People afraid to go to the gym have been converted into home-training (most Lifehack readers may have bought my Busy But Fit Home Workouts video course). Now, to get faster results, they’re stocking up on dumbbells and bars to boost their home-workouts.
Add beginner-friendly weight lifting exercises into your bodyweight routine to stimulate muscle growth, increase strength, and burn calories.
However, poor weight training can result in serious injuries. Some exercises are not very efficient, and you end up spending your time doing nothing that will benefit you.
A trainer can help you monitor your movements. When I enroll someone in my programs, I spend a lot of time correcting dangerous movements or stiff and sore joints. Do not lift heavy weights if you have concerns about your posture, neck, shoulder or lower back pain or trouble your balance.
The Basics of Weight Training
If you are looking to lift weights, here is a list of basic terminology.
A repetition, or “rep”, is a lift of weights or completing an exercise move. A set of repetitions, or “set of reps”, is a series of repetitions.
For beginners, it is a good idea to do three sets with ten repetitions. This is often called 3×10, for example, three sets with ten squats.
You can do a few repetitions at a lower weight to get used to the process. Next, you can do up to 10 repetitions in succession (one set).
For comfort and good intensity, you can use lighter or heavier weights. You shouldn’t lift more than 8 reps. You may need to lift a little more weight if you can do more than 12 repetitions with minimal efforts, such as 20, although some programs that promote strength endurance require this number of reps. All exercises are subject to this rule.
Your body should take a break between sets to replenish its energy for the next round. Depending on your intensity and weight, the time between sets can vary from 60 seconds to five minutes. A ten-rep set of moderate or low intensity is sufficient rest time.
Safety basics you need to know
It would help if you were careful when lifting weights or doing intense workouts.
Leg press, deadlift, and squat all put the spine under pressure. This can cause injuries to the lower back, lumbar, or lower spine. It is important to keep your back straight or slightly bent in neutral, during such exercises, especially for beginners. Please, no rounded backs.
Hyperextension refers to pushing a joint beyond its normal range. Hyperextension can cause injury if excessive joint movement stresses ligaments or tendons. This is why it is important not to lock your arms at the elbow and legs at the knees while lifting weights.
Let’s get to the good stuff. Let’s move on to the meat, or should I say, “let us get to the iron.”
These are the exercises you would normally do with dumbbells or a bar. These are known as compound movements because they involve multiple joints and engage many muscles.
A good beginner weight lifting program will emphasize compound movements to build strength and muscle mass.
Targets: Lower body
Equipment Required: Barbell, 2 Dumbbells
Squat lifting is one of the most effective weightlifting exercises to build lower body power, leg strength, and muscle mass. This complex exercise involves multiple muscles and joints simultaneously, so it requires some practice and instruction to master safely.
Squats increase lower body strength, endurance, power, and power. They engage the core, strengthen the trunk, and increase the upper body and trunk stability.
Targets: Chests, arms, shoulders
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, barbell
The pectorals are the main chest muscle. This exercise also targets the upper arm’s anterior deltoids and triceps brachii.
While it is important to have a defined chest and chest for a more fit appearance, this muscle can also be used for functional purposes. Strong pecs are essential for any sport using a racket or bat. You can also use the chest press to help you carry or push heavy objects.
Targets: Full body, quadriceps and gluteal, lower back and trapezius
Equipment Required: Dumbbells or Barbells
A deadlift is an excellent way to get a good-looking back and legs. You lift the weight from ground to thigh level using your hip and leg muscles and with assistance from most of your large muscle groups.
Although the deadlift is most commonly performed with a bar, plates or a fixed barbell, it can also be performed with dumbbells. This is an important part of powerlifting and should not be overlooked in weight training. Make the deadlift a part of your strength-training routines to build muscle and functional fitness.
Equipment Required: Dumbbells
The overhead dumbbell press strengthens the shoulders and core, increasing stability. You can do it standing or sitting. The dumbbells can be held horizontally at your shoulders or in a hammer grip. Standing position allows for better stability of the back.
For beginners, you should start with light weights. Then increase the weight until you can lift 10 repetitions with good form and feel tired at the end. This exercise can be used in any upper-body strength training.
If you are unable to pull-ups, lat pulldown
Equipment Required: Cable pulley machines
The Lat Pulldown Machine is a great starting point for building back muscles. Pulldown exercises work the back muscles, particularly the latissimus Dorsi, or “lats.” They are performed at a station with adjustable resistance, usually plates.
You will sit with your upper thighs under a thigh pad. Now, pull the hanging bar towards you until you reach your chin. Then, control it and do one more repetition. You can also use this exercise to create a V-shaped rear.