you’re holding the position.

Pushups

The standard pushup targets the muscles in the chest (pectorals), as well as the shoulder muscles, triceps, and abdominals.

To do this exercise:

Lower your chest down to the floor, then press back up to the starting position. Start by placing your palms on the floor directly under your shoulders. Lower your chest down to the floor and then press back up to the starting position.

Keeping your back flat and bracing your core, lower your body by bending your elbows until your chest is an inch or two from the floor.

As soon as you push your body up, return to the original position.

Do 8 to 12 repetitions of the following exercises, starting with 1 or 2 sets and gradually working up to 3 sets as you get stronger.

Doing pushups with your weight on your knees instead of your toes is an easier version of the exercise.

Some more difficult versions of pushups are plyo pushups, close stance pushups, and decline pushups.

Pack on Muscle at Home

If anything can be taken away from the pandemic regarding fitness, it’s that bodyweight exercises can be just as good as any other type of exercise. Those who didn’t appreciate this before March 2020, definitely do now.

Bodyweight exercises are an effective way to improve your strength and size without the need for a gym membership. These exercises can be done in your home with little to no equipment and don’t require a spotter to help you.

A recent study by Kennesaw State University shows that bodyweight exercises are more effective than running on a treadmill in terms of providing a “greater training stimulus.” The study consisted of a 20-minute CrossFit bodyweight AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) containing five pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats.

Bodyweight exercises are the best way to build a solid foundation for gains.

The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises

If you need some convincing to try bodyweight exercises, here are a few reasons why you should. Bobby Windebank, personal trainer, runs through the many benefits of adding weights-free training to your routine:

Bodyweight Exercises are Accessible

“Bodyweight training can be modified for whatever fitness level you are,” says Windebank. “Whether you’re starting at zero and trying to do one press-up or you’re a seasoned athlete, bodyweight exercises can be incredibly challenging and beneficial. Progressing the exercises is also very straightforward, so you can keep challenging yourself and building strength.”

Bodyweight Exercises Will Increase Your Mobility and Stability

“We were born to move, and mobility and stability are an essential part of the way we move and life in general,” Windebank explains. “Weightlifting can have many positive effects on your body, but it can also limit your mobility. The movements involved in bodyweight exercises can help to increase that mobility and challenge the body’s ‘stabilizers’ by using complete movements. This can, in turn, lead to strength gains in the gym.”

Bodyweight Exercises are Brilliant for Developing Technique

“Bodyweight exercises are a great way to hone your technique and form,” says Windebank. “Weightlifting can take a serious toll on your body and in particular, your joints. With bodyweight training, the stress on your joints is lower, so you’re less likely to pick up an injury that could hamper your long-term training.”

Bodyweight Exercises Can Be Quick and Easy

“These days, everybody is time-poor, so finding quick, effective workouts is essential,” Windebank explains. “Fortunately, bodyweight exercises don’t require a dedicated gym, so you can fit in a workout whenever you have some spare time, wherever you are. Bodyweight workouts also allow you to combine cardio and strength training, meaning you can smash that workout most efficiently.”

Can Bodyweight Exercises Build Muscle?

Although bodyweight exercises can be as effective as weights when it comes to muscle hypertrophy, some people may feel that they are not as beneficial.

Bodyweight exercises can help you build muscle without needing extra weight. According to research published in Physiology & Behaviour, a study by the University of Valencia found that press-ups are as effective as bench presses for building strength.

 

You're Invited to the Free Masterclass

Reach Your Ideal Body Weight and Feel Great About Yourself, Without Restrictive Diets

REGISTER NOW FOR IMMEDIATE ACCESS

Join the Group ...

About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

Learn More About Elegant Eating and How to Get Started

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!