If you’ve decided to get fit, but haven’t ever exercised (or are getting back into it after taking years off), then the idea of hitting the weight room or joining a gym might seem a bit intimidating. Rather than pay all the money for a gym membership or be overwhelmed when seeing all the equipment in the weight room, get started with getting fit through weight training in the comfort of your own home.
Start by doing one set of ten repetitions of each of these exercises. When you’re ready, complete two sets of reps with the goal of building up to three sets. Follow this plan three days a week on nonconsecutive days. Start with weights that challenge you, but don’t leave you feeling frustrated. As you become stronger, you’ll want to increase the amount of weight you’re using for each exercise.
light hand weights
Warm-Up and Stretch
March in place for several minutes, followed by light stretching.
Hold hand weights in both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring the weights up and place them on your shoulders. Holding the weights in place on the shoulders lower into a squat, pretending that you are sitting down into a chair by pushing your hips backward. (Use a chair the first couple of rounds to get the correct positioning). Lower down until your hips are parallel to the floor and legs form a 90 degree angle. Slowly rise back up to standing.
Lift the dumbbells to shoulder level, palms facing away from the body (arms should form 90-degree angles like goal posts). Press the dumbbells overhead to a point where your arms are extended straight, but not locked out. Lower to return to starting position.
Hold weights in both hands with palms facing toward the body. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding the weight in front of your thighs. Keeping the back straight, bend with a straight waist into a deadlift, keeping the chest high and the weight hanging in front of you. Pause when the weights are at knee level. Slowly lift your body to starting position.
Lie on the mat with both feet flat on the floor. Hold weights in both hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing away from you, arms straight and parallel to each other. Inhale as you lower the weights until they are just above the chest (arms should make 90-degree angles and look like goal posts), with elbows just above the mat. Exhale as you press your arms back up to the starting position.
Stand with both of the feet slightly wider than hip-width apart while holding dumbbells in both hands, palms facing toward the body. Keep arms straight, or bring the weights and rest them against your body, just above your hips. Step the left foot backward. Lunge straight down so that both legs create a 90 degree angle. Rise up to standing. After completing ten reps one side, switch legs and complete reps on the opposite side.
Alternating Bicep Curl
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart with weights in both hands, palms facing away from the body. Raise your right hand so that the weight stops just before touching the right shoulder. As you lower the right weight, raise the left. Alternate arms until you’ve completed ten reps on both sides.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, while holding dumbbells in each hand, palms facing toward the body. Raise heels up, and then return heels to the ground.
Two-Arm Tricep Extension
Hold one weight with both of your hands. Raise the weight overhead with straight arms. Keeping your arms as close to your ears as possible, bend your arms until they form 90-degree angles so that the weight is behind your head. Press the weight back up to starting position.
Don’t forget to stretch after your workout!