Let’s admit it that all of us have watched plenty of online workout tutorials and promised ourselves to kick-start a fitness regime while working from home (and then forgotten about it due to lack of motivation or equipment!). But if what we told you that all you need is a mat, chair and a bottle of water to begin strength training exercises at home? Yes, that’s true!
But firstly, let’s understand what strength training means and the benefits of it. Australian strength and conditioning coach, Vidyut Chojar describes it as progressive load, which is one of the techniques of strength training. He says, “In order to become stronger, you need to progressively load the person.”
For instance, an exercise as simple as a pushup can be advocated as strength training. For a beginner who is unable to get the correct position, it simply begins with wall pushup which is gradually progresses to a pushup on the floor also called as the horizontal pushup. Chojar adds, “The idea is to develop it slowly in progression and then increase it.” Some of the benefits of strength training apart from muscular development and maintaining muscle tissue is that it strengthens bones, reduces the risk of injury.
So, what you need for a 15-20 minutes strength training session at home:
• A small bottle of water
Before you begin exercising, Chojar advises, “A quick warm-up session is a must and very important for a successful workout. Warming up helps in increasing the heart rate and core body temperature and reducing the injury risk.”
What your basic warm-up session should include:
• 30 seconds of jogging in the same place
• 10 jumping jacks
• Shoulder mobility: For this, take the bottle of water and rotate it clockwise and anticlockwise.
• Lumbar mobility:Try cat and camel and T spine rotations.
4 exercises for strength training:
• Push ups: 3 sets x 6-8 repetitions each. Make sure you do not lock your elbows. Inhale while going down and exhale from mouth while coming up.
• Squats: 3 sets x 8 reps: For beginners, a chair can be helpful to attempt this activity. Remember not to lock your knees. Keeping the chair behind hip hinge and descend down till your glutes touch the chair. Exhale and come back up.
• Split squat: Take one leg forward and one leg back and stand in a split position. Keeping the torso stable bend the rear knee and go down. Exhale and straighten the rear leg to come up. Don’t lock the front leg knee.
• Plank: Start with 5 seconds to begin with. Chojar has an ultimate to hack to hold the plank. He says, “I always suggest my students to take the mind off the activity and recall a happy memory that will transport and divert the mind.”
“Once you are able to master your bodyweight you can progressively overload the muscles by using a backpack or jhola filled with books.The addition of some weight makes the exercise dynamic and leads to better muscle stimulus,” suggests Chojar.
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