Strength work can get ignored when surrounded by messages about upping your cardio and raising your heart rate, but it’s great for overall health and posture and complements the cardio perfectly.
Here’s our pick of the top 3 strength exercises you should be doing for all round fitness.
Just like when you lift the shopping out the car, weighted lifts translate perfectly into day to day activities.
Start with some light dumbbells or kettlebells if you’ve not lifted before. Holding one weight in each hand, let your arms hang by your sides – and walk!
You can gradually build up the weight that you carry, but the idea is that you should be continuously upping your effort.
What’s that then? It’s unlikely you’ll have a trap bar at home, unless you’re a serious lifter. If you imagine a deadlift, where you grab a bar and stand up, this is a contraption you stand inside.
Head to a dedicated gym with lifting equipment and this will become a real asset to the strength work that you do.
Before you begin with weighted squats, make sure you have your standard squat nailed. It’s all about form with most exercises. If you’re doing them wrong, then you won’t see the gains.
A normal squat should see you putting the weight on your heels and sitting back as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Your back should remain as straight as possible and you should be looking forward. Some find it easier to clasp their hands in front of their chest.
Once you’ve got the standard squat figured out, add a kettlebell positioned between your legs, or a couple of dumbbells.
When you’re feeling really confident you could even try a squat press using the dumbbells.
I would also recommend weighted squats with a kettlebell. They truly are the best item of gym equipment for using in the home too, in my opinion
I added a kettlebell to my goblet squats inn the New Year and it's made a big difference. I do about 40 of them now! It feels great to do.