A good fitness routine should consist of both cardio and strength building exercises. Activities like running are great for losing fat. Yoga tones your body, but the effects won’t last without strong muscles. Most fitness enthusiasts believe that strength training is only for bodybuilders or men who want to bulk up. This is not true. Stronger muscles make your overall fitness training regimen easier and more enjoyable.
You don’t have to end up in an iron man gym strapped to a confusing machine to build muscle either. There are plenty of excellent exercises you can do from the comfort of your home. Many don’t require equipment, though you can add exercise equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, or a Swiss Ball to increase the intensity.
Without further ado, here is a list of machine-free exercises to try today:
Lunges are very easy to perform. These are really great for building lower body strength and toning your thigh muscles. To do a lunge, stand straight with feet slightly apart. Place hands on hips. Then take a step forward without moving from your position. Now, move the knee of your other leg towards the floor while leaning forward. Move your front foot back to original position. That completes a lunge. Repeat with both legs as many times as you can.
Squats are hailed as one of the best exercises not just to build strength, but also to improve balance, coordination, and fast-track fat loss. Squats might look easy to do but are actually quite difficult. You can start off light until you get used to the motion. Then you will be able to master the squat and enjoy all its benefits.
To do a squat, you need to stand still with legs hip-width apart. Your arms should be extended in front of you or locked behind the neck. Keep your back straight and lower yourself down towards to ground as if you are sitting on a chair. Don’t sag anywhere and use your legs to do the work. Lower yourself, and come back up. This completes a squat.
This is possibly the most popular exercise for building upper body strength and toning core muscles. Push-ups require a lot of training to do correctly. If doing a classic push up is hard, you can do a variation with bent knees that makes it easy to perform. To do this, maintain the classic push-up position. But instead of placing your weight on the toes, put the weight on your knees. This push-up is less intensive and is recommended for beginners.
Pull-ups are perfect for strengthening your pelvic floor, in addition to the abs, core, and shoulders. Doing a pull-up requires an overhead bar. You don’t need a machine, but you do need a sturdy and even horizontal bar that can withstand your weight. When you have the bar set up, hand down from it using your hands. Bend your legs at the knee and cross the feet to make the routine easier to perform. Now pull yourself up from the hands and slowly bring yourself back down until your hands are fully extended. Repeat as many times as you can.
You don’t need bulky machines to build muscle. The above exercises are compound routines, meaning you work most parts of your body in one go. Combine any of the above exercises with your regular routine to achieve a fitter body in a matter of weeks.