If you want strength at home, bodyweight exercises are the way to go. You will never 'grow out' of them since they can be modified to a difficulty that only a few people in the world can do (one armed muscle up? planche pushup?).
There are bodyweight exercises for every muscle in your body except your uterus and you don't need much equipment, but a pullup bar is pretty essential. I would get the kind that can adjust heights easily so you can put it low enough to use for dips and high enough to use for pullups and hanging exercises. Pull up bars cost under $20 usually. Another piece of equipment that is useful is a chair, bench, or box that can handle your weight.
Here is a sample of just a few bodyweight exercises (there are many, many more!!) based on the body parts they train the most (though ALL bodyweight exercises are compound exercises that use multiple muscle groups together): note - for all the one-legged exercises you obviously have to do it on both sides to complete the workout.
LEGS-BUTT -single leg calf raises: balance with the toes of one foot on a step, facing the stairs. Bend the other knee and put your hands on your waist to help balance. Lower yourself down and push up to complete one rep.
-squat: feet shoulder width apart, push your butt out behind you and "sit" back until your thighs touch your calves. Drive through your heels to bring your body back to standing. One leg modification (more difficult) - same thing except one of your legs is straight out in front of your body (like a leg lift).
LOWER BACK: -hyperextensions on a mat: lie on your stomach. stretch your arms out in front of you and lift your shoulders and legs off the mat.
-single leg deadlift: stand on right foot. Bend down pushing left leg hard up behind you so that your leg is straight. Touch left hand to right foot keeping your back straight. Return to standing without bending the straight line of your body.
ABS: -hanging leg raise: jump up to your pullup bar. Pull your knees up to touch your chest and turn your butt out as far as possible. When that is easy to do, raise your legs while straight with locked knees as far as possible. Ultimately you should be able to touch the top of your foot to the pullup bar.
-plank: in a push up position with arms extended, hold the position for as long as you can.
OBLIQUES: -hanging leg raise with rotation: same as hanging leg raise except swivel your lower body to each side (either with bent knees or straight legs)
CHEST: -push up: with your feet on the floor and your hands under your shoulders, lower yourself to the floor and push up. To make it a little different, put your feet on a bench so you are at a decline position.
SHOULDERS: -pike press: with your feet on a bench and your hands on the floor as close to the bench as you can comfortably go, lower yourself down so that your head touches the floor (or almost if you are uncomfortable with that idea) and push back up - it's like a push up but with your hands a lot closer to the bench. To make it easier, put your knees on the bench. To make it harder, do a handstand and then lower down and push up (handstand pushups are only for when you're sure you are strong enough and someone is spotting you because you don't want to hurt your neck).
MIDDLE BACK: -pull ups: grab the pullup bar and pull your body up until your chin is over the bar. If you can't do pull ups yet, stand on a chair and jump up so that your chin is over the bar and then try to control your body as you descend.
BICEPS: -chin ups: same as pullups except your palms face you rather than away from you.
TRICEPS: -dips: put both hands on the pullup bar under your shoulders. Lock your elbows and cross your feet behind you so that your entire weight is resting on your upper body. Lower your body by bending your elbows and then push up until your elbows are almost but not locked. To make it easier, put your hands on either side of your butt while sitting on a bench or chair. Put your feet on the floor with straight legs (bent if you need an easier modification) and let your butt off the chair while supporting your weight on your hands. Push up and lower down.
There are tons more bodyweight exercises, I guess these are the basic ones though and if you do these you will be getting a complete full body workout. You won't need a gym but if you can get to one, you should also use the equipment there. They can complement each other very nicely. If you can go to the gym once/week or once every two weeks to use the weights that would be great.
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11/14/12 4:23 A
Exercise bike also gives you a good workout.
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11/14/12 3:14 A
For strength training at home, you can start with body weight exercises, such as push ups, planks, body weight squats etc.
You can also get inexpensive resistance bands if you need to increase the intensity of your workouts.
Finally, you can hit the power rack at your gym. But ideally you should first ace the body weight exercises and then you can hit the power rack.
I have two gym memberships, but never enough time to drive there and get it done. I have a treadmill and have been using that. I want to incorporate more strength training and stretching to my daily activity. My budget is tight, so I'm looking for something easy and not a whole lot of equipment needed.... Any ideas?