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STRENGTH TRAINING EXERCISES FOR A STRONGER, HEALTHIER, AND LEANER YOU

STRENGTH TRAINING EXERCISES FOR A STRONGER, HEALTHIER, AND LEANER YOU

There are many ways in which you can keep yourself fit and healthy. Merely losing weight and staying in shape is not enough to call yourself fit and healthy. Body strength is a significant component that decides your fitness. Strength not only makes you strong but also prepares you to do more and more workouts without wearing out. Your strength is your stamina that keeps you going to perform all physical functions, including exercises. 

 To acquire this strength, one has to work on the muscles, which is done through strength training or weight training. This may sound complicated and something for which you may need a skilled trainer. But the truth is that you can do it at home with good knowledge and a little experience. Read ahead to learn some simple yet effective exercises you can do in the comfort of your home with and without exercise equipment. But before that, let us understand what strength training is. 

 Strength training or weight training, as we call it, is a method of working up your muscles with the help of resistance against a force or weight. Now, this can be your own body or the external equipment, like dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, pulley machines, and even resistance bands and machines. Body weight and free weight, both exercise styles, are achievable at home. All you need are some good exercises, like the ones below, and excellent quality equipment. 

 

EXERCISES USING BODY WEIGHT

Body weight training is the easiest and most cost-efficient. All you need is an exercise mat, and you are good to go. After a little warm-up, you can perform the below exercises while breathing correctly and doing controlled movements.  

Lunges

Lunges mainly work on your lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It is the simplest exercise you can start with.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bring one foot forward, and lower your hip towards the floor, low enough to make a ninety-degree angle at the knee joint.
  2. Keep your back straight and your hands on your waist for balancing. Hold this position for a few seconds and then return to the starting point.
  3. Do fifteen to twenty reps and repeat with the other leg.

Squats

Squats may look easy to perform but take a lot of effort. But do not worry; you can achieve your target with proper movement and correct breathing.

How to do it:

  1. Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bring your hips down like you are sitting on an invisible chair.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, and then stand again.
  4. Ensure that your back is straight and your knees do not go beyond your feet during this. Your knee and ankle should be in a straight verticle line.

Planks

Planks are considered one of the most effective strengthening exercises that work on the whole body. It mainly engages the core and works on endurance and the entire body.

How to do it:

  1. Lie down on your belly and raise your body by resting only your arms, forearms, and toes on the floor.
  2. Look ahead and keep your head, chest, abdomen, and legs in a straight line. Do not raise your hips for comfort; keep them low. It is important to keep breathing and your core tight while you hold in this position for at least 30 seconds to one minute.
  3. Repeat as per your strength. Slowly you can increase the minutes you stay in the hold position.

Pushups

As a common misconception, pushups are not just for men; women can do them too. This exercise works well on the chest, arms, triceps, shoulders, and abdomen. It pretty much covers the upper body.

How to do it: 

  1. You can start by taking the plank position; the only difference is that you have to rest on your palms facing downwards, arms stretched open.
  2. Keep your back flat, and core tight, and bring your body down until almost your chest touches the ground. Keep the body stiff and straight.
  3. Go back to the start position and repeat at least five to eight times; slowly, you can increase the number as per your strength.

EXERCISES USING FREE WEIGHT

If you want to up your game, then after gaining some strength, you can move on with the free weight in the form of dumbells, kettlebells, barbells, etc. These are best for home gyms because they do not require installation, are handy, do not take up too much space, are affordable, and are easy to use without the help of an instructor.

Shoulder Press with Dumbbell

Let us start with the upper body and pick up those dumbbells set. It targets the shoulders and arms and shows promising results in strengthening the core and chest. 

How to do it:

  1. Start by standing on feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Take dumbbells in either hand, facing outwards or towards the body.
  3. Raise the dumbbells above till you can fully stretch your arms.
  4. Bring them down over the shoulder and raise them again.
  5. Do two to three sets with eight to twelve reps. Perform it slowly, feeling the tension in your muscles. 

Biceps Curls with Dumbbell or Barbell

There is more than one way in which you can do a biceps curl. It targets the biceps brachii muscle. This one can be done with a dumbbell or a barbell set. 

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbell n both hands.
  2. Keep the wrists out in front and slowly bring the dumbbell towards your chest; hold for two seconds and go back to straight hands.
  3. You can start by doing two to three sets of ten to twelve reps. It is essential to do it slowly and not jerk the muscles.

Tricep Kickback with Dumbbell

From the biceps, let’s move the focus to the triceps and shoulder by doing a tricep kickback with the help of a dumbbell. 

How to do it:

  1. Take dumbbells in both hands and bend the upper body at about forty-five degrees.
  2. Keep your arms along the torso and slightly bend your knees.
  3. Now bend your elbows and bring your forearms towards the chest until you form a ninety degrees angle.
  4. Hold for two seconds and straighten your arms again.
  5. Repeat ten to twelve times. Do two to three such sets. You can also do this with one hand at a time.

Pro Tip: When doing different exercises with dumbbells, you may need different weights for each one of them. To avoid buying multiple weights, you can opt for Flexnest’s Flexibell, which is like having many dumbbells in one. By rotating the dial, you can shed or load more weight and save the space and chaos of handling multiple dumbbells. 

Hip Extension with Resistance Belt

Resistance belts may look simple but are helpful in achieving great targets. These are easy to handle and provide many variations in exercises. Hip extension, when done with belts, gives a better workout compared to without it. 

How to do it:

  1. Come in a standing position and loop the belt around both ankles.
  2. Keep your body straight and take the left foot back as far as you can without bending the knee. You may take the support of a wall to balance yourself.
  3. Bring back the foot and repeat ten times.
  4. Replicate the same with the right foot. 

Romanian Deadlift with Kettlebell

A kettlebell is another weight training equipment that one can use in the home gym. Deadlifts with kettlebells set target the hips, back of the legs, and hamstrings. While you perform, it also takes effort from the core. 

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold one kettlebell in both hands in front of the thighs.
  3. Push your hips backward and bend down, keeping your back straight; lean till your torso becomes parallel to the floor.
  4. Come back to the start position.
  5. Repeat eight to ten times. You can repeat sets as per your comfort. 

Strength training can start with bodyweight exercises and can be taken a level higher with free weights. Choose the right kind of free weights to ensure your fitness journey is fruitful and effective. Regular exercise and a persistent attitude toward strength training can make you stronger, healthier, and leaner.

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