If you’ve just decided that you want to start working out, whether that’s with the intention to get bigger, lose weight or just get in better shape, you might get overwhelmed with all of the information available nowadays on the topic. There are millions of training programs, all claiming that they’ll help you become ripped in no time. But the truth of the matter is, it’s going to take more than you think to reach your desired fitness goals, and as you go along the way you’ll realize that you already have new goals and have pushed your boundaries.
A lot of people postpone working out because they’re too intimidated to hit the gym. If you’re one of them, don’t worry – you can still achieve your fitness goals at home, with minimum equipment required. All you need to exercise your whole body at home are weight training bars and a couple of weight plates. A barbell paired with a few weight plates allows you to perform several core strength exercises that can activate all of your muscle groups and help you grow. Weight training bars like the barbell and weight plates won’t take up a lot of space, and they won’t break your bank. Even if you’re looking to just lose fat, you can do resistance training, which is proven to be a more effective fat loss program than cardio.
As aforementioned, a barbell and some weight plates let you do a couple of exercises that activate your body’s core muscles. The most important exercise you need to do in order to get in shape is the squat. Squats target the most muscle groups in the body, which leads to more testosterone production, which in turn leads to improved muscle growth. There are a couple of variations of the squat you can do, like front and back squats. Back squats target your hamstrings and gluteals, while front squats target the quadriceps. Additionally, you can target different muscles with the squat by changing the width of your stance. A wider stance lets you focus on hamstrings, while a narrower stance lets you focus on your quadriceps.
Next, you can do the deadlift, which is one of the most hated exercises by gym-goers around the world for two reasons – because it targets your lower back muscles, which when exercised hurt like hell, and because doing it in the gyms usually entails slamming heavy weights on the ground repeatedly. However, deadlifts hit your quads, hips, abs, hamstrings, lower back, and they stabilize and strengthen your erector spinae. The lower back is one of the weakest areas on the human body, which should be exercised regularly because it’s what holds your entire upper body. Not exercising your lower back can lead to injuries, instability and other issues, especially if you’re tall and top-heavy.
Furthermore, you can bench press, which is one of the best exercises to exercise your pectorals, anterior deltoids and triceps. Similarly to the squat, you can perform a few variations of the bench press to target different areas of the chest. An incline bench press targets the upper pectorals, a flat bench press hits the middle chest, and a decline bench press hits the lower pectorals. Depending on how wide you grab the bar, you can target the chest or the triceps. A wider grip lets you focus on the chest, while a narrower grip lets you focus on the triceps.
Lastly, you can do shoulder presses, which targets the deltoids. You can do front of the head and behind the head shoulder presses, and both exercises activate your entire core. Generally, shoulder presses are done in a standing position, so that you have to put extra effort in stabilising your core and balancing the bar.