Bodyweight exercises always have a place in my fitness routine, and are especially good if you are tight on time or stuck for someone to mind the kids so you can get to the gym.
Strength-training with weights can give you great balance and really help to develop a lean body. If you have been doing our body workouts at home over recent weeks, your fitness levels should be well up there and the body ready to adapt to a good strength-training workout.
September, like January, can be a very busy time in gyms, and if you are joining a gym for the first time you will need to be able to adapt your workouts to the busy gym environment. Cardio equipment like treadmills and cross-trainers are a favourite and tend to be always in use, so let’s take what we’ve learned over the last few weeks and develop a great strength-training workout that doesn’t involve waiting around on machines.
You can utilize a small amount of cardio to help the body warm up for a few minutes, and then get straight into your weights workout.
The most important thing about training with weights is to establish good form. This will help protect against injury.
The second most important thing about strength-training is choosing a suitable weight. Always start on a light weight to warm up the muscle.
I always start with larger muscle groups first, for example, if you plan on working out your chest, shoulders and arms, then look to start with chest first as it’s the largest of those muscle group, then move on to the smaller muscle groups. This will give the smaller muscles that may be less developed a chance to warm up correctly to help avoid any strain or injuries.
Start with a light weight that you can complete a range of between 12-15 reps with, and increase the weight throughout the sets in small increments, if able. So, let’s get started with some of my favourite exercises with weights (below) to add in to your gym workout. You can also do this workout at home.
Introduction to the gym: week 1 of 4
Lunge and pass with kettleball
1/ Stand upright holding a kettlebell in one hand by your side, then step forward into a lunge position passing the kettlebell behind your front foot to the other hand.
2/ Then push off the front foot with the kettlebell in the other hand. Repeat, alternating throughout. Return to start position
Alternating kettleball swing
1/ Start in a semi-squat position holding a kettlebell in one hand between your legs with your arm straight.
2/ Then simply thrust your hips forward, swinging the kettlebell out and up to just over shoulder height with your arm straight and switch it to the other hand.
3/ Swing the kettlebell down in the other hand and repeat, switching hands again at the top. Return to start position
1/ Support your body off the floor, resting on your forearm and one foot with the other foot stacked, holding a kettlebell in your top hand at your shoulder with your elbow bent.
2/ Then press the kettlebell up over your shoulder into a straight arm position. Lower the kettlebell down to start position and repeat. Repeat all reps on one side before changing to opposite side. Return to start position
Single leg deadlift
1/ Start by standing in an upright position holding kettlebells by your sides with your arms straight and one foot slightly behind the other.
2/ Then raise your back leg behind you while lowering your torso and the kettlebells towards the ground. Raise the back leg straight up behind as you lower your torso and the kettlebells toward the floor. Return to start position. Keep your standing leg straight throughout the exercise. Return to start position
This article appeared on Independent.ie