For most people, strength training is often associated with trips to the gym and a seemingly never-ending line of big, bulky weights. To many, just the idea of training in a facility with people around may come across as daunting. If you are one of the many who wish to improve their strength but are hesitant to head down to your nearest gym, know that strength training need not be a quagmire of confusion. Truth is, there is a simple alternative that features a safe space that allows you to engage in some resistance training: your home!
Granted, most of us do not have the same range of equipment that a gym facility has lying around, but strength training is still possible with a few things you can easily find at home. This guide will show you how to achieve your strength training goals with just a few handy items.
The Science Behind Strength Training
If you are looking to build up your strength, strength training and resistance training are your ultimate go-tos. By placing mechanical loads on these muscles, it activates individual muscle fibres that then allows them to create actin-myosin cross bridges (which are responsible for muscle contractions) and thus, allows these muscle fibres to counteract the force applied. Force, in this case, is not limited to just weights and can take in many different forms, like body weight, for instance.
Naturally, you may wonder about the efficacy of using lighter loads compared to heavier ones. The assumption has always been that the heavier the weights, the more significant muscle size and strength increase. This is correct, up to a point.
Gains in strength result from several factors, one of which is the adaptive response of the muscle to the heavy mechanical load that produces muscle damage. The act of lifting heavy loads prevents the muscles from performing the movement fast, effectively engaging the muscle fibres. This, in turn, recruits more motor neurons to share the mechanical load, giving way for full actin-myosin cross bridge creation to take place. Fortunately, this entire process can be done with lighter weights as well, so long as these two conditions are met:
- The movement is deliberately slowed down to make way for muscle engagement.
- When the muscles are exercised to failure (the point where the muscles can no longer contract concentrically), signifying adequate mechanical muscle damage.
Now that you have these conditions in mind, let us briefly explore how you can have a strength training workout right at the comfort of your own home.
Exercising with Your Bodyweight
The most crucial component of effective strength training is your form. You will need to master your form before you can proceed to more difficult exercises. This can be easily done by using your body weight as an element of resistance. Start by looking for ways to correct and perfect your forms when performing squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups. Once you are confident enough, you can then consider adding more and more weight. Maintaining perfect form is essential in not only helping your body familiarise itself with the exercises, but also helps protect your body from injury. Once you have perfected the basics, results will naturally follow.
Exercising with Makeshift Weights
Unfortunately, bodyweight can only give you so much. Those looking for increased strength gains will have no choice but to lift heavy weights. Naturally, the go-to weights that most would use when exercising at home are dumbbells. If you do not have any of those within your disposable, there are plenty of household items that you can use to get the job done. Your dumbbell-esque equipment can be anything from a filled up water bottle, laundry detergent to a bag of rice. Alternatively, you can also consider using resistance bands during your workouts.
Anya Active: Helping You Achieve Your Strength Training Goals
At Anya Active, we advocate the act of pursuing healthy and active lliving no matter the place and time. Whether that includes the gym or your safe sanctuary, we believe that your safety and comfort are paramount and should be placed as the priority. To support you in your strength training journey, we offer a selection of ladies activewear designed with an ultra-breathable and ultra quick-dry Cloud fabric to give you optimal comfort. Besides, these women's sportswear also offers enough compression and medium-high support to make your physical activities much more enjoyable for you. The best part? We cater to a wide range of sizes, including plus sizes. Be sure to browse through our online collection or visit our store in Singapore today!