Boost Your Strength at home!
Inspired by the importance of Strength Training (especially for women!), Sandra was excited to start strength training. However, she was clueless about how to go about it. Like many working professionals, Sandra had to wake up early, pack lunch for her kids, do a 9-6 desk job and spend over an hour every day travelling. She was in two minds about ‘splurging’ on an annual gym membership for herself, since she was unsure about enjoying the workouts. Taking time out to hit the gym was a challenge in itself.
So, do you absolutely need a gym membership to start Strength Training?
The answer is NO. Strength training refers to any form of physical exercise where resistance is used to induce muscular contractions which will build muscular strength and anaerobic endurance. The resistance could be anything- dumbbells, barbells, weight loaded machines, or even body weight. Yes, you can do strength training at home with your own body weight.
But Sandra was not very convinced. She just couldn’t understand how body weight training can be anywhere as good as training with gym equipment.
Training with the myriad equipment and weights available in the gym definitely has its advantages, but using your body weight to train is definitely a great place to start with. It is especially helpful when you just can’t squeeze gym time into your schedule, or when you are not sure about your enthusiasm to stick to this new mode of training. In such cases, it’s better not to procrastinate till you decide on whether to join a gym or not. You can start strength training today, at home.
Basic stuff to start training at home
You can start strength training with almost nothing, however a small sturdy bench, a pair of adjustable dumbbells, a few resistance bands, and a kettlebell could make your training at home a lot more versatile and effective. Total Resistance eXercise (TRX) Suspension trainer is another versatile tool you can use at home. TRX trainers occupy very less space and are economical as well. Make your life simpler and order them off e-commerce websites like amazon.
For a beginner, strength training thrice a week will be a good start. Make sure that you warm up properly before the workout and stretch after the workout. If you have any sort of pre-existing aches and pains, it is highly recommended you do a pre-hab with a sports physio or consult a reputed certified trainer for an assessment, before staring on a strength training regime. The idea of a basic strength training program discussed here is to perform movements which would strengthen some of the major movement patterns of the body.
The Beginner Workout Plan
1. Box Squat X 15 reps
2. Push ups (incline push ups) X 10 reps
3. Dumbbell /Resistance band Rows X 15 reps
4. Glute Bridge X 15 reps
Repeat all the exercises (3 rounds each)5. Planks – 20-30 seconds
Perform each of these movements one after the other with a small rest gap in between and do 3 rounds of all these movements. As a few weeks pass by, you can progress by increasing the number of repetitions or progressively adding weights.
Here’s how you can progress on each movement:
Box Squats – Increase repetitions, Add weights
Push-ups – Increase reps/ Decrease incline
Rows – Increase repetitions, Add weights/ Use a higher resistance band
Glute Bridge – Increase repetitions
Planks – Increase time under plank hold position
Progression can also happen by doing more rounds, progressively and finishing the same workout in a lesser time frame (i.e. by reducing the rest gap between sets). Don’t get discouraged if you experience muscle soreness, it is normal when you start strength training. Just make sure that you are drinking enough water and eating well to recover from your exercise. The key to safely performing these exercises is by understanding the correct techniques and auto regulating the workouts based on how you feel on a particular day.