You may already go to the gym or work out at home. And maybe you feel like you strike a good balance between aerobic exercise and strength training. But are your muscles specifically trained to carry the laundry basket or lift the groceries?
Whether you’re just beginning to add strength training to your routine or you already do upper- and lower-body muscle-strengthening moves, knowing—and avoiding—common pitfalls is key in ensuring you get the most out of your workout and protect yourself from injury.
Of all the strength training equipment out there, a body bar is one of the simplest to use. Whether you’ve used one in a fitness class or want to incorporate one into your at-home workout, there’s a variety of body bar exercises to help keep things interesting—especially helpful for new exercisers.
These exercises are a combination of strength and cardio, helping you build muscle while boosting your heart rate and burning calories. Incorporating these moves into your workout routine is a great way to challenge your body in different ways (and save some time on busier days).
Think about how you move your body during the day: You carry groceries, lift the laundry, maybe climb up and down stairs, get in and out of the car and so on. Do you know your true strength?
Exercising with kettlebells—weights that look like cannonballs with handles—tones muscle, increases your cardiovascular fitness and improves your posture and balance. As if that wasn’t enough, a typical kettlebell routine is done in less than half an hour—a great option if you’re short on time.
Smaller and heavier than a stability ball, a medicine ball is great for functional strength training—that which requires several muscle groups to work together so that you can lift, twist, reach and more, all with the specific intention of preparing you to perform everyday activities that involve the same movements with ease.
Although there are numerous differences between men’s and women’s bodies, our muscle tissue is actually identical. Still, certain areas of our bodies tend to lack lean muscle mass, depending on our gender, making certain strength exercises better choices for women and others for men.
Resistance bands may not look like much compared to the other gear in the strength training area of your gym. They are, however, a great tool for keeping your muscles challenged. Beyond the fact that they can provide a welcome break from weight machines, they offer results without as many safety concerns.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a combination of quick, give-it-your-all exercises and slow-it-down recovery periods that allow you to get an effective workout in a short amount of time—even if you only have 20 minutes to spare. The best part: You can do at the gym, in your backyard, on the bedroom floor or just about anywhere.
Strength-training machines look pretty impressive—and they can help you achieve results that are just as remarkable. However, though there are entire sections of the gym dedicated to them, you don’t really need machines to get an efficient workout. Your amazing body can serve as its own strength-training tool.