Improving your muscular strength and endurance will set you up for better health. With virtually endless options that include free weights, machines, medicine balls, resistance bands and kettlebells, you can choose a different workout for every day that you strength train.
Barbells and Dumbbells
Dumbbells and barbells help your body use stabilizer muscle groups in addition to the prime mover muscles during an exercise. For example, during a chest press with dumbbells, your focus is on your chest muscles but the muscles of the shoulder also have to activate to stabilize the joint and provide a uniform controlled movement.
Free weights allow for a greater range of motion and natural movement during most exercises and are available at fitness and discount stores so you can work out at home.
Kettlebells are an excellent mode for working muscular strength and endurance in a dynamic fashion. This fitness tool is portable, which makes it easy to take with you for workouts away from the gym. The kettlebell swing, a basic foundational kettlebell exercise, involves recruitment of muscles in the entire body to perform the movement correctly. This exercise requires the legs and hips to propel the kettlebell upward, controlling it with the arms and abdominal muscles. It teaches the entire body to work in unison while building strength and endurance in various muscle groups.
Machines are a good choice for the novice exerciser. They require little if any added stability while isolating a specific muscle group. For example, preacher curls isolate the bicep in the front of the arm and do not require any added stability from joints such as the shoulder. Common machines for the lower body include the leg press, leg curl, leg extension, and heel raise machines. Upper body machines normally include rows, lat pulldowns, chest press, shoulder press, arm curl, and triceps extension exercises.
You can do a variety of exercises with medicine balls. Squats, lunges, and overhead throws are great leg exercises that can be performed with a medicine ball. Upper body exercises such as push-ups with one arm on the medicine ball and one arm on the floor are also effective for strength and stability. The medicine ball chest throw, with a partner or against a wall, is a compound exercise that will strengthen the articulation of your upper body joints as well build strength.
Resistance Bands and Tubes
Resistance bands and tubes provide various exercises for the upper and lower body and freedom to move in several directions during exercises. Perform seated rows, biceps curls and military presses among others. Keep your bands and tubes in good condition and check for tears or lesions before every workout.