How to Lift Weights at Home
More and more people are discovering you don’t need a gym for a good strength workout. Weight-lifting at home can save time and money, give you privacy and let you exercise when it’s convenient for your schedule.
Still, just like at a gym, you must go about home weight-lifting the right way to ensure success. Whether you’re new to strength training or a veteran bodybuilder, our tips for lifting weights at home can help you enjoy great workouts.
- Put Together a Plan
The key to every fitness program is a good plan. Decide what your goals are, how often you want to work out and what exercises will help you meet those goals. If you’re a workout neophyte, you might want to consult with your doctor or a personal trainer before you start.
- Have a Dedicated Workout Area
Even when you’re working out at home, you need an environment that’s good for exercising. Set up a workout area where you have space to move and that lets you focus. Avoid carpeted areas as these can cause strain on the lower extremities. You might also consider an exercise mat to protect the floor and increase comfort.
- Begin with Bodyweight
Anyone who is just starting a workout program should do bodyweight exercises first. This lets you start building strength while evaluating your body mechanics and movement. You’ll also improve stability and balance, creating a better foundation on which to add weights later.
- Choose the Right Equipment
Home gym weights should let you comfortably do the exercises you want. PowerBlock™ adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells have a versatile ergonomic design and take up much less space than regular weights. You might also consider barbells or a workout bench if you want more lifting options.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing
Wearing regular everyday clothing such as jeans, dress clothes and pajamas will severely restrict an exercise routine. Instead, pick workout gear that provides support, allows movement and is breathable for when you start sweating. You also should wear sneakers to help with traction and stability.
- Have a Good Warm-Up
You should always do a warm-up before starting a workout. This will increase joint flexibility, activate muscles and increase blood flow to prepare for more strenuous lifting. A few minutes of dynamic stretches, light exercise, cardio or foam rolling are all great warm-up options.
- Focus on Form
Health and wellness expert Chris Divecchio notes that bad technique is one of the leading causes of workout injuries. When you repeatedly do an action incorrectly, it creates a lot of extra stress that eventually leads to muscle and joint breakdowns. Just remember it’s better to do an exercise right than to do it fast.
- Remember the Cooldown
The time right after the workout is just as important as the workout itself. Doing some static stretches or another cooldown routine will relax the muscles, reduce lactic acid build-up and ease your body down to its pre-workout vitals. All three things help with recovery and injury prevention.