Weight-lifting. Tricky subject. Always calls to mind Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is probably not a good thing. On Thursday we’ll talk about why you should do strength workouts, but today it’s wallet-busting tech Tuesday!
What can you lift?
Well, even I don’t want to make you spend your money unnecessarily. You can get a great strength workout lifting yourself. Try these bodyweight home workouts:
some bodyrock workouts
any yoga workout ever
You can lift household items (we’ll talk about “no kit, kit” next Tech Tuesday).
But, if you have room in your “pain-cave“, you might want some actual shiny new kit:
Or you could go to the gym. They have racks and racks of dumbbells lined up. Usually you have to climb over grunting sweating blokes “doing it for the gains” to get at them. Off-putting. What to buy for your home gym, then?
These are light weights. They are used to add a small amount of weight to a bodyweight move. They are perfect for beginners and they help you “feel” the movement in order to improve technique, as well as building muscle.
A bit heavier and use with caution for some moves. Make sure you have built up strength first. Any heavier than this and I think you are actually better off in the gym with supervision to avoid injury (On Thursday we will discuss “going heavy”). If you want to go heavier at home, get a kettlebell.
Possibly my favourite thing ever*. The Russians apparently invented them for measuring grain in “poods” of 16kg, then one of them found he got quite “ripped” using it and a sport was born. They are an eccentric weight, so they mimic the dynamic moves of real life e.g. lifting up a baby, carrying a suitcase, trying to put the suitcase on top of the wardrobe, etc…….
They can give you a muscle building workout, a whole body strength workout, especially for your “core”, or a cardio workout, and you can even do it as “HIIT” which is so good for fat-burning (which we’ll talk about next Thursday).
Lowest weight – 4kg, highest weight – 32kg in male competition, but they make heavier! There is a whole dedicated competitive kettlebell sport out there which you might even get sucked into (let us know if you do!). I bought 8kg, 12kg and 16kg bells and I generally stick with the 8kg, except for moves using big muscles (thighs & glutes for e.g. deadlift) I can go heavier.
There are different types – the competition kettlebells are not great for small hands, so I made a mistake there, look for something that won’t give you blisters as you twirl it around.
Finally, a word about injury. Kettlebells are enormous fun swinging around, but you need good technique to avoid injury (or broken windows). Follow video advice without the ‘bell first and build up slowly and don’t do some of the dafter moves with anything heavy. Try:
*except beer, but I’m not admitting that……..(oops)