What Are The Essentials You Must Have When Training At Home With Weights?

Did you hear the latest news? There is a new gym in town that has all of the latest songs on its playlist, you do not have to worry about a long commute in order to get there and it has the best weightlifting equipment on the market. This gym is your home. Yes, you heard right. With the right essential tools, you can get an effective strength training workout right in your home.

With the abundance of workout apps on the market and affordable strength training equipment, you no longer have to fight for a spot for the machine you want to use at the gym. Combined with the right tools, your home workout will be able to easily rival any workout you would be able to get at the gym.

So, check out the following list to find out what essential tools you should add to exercise routine in order to get the most out of your workouts.

Thick Yoga Mat

When you push your muscles to their limit, strength training will and should be uncomfortable if you are doing it correctly. However, if your knees are aching when you are kneeling on the ground, or your back begins to hurt while you are doing crunches, you may need an extra thick yoga mat.

You do not want to end your workout early because you are in pain. Thick yoga mats are the perfect solution for home gyms that are in small spaces, and they are portable.

Kettlebells

Kettlebells have quickly become an essential piece of home workout equipment for those who are looking for the perfect combination of strength training and cardio. Kettlebells are considered the ultimate strength training tool because you can do a variety of exercises, including:

  • Rows
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Snatches
  • Bicep curls

Kettlebells are different from dumbbells because they force you to balance and use multiple muscles at the same time. You can purchase most kettlebell sets in increments of 5lbs, 10lbs and 15lbs so you can progress to more weight as you get stronger.

Adjustable Dumbbells

From single leg lifts to compound exercises, dumbbells are a great way to add variety to your strength training routine. In fact, you can use adjustable dumbbells for shoulder presses, triceps kickbacks and lunges. No matter which exercise you do, these dumbbells will challenge your range of motion.

Most adjustable dumbbells have a dial system. This system allows users to decrease or increase weight in 2 1/2 increments. They start at 5 pounds and can be adjusted to over 50 pounds.

Resistance Bands

If your home gym is small and you do not have a lot of room for multiple pairs of dumbbells, resistance bands are a great alternative. However, do not be fooled by these seemingly simple and lightweight bands.

These types of bands are very effective at toning small and large muscle groups, and they can also be used as a stretching tool during cool down/recovery.

To get the most out of resistance bands, choose a variety of bands of different sizes with different levels of resistance. Use the bands to do exercises like:

  • Triceps presses
  • Lateral leg raises
  • Squats
  • Glute Bridges

By having a pair of resistance bands around your house, you can easily add intensity to any exercise in your strength training routine. Furthermore, they are lightweight and portable so you can take them with you travel for a quick hotel workout.

Stability Ball

Any workout that uses a stability ball will help you get a good fundamental base in strength training. This means that if your stability muscles are not strong, you have a greater chance of becoming injured during a workout.

Using a stability ball as an alternative to a workout bench will help you burn even more calories because you will have to work harder at maintaining balance during your workout.

You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars a year at a gym just to get in shape. With the right tools, you can build a high-quality home gym that will give you the same level of fitness or better.

What Are The Different Types Of Cardio You Can Do At Home?

If you have been looking for a way to get a sweaty cardio workout at home, look no further. The good news is that you do not have to leave the comfort of your home if you want to do a fat-scorching cardio exercise. In fact, for many exercises, you do not even need any equipment.

The following are some of the most popular and effective bodyweight exercises that are guaranteed to get your heart pumping while helping you burn those extra calories. These cardio moves will not only help you lose the pounds, but they will also help you build muscle.

So, if you are new to working out, or it has been a while since you have seen the inside of a gym, choose a handful of cardio exercises and create your own custom at-home HIIT workout. You can also use these cardio exercises as a warmup routine for your weightlifting program.

What Are The Benefits Of Cardio Exercise?

One of the first words that probably come to mind when a person mentions starting an exercise program is the word ‘cardio’. You are already well aware of the importance of cardiovascular exercise with any type of workout, whether you are looking to lose a few extra pounds, or if you simply want to be healthier.

Medical experts recommend that people get at least 150 minutes of cardio every week if they want to see health improvements. However, if you are looking to lose a lot of weight, or you are looking to maintain your weight, you may have to do over 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. That does not include strength training.

So, what are some of the benefits of regular cardio exercise? When you understand just how much cardio can benefit you, you may be tempted to stop reading and do a few jumping jacks right now.

There are not a lot of activities that you can do for a short period of time that will offer you so many health benefits. These benefits include:

  • Fat and calorie burning for weight loss
  • Improves heart strength
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Reduces the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancer
  • It is a mood booster
  • Improves the quality of sleep
  • Stress reducer
  • Improves bone density

The best thing about cardio is that you do not have to work at a high-intensity level or work out for hours before you notice improvements. A 15 minute walk can help elevate your mood and lower your blood pressure.

Jumping Jacks

Instead of sitting on the couch during the commercials, why not squeeze in some jumping jacks?

To perform this exercise, you jump with your legs out as you bring your hands over your head. Then, jump the legs back into the standing position and lower your arms.

Cross Jack

This exercise has the same motion as jumping jacks, but instead of jumping your legs out, you jump and cross your legs in front of you.

Your arms are extended at your sides, and as you jump cross your legs, you cross your arms in front of you.

With each cross jack, you will alternate your legs and arms. For example, your first cross jack may have your right arm and leg out front, but on the next jump, you will put your left arm and leg out front.

Ali Shuffle

Named for popular boxer, Muhammed Ali, this exercise requires you keep your weight on the balls of your feet while your legs scissor from front to back.

This exercise requires quick footwork, and you should keep the exercise fast and light. Be sure to pump your arms to keep up with your feet.

These are only three of many cardio exercises you can do at home. You no longer have to worry about expensive gym memberships or bulky equipment in order to get fit and lose weight.

Discover An Effective Full-Body Workout You Can Do At Home

A lot of people love the idea of working out at home for a variety of reasons. It could be the cost of the gym, the time or distance to get there and back, or simply not wanting to work out in front of total strangers. But many don’t think they can get a great workout at home. Or at least not without a lot of space or lots of fancy and expensive equipment.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case. You can get a full-body workout done at home and it doesn’t matter what your goal is. Whether it’s improved conditioning and fat loss, or building strength and muscle mass, a good full-body workout you can do at home will get the job done.

It’s true that the equipment you purchase will be affected by your budget and the space available but this doesn’t have to stop you from getting started. In fact, you can do a full-body workout at home without any equipment at all.

For this article, let’s assume you are able to have some basic equipment at home. There will also be a full-body workout you can do at home that doesn’t require any equipment at all.

You can get a quality workout for the entire body with something as simple as bodyweight exercises. To really make them effective though, you’ll at least want a piece of equipment for pull-ups and chin-ups. You can purchase a very simple pull up bar that fits in a doorway for about $30.

Another great option for a good full-body workout is a kettlebell. Kettlebells provide almost unlimited options in terms of exercises and they can be used for different goals from conditioning to fat loss to strength and muscle building depending on the style of the work out you use.

A simple barbell with free weights is also a fantastic option. Dumbbells are also fantastic, but you’ll probably want a few sets of them and plenty of free weights so you don’t have to take the time to change them for different exercises during your workout.

As you can see, it doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment or a lot of space. Another great thing about the options mentioned is you can start with one and you’ll be able to train using full-body workouts. You can also add other options over time. Finally, none of them require much in the way of space and can be stored out of the way in a closet or under a bed if you want.

If you’re going to perform full-body workouts you’ll want to take a day of rest in between so if you train on Monday, you’ll rest on Tuesday and train again on Wednesday and so on. Keep in mind, you can still be active on your rest days and perform some sort of cardio, such as walking or riding a bike. Or playing a sport like tennis, if that’s something you enjoy. But don’t perform full-body resistance training two days in a row. You need to give your muscles time to rest and recover so they come back stronger for the next workout.

Here’s a sample full-body workout assuming you have a barbell with free weights and a bench to do the bench press.

For each exercise, you’ll perform two sets and rest one to two minutes between sets. Use a weight that allows you to get 8 to 10 repetitions. When you can get at least 10 repetitions in each set, add a little weight at the next workout.

The exception is the squat. You’ll perform the bodyweight squat for 100 repetitions. Rest whenever you need to and keep track of the time it takes to get to 100. At your next workout, try and beat that time.

  • Body Weight Squats x 100 reps
  • Barbell Deadlift 2 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift 2 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Barbell Bench Press 2 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Barbell Bent Over Row 2 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Barbell Shoulder Press 2 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Barbell Curl 2 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Barbell Close Grip Bench Press 2 sets x 8 – 10 reps

If you only have a barbell and no bench for the bench press, you can do push-ups instead. Perform the push-ups in the same way you performed the bodyweight squats.

Do this full-body workout every other day. If that gets tough, go to only three days per week, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday and take the entire weekend off.

Here’s another full-body workout you can do at home that uses bodyweight exercises and a kettlebell. This workout will be a little different. First, you’ll perform 200 bodyweight squats and 100 push-ups for time. Each set you do has to have twice as many squats as push-ups before taking a break.

For example, if you do 20 squats, you then do 10 push-ups. Continue until you hit 200 squats and 100 push-ups. Keep track of your time.

Then take a 3 minute rest before performing kettlebell snatches, as many reps as possible in five minutes. Rest when you need to. Alternate hands. For example, do five reps with the right hand and then five reps with the left hand then go back to the right hand, or take a brief rest.

That’s it! It’s a lot tougher than you might think. If you’re truly a beginner or really out of shape, you can start with a smaller number of squats and push-ups such as 100 squats and 50 push-ups.

You can also combine these workouts. Take the first barbell workout and call that workout 1. Then the kettlebell bodyweight workout is workout 2.

A week of home workouts could look like this:

  • Monday – Workout 1
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Workout 2
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Workout 1
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Rest

For the next week, reverse the order. You would get each workout done three times in two week period.

It’s easy to get a good, intense, full-body workout at home with minimal equipment. You should give it a try!