If you don't want to drop a dime or spend your time commuting to a gym, doing resistance exercises at home is an effective way to build muscular strength. Exercises that simultaneously challenge and strengthen multiple muscles will give you the most bang for your buck. Additional benefits of strength-training include improvements in bone density and muscular capability. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Squats tone the glutes, hips, hamstrings and quads. Stand up straight, feet shoulder-width apart. Stick your hips out behind you and align your knees and ankles. Lower your hips toward the floor, bending your knees as you descend. Stop when your hamstrings are parallel to the floor. Push through your heels and stand up. Complete 12 to 15 reps.
Drop and Give Me
Pushups challenge the arms, shoulders, chest and core. Kneel on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders, then widen them 2 inches. Extend your feet behind you, lifting onto your toes. Tighten your stomach muscles and align your shoulders, back, hips and knees. Bend and flare your elbows as you lower. Right before your chest touches the floor, push up through your arms and lift your body. Complete 12 to 15 reps.
- American Council on Exercise: Push-up
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- ACE Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise
- Duke University: The Unquestionable Benefits of Strength Training