Table of Contents
Use The Power of Resistance 8
Weight Training 12
Use Kettlebells 15
Jump Rope 19
Yoga Mat 23
Medicine Ball 28
Fitness Sliders 32
Stair Climber 36
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Resistance Bands. Anyone – at any fitness level – can use resistance bands to improve their workout. They don’t put the same sort of stress on your joints that weights or kettlebells do, while still providing a challenging workout.
They’re also great for targeting smaller muscles you don’t ordinarily pay much attention to, like the smaller muscles in your hips that stabilize your quads.
Resistance bands are basically giant rubber bands that give you tension, making your muscles work against one another to strengthen them. They’re small and lightweight, easy to pack and carry around, and come in a variety of styles (looped, non-looped, with or without handles).
They’re also really inexpensive – you can usually pick up a set for around twenty dollars, depending on the brand and where you shop. You can buy resistance bands on Amazon, of course, but also at retailers like Kohls, Target, and Walmart.
With resistance training, the key is to do multiple reps with a rest between, then repeat the set about three times. You’re not trying to bulk up – you’re strengthening muscles and tendons that might not get a good workout otherwise.
You can hook a band to a stationary object, like a stair railing, or simply use your body to anchor it (such as standing on the band). You should be working out three to five times a week for about half an hour. Don’t expect massive results with resistance bands – the goal is to strengthen the muscles and tendons, not to bulk up.
Here are a couple of easy exercises for you to try at home:
Bicep Curl – Stand up with both feet on the resistance band. Your feet should be spread to shoulder width. Hold one end of the band in each hand with your arms straight out to the front, palms facing forward. Slowly curl your hands up towards your shoulders, bending your elbows and squeezing your biceps muscles.
Keep your elbows tight to the sides of your body so your biceps do the work. Then slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. This is one repetition.
Try to keep your reps rhythmic and slow so your biceps feel the tension at all times. Do twelve to fifteen reps and repeat three times.
Single-Arm Triceps Extension – Stand with one foot slightly in front of the other and foot further back. Loop a resistance band beneath your back foot and take hold of the other end in front of your body with the opposite hand.
Reach back over your shoulder with the other hand and grab the free end of the loop (you may need someone to hand it to you). Hold this behind your head by your neck.
Your elbow should be pointed towards the ceiling. This is your starting position. Slowly extend your upper hand towards the ceiling until your elbow is straight. Then lower it back to the starting position.
This is one repetition. Do twelve to fifteen reps on one arm, then repeat with the other arm. Repeat entire set three times.
If you’d like to work out with weights like dumbbells or barbells from the comfort of your own home, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the equipment you need.
You can even purchase a good used set of weights for about half the price of a new one, and since free weights are easily stored, you won’t have to worry about having to make room for a full weight bench.
There are stores like Play It Again Sports Fitness that specialized in used equipment. EBay and Amazon also handle discounted gear.
Amber Nash, founder of FitHealthyBest. com (a health and fitness website geared toward women) says, “Used weights generally sell for 50 cents for the pound, which is half off the price of new weights, which usually run for one dollar per pound or more.”
Dumbbells can be used for weight training and for full-body fitness. They’re especially effective because they also work the stabilizing muscles that surround your major muscle groups.
You’ll want to start out at a lower weight that will allow you to do between twelve and twenty repetitions without feeling overly tired or over-exerting your muscles. If you’re trying to build muscle mass, you’ll want a heavier weight, so aim for about eight reps.
When lifting dumbbells or barbells, when you’re just starting out with this home based workout, concentrate on your form instead of how many reps you are able to do.
Move your body slowly and feel the muscles contract so you know you’re doing it correctly. Slower movements also force the stabilizing muscles and tendons to work, which is good for strengthening them. Be sure you’re not overcompensating with another body part, too.
For example, when you’re doing biceps curls, be sure to stand up straight instead of taking the weight with your back muscles.
If you’re having trouble keeping the correct form, try working out in front of a mirror. You can also do a Google or YouTube search for workout videos and pay attention to how they’re doing the exercises. Form is everything! It will not only help you get more out of your fitness routine, but it will ensure you don’t hurt yourself in the process.
Remember to inhale when lifting the weight and exhale when returning to the starting position. You should be working out three to five times a week for about half an hour at a time, if possible. Don’t expect to see massive results immediately. It’s going to take several weeks or months of regular work before you notice significant muscle changes.Other Details
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