How to start strength training at home

Can I develop my strength at home even if I don’t have any weights or equipment?  The answer, DEFINITELY! 

We may not be able to get into the gym during the lockdown, maybe you’ve never wanted to,  maybe you’ve never stepped foot in one - we get it,  gyms aren’t for everyone. And for women especially can be really intimidating and scary. 

However, resistance training and strength training is vital for our health and wellbeing, regardless of age or gender. For women especially, it becomes integral to keeping us well as we age, and yes, it can be done from the comfort of your own home. 

 

Even when you start out in the gym, we always start with bodyweight movements first - no weights necessary. Working out at home provides the perfect opportunity to master the basics using just your bodyweight. From then you can move on to using home exercise equipment such as small weights or bands.  This ensures you continually develop your muscle strength and endurance once your body has mastered the basics.  

 

We have a library of different exercises that can be found on our SYNERGI Personal Training Youtube channel;

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-OtgzR-_ZyOfR4eKVk3M0w  

We are also offering a free home workout pdf to anyone looking to start out! Just drop us a message and we will ping it across. 

 

Building a strong foundation 

The simplest movements you can master to build strength and stability fall into the categories below: 

Upper Body Push Movements 

  • Press up 

You can do this movement to a raised surface like a coffee table the sofa or even the wall. Or start out on your knees instead of your feet. 

Lower Body 

  • Squat 

You can do this movement to a chair,  coffee table or sofa. Great for your thighs and bum! To make it harder you can slow down the movement. 

Lower body single-leg movements 

  • Lunge 

Important as many of us have one side of the body that’s stronger than the other. Single leg movements work thighs, back of your legs and bum!

 

Lower body Hinge 

  • Reach outs and Glute bridge 

Great for your bum and your hamstrings!

 

Core 

  • Side plank and planks 

You can never go wrong with these 2. Make them easier by going on to your knees, harder by going on to your feet. 

 

Glutes - Aka moves that work your Butt!

  • Sofa Hip-Thrust, frog pump, lateral leg raises 

 

To build stability and “feel out” your positions we recommend doing the movements slowly, this allows you to really feel the positions and the muscles they are working. For example, performing a set of squats for 10reps pausing at the bottom of each rep for 2-3 seconds. By doing this you will build strength in the bottom position ( the hardest part)  whilst also gaining mobility  (using those 2-3 seconds to passively stretch any tight areas).  

 

Squat,  Press up & Core coaching cues and variations  

Squat. 

Cue’s to think about in the bottom position would be “weight even though your feet”, “knees out”, “neutral back position” and “shoulders back” (easiest to have your arms out in front of you to do this to start). Sometimes you may feel like you’re doing it right but, just incase, for visual confirmation, try doing it in front of a mirror too to be sure.

 

Press Up

Press-ups are a great staple to any programme. Most people will struggle for even 1 normal press-up to start so the best thing would be to find an elevated surface. Once you can perform 3x10reps on that then find a lower surface. Repeat until you’re finally on the floor (this will take time - months not weeks!). Try and maintain a straight body throughout, if your lower backdrops and you start “snaking” it up then it’s too hard. If your elbows start flaring out and you round your upper back then it’s too hard. Try and think “legs straight, squeeze glutes, tuck abs in, elbows into your sides, chest in-between your hands”.

Core: There are hundreds of variations of core exercises. Here are just a few. 

  1. holds (plank, side planks)
  2. lower abs (leg raise variations)
  3. upper abs (crunch variations) 
  4. Rotational work (Russian twists, thread needles). 
  5. Lower back: Backups and Superman holds are also great for working your mid/lower back. If you have any back problems be careful with the ab and lower back work. Best sign is pain, if it hurts then you probably shouldn’t do it. 

If you’re really struggling on your own then seek professional guidance. Best would be a trainer that specialises in movement and strength training. 

All of the above movements and variations of are on the SYNERGI Personal Training Youtube channel;

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-OtgzR-_ZyOfR4eKVk3M0w

We also offer online personal training, sessions take place on a video call.  Our coaches and female personal trainers can give you feedback,  advice and personalised coaching - just like you would receive in the gym. The only person that sees you exercise is your trainer - it’s a great way to build your confidence and develop your strength and fitness.