Lifting weights and building big muscles isn’t just for body builders or professional weight trainers. Strength training should be an essential part of every fitness regimen and, in addition to building muscles, has many health benefits. Strength training can:
- Make you stronger - Protect bone density? - Help with weight loss - Help you manage chronic disease, such as arthritis or asthma - Improve your balance and flexibility
Getting started with a weight-training regimen doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. Performing only two or three training sessions each week is a great start for a beginner. Each session should last around 20 to 30 minutes and contain all of the major muscle groups of the body. Make sure to space your workouts at least a few days apart to give your muscles time to heal and recover. A comprehensive strength-training regimen has a few different components:
Upper body workout: The muscle groups used during an upper body workout include the arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back. Good exercises for the upper body include dumbbell bicep curls, front and lateral dumbbell raises, dumbbell bench presses, preacher curls, and pull-ups.
Lower body workout: The legs and glutes are the primary muscle groups worked during a lower body workout. Any type of squat or lunge, including barbell back squats and barbell front squats, are great for both major muscle groups. Leg raises and deadlifts are also popular lower body exercises.
Abdominal workout: Working the core can improve your balance and stability and can help the entire body function more efficiently. Sit-ups, Russian twists, and barbell rollouts are fantastic exercises for the abdominal muscles.
Mobility work: Many people forget how important stretching and mobility work is to any weight/strength training. Stretching increases flexibility, range of motion, and mobility. Using a band can help you get a deeper stretch with less effort.
Purchasing Strength Training Equipment
You have many options when it comes to purchasing home strength equipment, depending on your needs, price point, and space in your home gym.
Weight training racks allow you to safely perform exercises using heavy weights on a barbell. This is a great benefit, especially in a home gym where there may not be a spotter available. The Marcy Cage Home Gym MWM-7041 is a versatile heavy-duty home gym cage system that also contains a dip station, pull-up handles, cable system, and storage for your Olympic weights. Make sure to purchase a pair of Steelbody Lock Jaw Barbell Collars OBC-5 to use with your 2” Olympic weights to safely secure and quickly change your weights during your workout.
To add a variety of exercises to your strength training home gym routine, add an adjustable Utility Weight Bench by SteelBody STB10105 to your weight training rack or cage system to increase the number of exercises you can do. You can also use this bench alone to complete a number of dumbbell exercises.
If you don’t have the space or budget for home strength equipment, consider an Apex Adjustable Kettlebll. It contains a single weighted handle and removable spacersso you can adjust the weight by adding additional weight plates, making it a great addition for a beginner looking to build their collection of strength training equipment for home use.
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