No equipment or access to a gym? Make the gains at home.
Effective At-Home Strength Training Exercises
Strength training is a crucial cornerstone to every workout program, whether you’re looking to lean out and shed fat or add muscle to your body (or both!). Strengthening the body is essential to your overall physical health and especially protects you from injury as you age.
The upside with strength training is that it can be done just about anywhere, even at home. You don’t need fancy commercial gym equipment to do this. In this blog, we tackle how to strength train at home, at-home strength training exercises that can be done with and without equipment, and reminders on the importance of warming up and cooling down.
What are the Advantages of Strength Training at Home?
There are many benefits to choosing to exercise and strength train at home:
- Skip the expensive gym membership– With dedication, research, and resourcefulness, you can achieve the same results through strength training at home as going to a commercial gym.
- Work out according to your schedule– No need to beat the traffic or work around gym hours. You can train any time it suits you.
- Train in private– Work out at your pace and learn new moves and techniques without fear of judgment from an audience.
- Develop workouts tailored to your goals– Commercial gyms are typically packed with machinery and all sorts of weights. But training at home allows you to streamline and choose equipment or workouts that will specifically help with your goals.
Optional Equipment to Use for At-Home Strength Training
You might be surprised with how much you can achieve by training at home with very few but purposeful pieces of training equipment. You don’t need bulky machinery or dozens of weight options to get your fitness journey started.
If you’re working with a small space, go for compact weights like dumbbells, kettlebells, and sandbags. These are versatile strength training tools that can be incorporated in all sorts of exercises, and they don’t require a ton of storage space.
A yoga mat or exercise mat is also useful in providing you with a comfortable and non-slip space to work out, especially if your strength training program includes bodyweight exercises. Plus, you can simply roll it up and set it aside once you’re done.
If you’re ready to go all-in, a smart home gym is a worthy investment in your long-term sustainable health and fitness. With a smart home gym like Tempo, you get a set of top-quality strength training equipment and the benefits of a personal trainer in one compact package, which you can enjoy in the comfort and privacy of your home.
The Benefits of Warming Up
No matter what program you’re doing for the day, it’s important to warm up first. Warming up the body provides several advantages, including:
- Minimizing the risk of injury– Warm-ups boost muscle elasticity and enable efficient cooling, which reduces the chances of accidental muscle strain and overheating.
- Improving athletic performance and flexibility– By gradually increasing the body’s temperature, warming up helps increase oxygen flow to the muscles, making it easier for them to contract and perform strenuous activities. It also prepares the heart and lungs for increased activity, so that you don’t shock your cardiovascular system.
- Getting your head in the zone– Even the most passionate athletes struggle to show up and train consistently. Warming up gives you time to remember your goals and mentally prepare yourself for the workout ahead.
To correctly and safely warm up, engage in light exercises that gently utilize the same muscles you will be focusing on in your workout. The duration of a warm-up will depend on the length and intensity of the upcoming workout, but it typically ranges from five to 30 minutes.
How to Strength Train at Home Without Equipment
Bodyweight exercises can go a long way in helping build strength without needing any external weightlifting equipment. All you need is yourself, a little patience, and perhaps an exercise mat to support your back and limbs when you do any floor work.
Below are five examples of equipment-less exercises you can’t miss out on in your at-home strength training program:
- Push-ups– Start on the floor, with the body straight and weight supported by the toes and hands, which are positioned straight below the shoulders and pressing away from the floor. Engage the core to maintain integrity in the torso as you descend until your chest gently touches the floor. Then, explosively press back up until your arms are fully extended.
- Crunches– Some people underestimate crunches, but with the proper form, they can build incredible core strength. The key is to think of pulling your belly button into the floor to stay engaged. Also, be mindful of not using your hands to pull your neck/head up. It should all come from the core. Keep the movement slow and controlled.
- Star planks– Begin in a push-up pose, then walk your palms and toes out to form an X shape with your body. Engage your core to keep your torso straight. Hold the pose for a few seconds, then walk your palms and toes back into a push-up position.
- Lunges– This unilateral exercise (meaning you work one side of your body at a time) is great for targeting and addressing imbalances of weakness. From a standing position, step forward with one foot into a lunge. Your back knee should “kiss” the floor. The front knee should be directly above your foot/ankle. Pushing off the front foot, return to your standing position. Repeat on the other side.
- Burpees– Begin in a standing position with your feet at shoulder-width distance. Lower into a squat until your thighs are aligned with the floor. Once you’re at the bottom of your squat, move into a push-up position and do one push-up. Then, return to a squat position and explosively jump up.
How to Strength Train at Home with Equipment
Many people don’t have space at home for big exercise machines or a full-blown home gym. But you don’t need those to build serious strength and muscle at home. Even with small, weighted equipment (like dumbbells, kettlebells, and sandbags) or the compact, all-in-one Tempo Move, you can achieve significant results.
Here are some examples of strength training exercises you can do at home with compact weights:
- With dumbbells – bicep curls, bicep curl to press, bent-over rows, curtsy lunges
- With kettlebells – swings, clean and press, thrusters, goblet squat, alternate floor press
- With sandbags – reverse lunge + good morning, forward lunge + wood chop, deadlift + squat, side lunge + front raise, glute bridge + pullover
Almost Done: Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip Your Cool-Down
Cooling down is just as important as warming up. A cool-down is typically done in the last five to 15 minutes of the workout and may include sustained stretches of the muscles that you just worked on. Taking time to cool down offers many advantages, such as:
- Reducing blood pooling– If you stop exercising suddenly, blood can pool in your lower body and can be slow to return to the heart and brain. This can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. By cooling down, you allow your vascular system to adjust.
- Mitigating delayed onset muscle soreness– DOMS typically sets in about one to two days after exercise. Some soreness after exercising is normal, especially if you tried to do something new during your workout. But cooling down can reduce the effects of DOMS.
- Aiding in muscle recovery– Cooling down helps flush out the lactic acid from the body and trigger healing for the next workout.
Get Started with Tempo
Tempo helps take the guesswork out of at-home strength training. Our AI-powered smart home gym provides real-time feedback on your form and progress, just like a real coach, so that you can make the most of every workout and achieve the results you want.
The Tempo Studio provides the perfect all-in freestanding home gym setup, already inclusive of a workout mat, dumbbells, weight plates, and collars. The Tempo Move offers the same cutting-edge technology with the help of a mobile device, ideal for those with very little storage space.
You’ll also find many virtual workouts on Tempo to help you reach your peak of physical fitness. If you’ve never strength trained before, Tempo has you covered with programs focused on strength and core stability. There are also live and on-demand workouts for HIIT, cardio boxing, mobility, yoga, and more, so you can find the best workout for your goals and schedule.
Strength training at home has never been this easy! Check out Tempo’s two ways to train, and get started on your fitness journey today.