8 Simple Weight Training Exercises You Can Do At Home
8 Simple Weight Training Exercises You Can Do At Home
For many people, exercise means running.
And, while covering distance will do wonders for your fitness and weight loss goals, you'll need to add in weight training and strength workouts to gain muscle definition and build all-over body strength.
If improved body confidence and everyday strength is what you’re looking for, putting together a simple and sustainable weight training routine - and sticking to it - is a great way to go. And these days it couldn't be easier to work out from home.
It’ll also help prevent injuries, strengthen bones and joints and maximise muscular endurance, making everyday tasks easier.
We’ve put together eight simple weight training exercises you can do at home to help you understand how to do them and why they’re important.
All you'll need is some dumbells, take a look at our dumbbell set with weight rack for inspiration.
1. Dumbbell Squat – quads, glutes, full-body
The undisputed champion of compound workouts, and available in your living room; the squat is widely recognised as the number one lift to work the full body. To execute the exercise, stand up, holding a single dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, with your legs shoulder width apart. Then simply squat down in a controlled manner as far as you feel comfortable. Once you’re as low as you can go, engage your legs to lift yourself back up to standing position. Maintain controlled form, lowering and raising your body slowly, for best results. Complete between 10-15 repetitions per set.
2. Bicep Curl – biceps, wrist stability
The bicep curl is a gym staple and remains one of the best ways to build arm strength and size. The key to this exercise is maintaining proper form. Hold the dumbbell in one hand and lock your arm against your torso to steady your upper arm and maintain control. Simply extend your elbow so your arm is out straight before bringing the dumbbell back up to your shoulder. Ensure it is the bicep doing the work and that your body remains rigid. You’re better off starting light with good form and building on it than lifting heavy incorrectly. Complete 8-15 reps per set.
3. Dumbbell Floor Press – chest, shoulders, triceps
A great way to build chest and anterior shoulder muscles with minimal fuss is through the dumbbell floor press. To complete the exercise, lay down on your back, flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand close to your chest, with your elbows bent out to your side. Look directly up to the ceiling and extend your arms up, pressing the dumbbells high up towards the ceiling, before bringing them back down to your chest. Complete 8-15 reps per set.
4. Hammer Curl – forearms, bicep long head, grip strength
The hammer curl is just as important for accruing muscle definition in the arms as the bicep curl and a routine which involves both exercises will give you the best results. To complete the hammer curl correctly, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms down at your side and twist the bar of each weight so they face forward. Raise the dumbbell with each hand from your side up to your shoulder and back down again. Alternate arms between lifts and complete 10 reps on each side.
5. High Knees – quads, calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, fitness
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become a global phenomenon in recent years as more people take to the idea of moving hard and fast in short bursts to lose weight and gain strength. High knees is a staple exercise in HIIT workouts and, as well as getting the heart racing, it improves balance and quad muscle endurance. To complete, simply stand up straight and jog on the spot, raising your knees up towards the ceiling as high as you can. Complete for between 40 seconds and a minute to get your heart racing and your legs burning. Add weight by holding one dumbbell to make the exercise more challenging if required.
6. Dumbbell Lunge – hamstrings, quads, balance
The dumbbell lunge is a brilliant way to improve leg strength and sharpen balance at the same time. The exercise works one leg at a time and so forces the body to balance on a single leg, which massively improves overall balance and aids practical movements. The exercise is hugely popular with runners and triathletes too as it concentrates on leg extension and improves acceleration as well as muscle endurance. To complete the lunge, stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand down by your sides. Facing forwards, step one leg out in front of you, bending your forward knee. Lean forward and touch the knee of your trailing leg against the floor before stepping back out of the lunge to stand up straight again. Alternate between legs and complete 10-15 reps on either side.
7. Push-up – chest, shoulders, triceps
The go-to chest and shoulder exercise can do amazing things for your cardiovascular endurance as well as your upper body strength. As with all the exercises in this article, proper form is crucial to get results from push-ups, so concentrate on keeping your core tensed as you complete the exercise. To push-up correctly, adopt the plank position with your arms out straight, pressed against the floor, so your arms support your weight. Keeping your legs together, bend your arms to bring your whole body down to the floor until your chest is a few inches above the floor. Lift your body back up to the starting position to complete the lift. Keep your core muscles tensed throughout the lift to ensure your body stays rigid. Try to complete sets of 10 push-ups.
8. Reverse Fly – upper back, shoulders
Maintaining strong back muscles is crucial to preventing injury and back strain. The reverse fly is one of the best ways to accomplish this, though make sure you've got plenty of room around you before attempting the fly. To complete the exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand up straight. To assume the correct position, pivot forward from your hips so that your back is flat and parallel with the floor. Hold your arms out in front of you towards the ground. To complete the lift, bring the weight out to your sides so that is it level with your flat back, keeping your arms as straight as possible. You should feel the strain on your back, just below your shoulder blades. Complete at least 10 repetitions per set.