It can be a challenge to stay motivated when training at home; however the results are well worth the effort. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our top 3 strength building exercises, so you can keep training from your own lounge room.
As with any gym routine, it’s helpful to track your progress on an app (or pencil and paper if that’s your style!) and make sure you set yourself achievable and measurable goals.
NB – the following exercises all require minimal to zero gym equipment. They are anabolic exercises which essentially means they’ll help you put on muscle mass. While it’s difficult to isolate individual muscles without the benefit of dedicated gym equipment; the exercises listed below will nonetheless help you build muscle strength and mass. For best results, combine the exercises with a nutritious diet featuring healthy sources of protein, carbs and fat.
If you can only fit in one exercise a day, numerous personal trainers say make it squats. Why? Squats activate some of the biggest muscle groups in your body – the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Squats can also be performed anywhere as they don’t require a mat or any equipment (although you can build up to squats with weights as you gain strength).
It’s important to master your squat technique before adding weights. To perform a squat correctly:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Point your toes about 35 degrees outward
- Maintain the natural curve in your spine
- Imagine you are trying to sit in a chair and lower yourself down into the seated position
- Hold the pose for a couple of seconds (if you are just starting out this may be less than a second) then raise up and… repeat.
- Pull Ups (Kneeling Replacement)
Pull ups are a go-to exercise for gym junkies looking to build muscle strength. They are arguably the most effective exercise around for strengthening your lats; the largest muscle in the upper body. But what if you don’t have space for a bar at home?
A range of options exist to give you a similar workout to a pull up. Our suggestion is to invest in a set of quality resistance bands. Then all you need is an anchor point, like a sturdy door, to loop the band around. To perform the exercise, kneel with a straight back, keeping the balls of your feet on the floor, and pull down firmly on the band with both arms. The beauty of this modified exercise is that you don’t need to be able to do a pull up equivalent to start with; you can work your way up to one by scaling up your resistance bands.
The Humble Push Up
You don’t need any weights for this tried and trusted exercise, because your own body acts as the weight! Push ups are incredibly effective at helping you gain muscle; and they activate your pectorals, your shoulders, your triceps and your core all in one movement.
To perform a push up, adopt a plank position and then lower your body, keeping your back straight, until you are nearly touching the floor. Rise up to a plank and then repeat! If you’re starting out with push ups, you can drop to your knees and simply lower your upper body in much the same movement as you’d do for a regular push up.