I said this before and I will say it again. We live in uncertain times. Who knows when the world is going to get back to normal? But that doesn’t need to stop you. If you are trying to get in shape, but you don’t want to go to the gym or it is shut down for the time being, I want to teach you how you can lift weights at home.
There are many benefits to lift weights at home that you may not have considered until now.
You might even find that you like lifting at home more than at the gym.
Before I start, I do want to note that I am not a personal trainer or physical fitness professional. What I am sharing with you is from my personal exerpience.
Benefits To Lifting Weights
I just want to take a second to talk about why lifting weights is so great. If you are new to weightlifting, then this is information you are going to want to know anyway.
I won’t go into a whole lot of detail. If you would like more information, check out my post on Weightlifting Advantages.
Just to give you a good idea, it will not only strengthen your muscles, but you could improve your posture and flexibility, increase your metabolism, boost your confidence, and strengthen your mental health.
I also want to point out, if you are looking to maintain your strength, doing bodyweight exercises will do that. But if you want to add strength or build muscle mass, lifting weights is what you want.
Benefits To Lift Weights at Home
I personally love lifting weights at home and find that it is so much more comfortable and relaxed. I will admit that I get self-conscious sometimes and I don’t like people watching me.
It seems silly to me, especially since I did Powerlifting in high school, so I am no stranger to lifting weights. But I think if I feel that way sometimes, there are probably others out there that feel that way too.
And that’s ok. Because at home, there is no one to judge you.
The cost to lift weights at home is also much cheaper than a gym. Even if you invest in some nice weights, you will still save yourself in the long run.
You won’t have to drive to the gym anymore, which will save you that time and gas.
Before my husband and I invested in some weights, we went to a gym. Although I liked the variety of machines they had, I hated having to take the extra time to drive to and from the gym.
If it was busy night, we would skip the gym because we didn’t feel like we had enough time to drive there, workout, drive home, shower, and get dinner made by a decent time.
I have to say, for our busy schedules, investing in some equipment at home was the best move. And I want to point out you can get a great workout in, even in a small space. If we can make do, so can you!
Plus, it is harder to skip it when you have the equipment to lift weights at home.
How To Lift Weights At Home
Now, if you have gone to a gym and lifted weights, this really isn’t any different for you. BUT it never hurts to go over some basics to ensure you get a great, safe workout.
If you are new to lifting weights and are choosing to do it at home, that is great! These tips are going to be essential for you to be successful.
And if you don’t have the equipment you want, or aren’t sure what you need, check out my post on The Best At Home Exercise Equipment. This will help guide you.
Always start with a warm-up. I used to be terrible at this. I loved to just jumping in and get to it. But as I get older I know if I have an injury it is going to take me longer to bounce back than when I was younger.
Your warm-up doesn’t have to be long. Just make sure to do it 10 minutes before you start lifting weights.
This is vital because cold muscle are more prone to injury.
It is great to jog or do some light cardio for about 5-10 minutes to get your blood pumping.
You should also choose a warm-up that is similar to the lifts you’re going to be doing.
For example, push-ups are a great warm-up to any lift that will involve your triceps or chest, like bench press.
Take the few minutes to prepare your muscles. Again, this is going to help your lift better and prevent injuries.
This is one of the most important things to keep in mind. Whether you are just starting out or are getting back into lifting, you always want to start off with light weight.
Begin with something you can do comfortably for 12-15 reps. And start with just a single set if need be (we will get into more on reps and sets in a moment).
Our arms are used to reaching overhead but only with the weight of our arms. So, even adding light weight can help build muscle.
As you get stronger and more comfortable, you can add more weight.
Even if you lift all the time, do a set of light weights to warm yourself up.
By following this rule, you will save yourself from injury, which could be very sever. Think about it this way. Have you ever dropped something on your foot or even stubbed your toe? Now, consider it being a 45lb weight falling on your foot. It wouldn’t be pretty.
Remember, you are at home. You aren’t trying to impress anyone.
So, safety first!
Focus On Form
Form is another vital aspect of lifting weights. Form refers to doing a lift correctly. This is another reason it is good to start with light weight or even no weight. This allows you to go through the motion of the lift and ensure you have good form.
And go slow!
If you end up having an issue with form, going slow is going to help you see where that issue is.
For example, if you are doing a squat and lose your balance taking a step forward, you might not be able to tell where the problem is if you are going too fast. Was your back not straight? Were you on the balls of your feet?
Taking it slow is going to help make sure you can more easily fix your form.
And form also counts when you are picking up and putting down the weight on the rack. Don’t get sloppy so you don’t risk injury.
Whether it be pulling a muscle or dropping the weight on yourself.
If you are doing a lift and you cannot maintain proper form, decrease the amount of weight you are doing.
I can’t stress this enough.
Please do not blow past this section thinking you will be just fine.
As I stated before, I used to compete lifting weights, so I have seen firsthand what happens when you are doing too much weight and don’t have the proper form.
Just to give you an idea, there was a woman doing a squat. She did not have the bar positioned correctly on you shoulders and dipped her head down. As she started to squat, she lost control of the bar and it rolling over her head. The spotters didn’t realize what was happening until it already hit her in the back on the head. Needless to say she was done competing that day.
I don’t say this to scare anyone away from lifting. Just to help you realize how important it is to be safe and make sure you are doing the lifts correctly.
If you aren’t sure how to do a lift, ask a personal trainer or other physical fitness professional. I know that isn’t always a possibility, so at the very least, look it up or comment below and I would be happy to walk you through it (again, just a note that I do not have a physical fitness degree, only my personal experience).
Don’t forget to breath.
I feel like breathing is similar to form and you should make sure you focus on it as well when getting your form down.
This is an area that many people struggle in. It is something you really need to work on.
It can be tempting to hold your breath while lifting weight.
I know when I first started I was guilty of this. I would focus so much on lifting the weight that I didn’t notice I was holding my breath until I was done with my set.
By breathing, you will be keeping the muscle you are working properly oxygenated.
When you hold your breath, you are actually putting yourself at risk because it increases your blood pressure.
To breath correctly when lifting weights, you just need to breath in as you lower the weight and breath out as you lift it.
Determine Your Reps and Sets
Now, when you start to lift weights you want to make sure you have some consistency. You need that consistency to build muscle and see results.
A rep is the number of times you complete an exercise before you take a break. For example, you might do 20 sit-ups and then rest for a minute before doing more. 20 is the number of reps you did.
A set is the number of consecutive repetitions you do. For example, you might do 3 sets of 20 reps for your crunches. That means you did 20 crunches, rested, did another 20 crunches, rested, and finished with 20 more crunches.
Before you start your lift, decide how many reps and set you are going to do.
And keep in mind, you can change the weight with each set or keep it the same.
For example, if you start doing arm curls with 10lb weights and you do 15 reps quickly with relative ease, you can increase the next set to 15-20lbs.
I have a tendency to be like, “hmm what exercise do I feel like doing?”
So, deciding what I am going to do and having an idea of how many sets and reps I am going to do before I begin saves me some time.
Rest Between Set
This seems like a no brainer but there are a lot of people that try to rush through their workout, so I think it needs to be said.
Whether you plan to lift weights at home or a gym, you should always be resting between your sets.
This only needs to be about 60 seconds, but it gives you the chance to catch your breath and your muscle to take a minute to relax.
You can do more damage than good if you are not resting between your sets, like pulling a muscle.
Alternate Muscle Groups
Alright, I get that you might have a certain area that you want to work on. I see this all the time and I just have to laugh sometimes.
If nothing else I say in this section is going to make sure you alternate muscle groups, let me just say this. If you focus on one are you could end up looking funny.
I’m sure you have seen this too. People focus on one muscle group and neglect others so they end up with huge arms and tiny little chicken legs, for example.
Don’t let that be you!
Another reason you want to alternate muscle groups is so that you aren’t overworking your muscles.
Your muscles should have time to rest, recover, and repair.
To be sure you aren’t overworking muscles, never work the same muscles two days in a row.
An example of this would be working your legs on Monday and moving to your arms on Tuesday.
However, you can work all your major muscle groups in one day if you want. If you do this, you just need to rest at least a day in between working out again. So, you would just lift 2-3 times a week.
Don’t Forget Rest Days
If you ever hear people tell you that you do not need rest day, they are dead wrong.
It doesn’t make you a wimp or lazy to rest a day or two between lifting weights at home.
In fact, that is when you get stronger.
Your muscles need time to repair. When you work out, you actually tear some of your muscle fibers. Those fibers then regenerate and add more fibers, making you stronger.
But for your body to do that, it needs rest, as well as proper food and sleep.
If you struggle to get a good night sleep, check out this post.
So, if you are a beginner or a pro that wants to lift weights 3 times a week, make sure to rest 1-2 days between workouts.
And if you are really challenging your body, you might want to drop the days you lift to just 2 times a week.
Studies have shown that daily stretching is very beneficial to your body. It improves your circulation and better blood flow helps your muscle repair faster.
Stretching can also help to relieve soar or stiff muscles and it can aid in flexibility.
I’ll be honest, I forget to stretch a lot after I work out. I don’t know what it is but it only pops into my mind if I have some stiff muscles that I feel need to be stretched.
This is a good habit to get into early because it is very beneficial for you and it really doesn’t take much time.
Promise, this is something I will be working on too!
Don’ts For Lifting Weights At Home
There are some things you should keep in mind that you don’t want to do or get in the habit of doing.
These are common mistakes that people overlook and are important for you to know so you don’t become one of them.
There is no need to rush when you lift weights at home. No one is there waiting to use the weights or making you feel awkward.
When you rush, that is when accidents happen.
Always make sure you are in control of the weight. This not only prevents injury, but also helps isolate muscles you want to work and keeps you from relying on momentum to lift the weight.
You will know if you are rushing yourself if your form is lacking. This is another great reason to focus on form because it will help you control your lift.
When I first started lifting, I remember doing a squat during my first competition. I was nervous (I was after the woman I told you about that dropped the weight) and rushed my lift. I squatted too fast and lost my footing. Luckily for me, I had a spotter on each side so they grabbed the weight before anything bad could happen.
That did open my eyes as to how important it is to control your lift and not rush.
Don’t Overdo It
This goes hand in hand with starting light. If you routinely lift, you will work your way up to lifting more weight than you thought.
But never overdo it.
What I mean is, if you are struggling with a weight, don’t strain yourself. This is especially important if you are lifting alone.
You never want to lift more than you can handle and risk major injury.
Always have a spotter when possible!
I had a teammate back in the day and he was going for a personal best for deadlift. He was working so had to lift it, his nose actually started to bleed. He did complete the lift if you were wondering.
But the point is, you can build muscle and get a great workout without going that crazy.
Don’t Ignore Pain
This one seems like it should be a no brainer as well, but just in case.
If you are having pain, don’t just push past it. You might be tempted to, I get it.
But not listening to your body can cause injury.
For example, if you are experiencing knee pain, don’t continue doing the exercise you are doing. Depending on the pain, lower the weight you are using at the least. The smartest move is to work a different area of your body and give your knee a rest. Or even call it a day.
If you continue to work the area that is in pain, you could cause serious injury, such as tearing a muscle or tendon.
If you feel you have injured something, stop lifting and consult your doctor.
Just keep in mind, if you injure yourself, you aren’t going to be able to lift weights for a while.
Better safe than sorry.
Lift Weights At Home
Lifting weights is a great addition to any exercise routine. You will not only strengthen your muscles and mental health, but improve your posture and flexibility as well.
And if you lift weights at home, you will be doing it in the comfort of your own home and be able to relax.
Just remember, you should warm up before lifting and always start light.
Form is vital, so be sure you have it down, as well as your breathing.
Figure out how many sets and reps you want to do before you start your lift and always rest between your set.
Make sure you alternate muscle groups, so you don’t overwork any muscles. And you have rest days between your lift days.
It can be beneficial for your muscle repair, to stretch after you lift.
And if you take anything away from this post, let it be this.
Don’t rush, don’t overdo it, and don’t ignore pain.
Keep this in mind and you should have no problem lifting weights at home!
If your ready to get started and need some equipment, this post will guide you.