Is it true you need a gym to do resistance training? No, there are countless numbers of resistance exercises you can do at home, without even picking up a dumbbell. 'How' you ask? The trick is knowing how to use your own body weight. Here are three circuits you can do three times a week, working all the major muscle groups and joints.
Upper body circuit
- Push-ups - The classic exercise which can be modified to different levels. For Beginners, start by placing your hands on a table or bench. The more advanced can work your way to elevating your feet on surfaces. Complete one set of 15 reps then move on.
- Dips - Using a bench or chair, start in the elevated position and slowly lower yourself down until your elbows are chest height. Complete a set of 15 reps then move on.
- Pull-ups - Find a bar strong enough to support your body weight. The key to pull-ups is slow and controlled technique. Begin with your palms facing you and arms shoulder-width apart. Start with 5 reps, all with good technique, and increase as you improve. Begin the upper body circuit again 3 times
- Overhead squats - Start by placing both hands on your head and slowly lower to the ground for around 3 seconds then return to starting, in 2 seconds. Complete one set of 10 reps and move on
- Single leg squats - Start on one leg and lower your body until your back foot hits the ground then slowly raise yourself up again. All the force comes through your front leg and hips. Keep your hips level throughout, and hold onto something to start with for balance. Complete 10 reps on each leg and move on.
- Lunges - Begin with both feet parallel and in an upright position. Slowly lower your hips down, keeping your front leg still and stable. Lower until your back leg is above the ground. Complete 10 reps on each leg and begin the lower body circuit again 3 times.
- Plank - Start with your body stable and core completely still. Be sure not to arch your back or extend too much to keep its natural curve. Hold for 10 seconds and move onto the next exercise.
- Side plank - Begin on your sidearm holding up your body and feet apart, top leg in front of the other. Hold for 10 seconds on each side and move onto the next exercise.
- Footprints - starting lying on your back with both knees up in the air legs and hips at 90 degrees. Slowly lower and raise each leg, one after another, for 10 reps on each. Maintain a still core the whole time through the exercise. Begin the circuit again 3 times.
Written by Luke Dorizas, Exercise Physiologist. B. Sci (Health and Exercise)