Resistance Training At Home

Resistance training is a type of training that will improve your muscles strength and muscular endurance. 

When you think of resistance workouts most people think about heavy weight training- lifting weights, but the idea is to use less resistance and to do higher reps. 

It is very similar to strength training, although with strength training exercises you should aim to use more resistance and less reps.

If you are someone who is into heavy weight training, which is ideal if you want to get strong and aesthetically can make you look great, you may find that it limits your mobility if that's all you are doing. 

By adding in some strength training exercises using your own body as resistance you can greatly improve your mobility, stability and flexibility. 

Therefore regardless of your goals, all these exercises are a good addition to your workout plan.


Bodyweight Exercises

Body weight exercises are a great way to train at home and you don't need a certified personal trainer to get you started. 

Body weight exercises are a variety of exercises that you do with just your body weight. 

You don't need free weights or fancy equipment; however, you can add in resistance bands to aid you if needed or use them to make the workouts harder. 

They are great for anyone, whether you are new to exercise or a regular gym goer.

Body weight exercises are also great if you want to build muscle mass, burn calories and are ideal for weight loss.

Most body weight workouts work your core. Core exercises are not just for abs, but your lower back muscles, and the muscles surrounding your hips and pelvis. 

Having a fitness routine that improves your core strength will massively help you in everyday life doing everyday tasks, helping you avoid injury.

Any weight bearing exercise will improve your bone density. 

After you hit your thirties, naturally your bones become less dense. You won't even know this is happening, it happens to everyone. 

But your bones will respond to exercises that include a form of weight bearing by growing stronger and denser. 

Doing as little as 15 minutes, 3 times a week will improve your bones density helping to fight off osteoporosis.

If you perform your body weight workouts at a high tempo, it will double as cardiovascular exercise. 

Cardio exercise will strengthen your heart and your blood vessels, improving the flow of your blood around the body. 

Cardio is also perfect for weight loss; it can help lower your blood pressure and really improve your sleep quality.

It is also great for your mental health.

 

Strength training

Strength training covers a range of different exercises, from bodyweight exercises to weight lifting.

The idea being that strength training is anything that uses weight against us, it can be your own bodyweight or weights in the gym.

As we get older, lean muscle mass decreases and your body fat can increase.

A strength training routine, even as little as 2 or 3, 30-minute sessions a week can stop this from happening and help maintain your muscle mass.

Strength training is also great for women's health, contrary to what some people believe, strength training is not going to make you look hugely muscular and bulky overnight.

It is actually quite hard for a woman to build large muscle masses, instead these exercises will really help you tone up and give your body a defined look.

You would have to be in the gym for a very long time, weight training with heavy loads and a certified personal trainer to develop your body in that way.


The Importance Of Warming Up

Before any kind of strength training workout, you need to warm up.

Start by doing some light cardio like a jump rope [ jump rope is great because it really helps warm up your shoulders and arms, it is also a great tool for improving your coordination] running on the spot or knee ups.

Knee ups are simply bringing your knee halfway up to your chest, as fast as you can, right leg, then left leg. Aim for 10 to 20 minutes to fully warm up your entire body.

The point of getting your body warm is to start increasing the blood to your muscles.

This helps prevent muscle strains and tears, as a warm muscle can contract and relax quicker.

It will also improve your muscles' flexibility and endurance for your workout.

Having an increase blood flow to your muscles also helps the body expel any waste by products of energy.

Having correct form when working out is so important, take the time to warm up properly so you can get the best out of your home strength training routine.


Strength training workouts you should try

Bulgarian Split Squats

Everyone knows the standard squat position, but what will give you serious leg strength gains is the Bulgarian split squat.

This type of single leg squat will really work your whole lower body and your core.

Your core will be working overtime keeping you balanced throughout.

As you are working one leg at a time, it will help you improve any muscle imbalances you have also.

Doing single leg exercises are great for helping you learn to balance and your coordination.

All you need is an elevated surface like a chair or bench.

Starting Position

Stand about two feet in front of your chair, now let's start with the left leg.

Keeping your body weight firmly on your left leg, put your right leg back behind you so that your right foot is on the chair.

Keep your upper body tall, shoulder blades back, core tight and engaged.

Slowly bend your left knee and lower your hips down towards the ground.

Try to get your right knee as close to the floor as you can.

Keep your forward left foot firmly flat on the ground.

Now drive yourself back up, pushing all your weight through your left foot.

Repeat for all your reps, then switch sides.

Standing strong on your right foot, step your left leg back and rest your left foot on the chair.

Slowly bend your right knee until your left knee is close to the ground and then drive back up.

If you're ready to take this up a level, add in a resistance band.

Place your band underneath your forward leg and hold either end in your hands.

You want your band to feel tight so as you're pushing up to your highest position, you have that added resistance against you.

 Resistance training at home

Resistance training at home

 

Lateral Lunges

Lateral lunges or side lunges as some people call them are a lower body strength training workout for your legs that are especially good for people who struggle with traditional lunges.

The lateral lunge puts less stress on your knees and will also work your adductors, which is your inner thigh muscle.

Starting Position

Starting with the right leg, step out to the side as wide as you can and place your right foot firmly on the floor.

Keeping your upper body tall and strong, core engaged, push your hips back and squat down so that your right thigh is almost parallel with the ground.

Keep your left leg straight. You can even reach over and tap your left hand on the floor if you wish.

Drive back up, pushing all your weight through your right leg, and step back to the middle.

Repeat for your number of reps and then switch sides and do your left leg.

To make it harder, try looping a resistance band around your ankles, each time you lunge out to the side, you will feel that added resistance.

Resistance training at home

Resistance training at home

 

Squat Holds

Squat holds are definitely a lower body exercise you want to be adding to your strength training workout. These are like your regular squats, but you hold the low squat position for as long as you can. You will be using major muscle groups during this exercise so it will really help burn through calories.

Starting Position

Stand tall, core engaged with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Now drive your hips back and down, like you are sitting in an invisible chair. Knees bent, making sure they don't go over your toes. Try to get your thighs parallel to the floor.

Hold this position for as long as you can, then drive yourself back up. Pushing your weight through your heels.

Loop a small band just above your knees to make this exercise harder!

Resistance training at home

Resistance training at home

 

Bear Crawl

Bear crawls work almost every muscle group in the human body.

In the upper body- shoulders, chest, biceps and back, and the lower body- core, quads, glutes and hamstrings. Doing this strength training workout regularly will really build your muscles strength and endurance.

Starting Position

Get into your high plank position. Arms straight, hands need to be directly beneath your shoulders, legs hip width apart.

On your toes, your core is engaged.

Now start to crawl forward, moving the opposite hand with the opposite leg. Your knees cannot touch the ground.

Your shins will be parallel to the ground. This really is a full body workout.

Continue for as long as you can, remember to keep your body low to the ground.

 

Glute Bridge

If you're looking to build your lower body, particularly your glute muscles, then this is one for your workout plan.

Starting position

Lay on your back on an exercise mat. Knees bent, feet flat shoulder width apart.

Engage your core and glutes and lift your hips up towards the ceiling. So, your weight is on your shoulders and your feet.

There should be a straight line from your hips to your knees. A 90-degree angle between your shins and thighs.

Hold this position, squeezing your glute muscles and holding your core tight. Then return to your start position.

Ready to make it harder? Loop a small band around your knees again.

Resistance training at home

Resistance training at home

 

Single Leg Glute Bridge

Again, lay on your back, bend your knees, feet shoulder width apart.

Lift up one of your legs by bending the knee and rest your foot on your static leg. So now your weight is solely on that working leg.

Now raise your hips as before, squeezing your glute muscles for the full range of motion.

Hold and then relax. Remember to switch your legs so you work both sides evenly.

Resistance training at home

Resistance training at home

 

Superman

Superman is a lower body exercise. It particularly targets the lower back and core.

It's a very simple exercise to do and a good one to ease yourself into strength training if you're a beginner.

Lay on your mat. Arms outstretched in front of you, legs fully extended out behind you.

Now slowly lift both your arms and your legs up off the floor. You don't need to lift them very high, just an inch or so.

Hold as long as you can then release.

You don't need to spend a fortune on a personal trainer or fancy equipment to do strength training, for more exercises such as the shoulder press, and the bicep curl see our Strength training without weights blog.

Remember to always do a warmup. Take your time and learn to do the exercises correctly to start off with before moving on to harder variations.

Having proper form is the most important part of working out.

There is no point in making the movement so hard that you end up doing only half of the range of motion or it incorrectly entirely.

You won't be working the correct muscles and more importantly, you may well injure yourself.


Some Simple Stability Ball Exercises You Can Try.

A stability ball is a large PVC ball full of air.

They have many uses from physiotherapy to birthing, but they are also great for working out. And the great news is they are inexpensive to buy.

 

Ball V-Passes

This is a strength training exercise that will really work your core and your inner thighs.

To start, lay on the floor on your back, legs and arms fully extended. Hold your ball in your hands.

Bring the ball and your arms overhead, whilst bringing your legs up to meet them.

Pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Squeeze your legs together to hold the ball firm. This is where you will feel it in your inner thighs.

Move your legs back down with the ball to the floor whilst taking your arms back down behind your head.

Now bring your legs and ball straight back up, at the same time bring your arms overhead and take the ball back in your hands.

Now lower your legs and arms back down to the ground.

Repeat for your number of reps or as long as you can. Always keep your core tight, good form is so important, you don't want your back to arch up off the ground.

Make sure your back is flat on the floor at all times.

 

Ball Glute Bridge

Remember the glute bridge earlier, you can perform these on your ball too.

Just repeat the instructions but with your feet on the ball. You can do the single leg glute bridge also.

 

Split Squats

Try doing your Bulgarian split squats with the ball too.

As the ball is able to move, unlike using a stationary chair, your core and all your stabilising muscles will be working much harder to balance and hold you still.

 

Ball Forearm Plank Position

If you can already hold the plank position, you may want to try this variation too.

Planks work multiple muscle groups, so are great for full body conditioning.

They work your upper body, core, glutes, quads, hamstrings and even your feet.

They are an important strength training exercise if you are looking to improve your posture.

As you will be balancing yourself on an object that can move, instead of being firmly on the ground, your core and stabilising muscles will be working extra hard with this variation.

To start, place your forearms on the ball and extend your legs straight out behind you- you will need to be up on your toes.

Your weight is now being supported by your forearms and your feet.

Keep your core tight, glutes engaged, don't let your hips dip down or your back arch upwards.

You need a straight line from your heels, up through your hips and to your head.

Hold this position for as long as you can.

For more info on how to hold the plank position, see our Arm exercises for women without weights blog.

 

Decline Push Up

If you are already doing push ups and ready to level them up, this is a good variation to try.

As your legs will be elevated, you will be putting more weight on your arms making this much harder on your upper body muscles.

You don't necessarily need to use the ball with this exercise, you can use a bench or even a chair to elevate your legs if you wish.

To start, get into your push up position with your feet on your ball. Palms flat, with your elbows positioned over your wrists.

Make sure your back is straight, don't arch your back up or down. You really need to hold your core and glutes tight.

Slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself down to the floor and then push back up.

Add in a band to make it even harder. Place a band behind your shoulders with either end under each hand.

Cross the band so it sits in an X shape over your shoulder blades to prevent it from slipping.

You will really feel the extra resistance as you push up against it.

 

And finally

So, there we go, a full range of different exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Who needs to waste money on an overpriced gym membership or equipment cluttering up your space.

There are plenty of ways to get in shape, improve your health and mental well-being without losing all your free time and money. Grab some bands from Axiumfit.com, get some music on and start moving.