Working out in summer just feels better. Somehow, we experience renewed motivation and an influx of energy as we come out of the dreary, cold months. Let’s make this season all about new beginnings and hitting your fitness goals.
If one of those fitness goals is to get stronger, exercising with weights should definitely be on your list of regular workouts. From dumbbells and kettlebells to sandbags and those very intimidating barbells that fitness enthusiasts use, weighted exercises have more benefits than just defining your muscles.
The benefits of weight training Training with weights has numerous benefits. It has the potential to boost your health and fitness, improve bone density and muscle endurance, and increase your overall strength. If you’ve ever stuck to a training programme, you will know how incredible it is to feel fit and strong with a renewed sense of confidence. But these results don’t come overnight, and you won’t start reaping the rewards without a good dose of hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of sweat! Feeling discouraged because you don’t have access to the gym and don’t want to invest in a set of weights? Don’t worry! It’s as simple as filling two empty bottles with water.
The best weighted exercises for toned legs and arms
Once you’ve gathered your training gear, it’s time to plan your workouts and work on those reps. From the gym to your garden or even out in the park, these easy-to-do-anywhere workouts are so convenient, you’ll be happy to add another rep to your set.
It really isn’t as intimidating as the name implies! All you need to do is stand up straight, holding one weight in each hand at hip level; draw your shoulders back and push your hips back as you slowly lower the weights toward your feet. Then, slowly press your hips forward to come back into a standing position. You should feel the burn in your abdominals, glutes, and hamstrings.
Double arm raised lunges
Work your glutes from every angle! Start with your right foot forward and left foot back. Bend your knees but don’t let your left knee touch the floor. Then, while keeping your torso straight and abs in, push through your front heel and return to your starting position. Now repeat on the other side, and then add some weights! You can choose how you want to hold them: straight down next to your body, extended out to the sides, or stretched out in front of you.
Weighted Russian twists
Romanian twists are great for working your abs and upper body. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Keep your spine long, lean slightly back and lift your legs off the floor. Now, slowly twist your torso to the left and bring the weight beside your left hip. Return to the centre, then slowly twist to the right and bring the weight beside your right hip to complete one rotation. You’ll immediately start to feel the exercise working! Add it to your daily workout and you’ll have a stronger core in no time.
Another great weight training technique to try at home is to stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbells or your makeshift weights at shoulder height. Your palms should face away from you and your elbows should form a 90-degree angle. Chest up, core engaged, breathe, and press the weights directly upwards until your arms are straight and the weights touch above your head. You can also try this by lying on your back and have the weights meet in the air above your head. Do as many reps as you can or until your arms start to feel tired.
Getting fitter, stronger, and leaner takes time, dedication, and hard work. Fitness and health are, of course, about feeling great about yourself right now, but also about ensuring your future health.
Take the leap, fill those water bottles, and pick an open space on the floor to start your weight-training journey.