Page 1 of 1 [ 9 posts ] 

meems
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Dec 2010
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,093

09 Nov 2012, 10:34 pm

How can I do that when I can't go to the gym, without buying any big pieces of equipment?

I worry I'm going to hurt myself. I'm extremely weak and have no idea where I should even start. :/

I mostly just walk and jog a lot, because it feels good. I'm just sick of being so weak.


_________________
http://www.facebook.com/eidetic.onus
http://eidetic-onus.tumblr.com/
Warning, my tumblr is a man-free zone :)


cathylynn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,231
Location: northeast US

09 Nov 2012, 10:40 pm

resistance bands are inexpensive and give the same sort of workout as weights. you may need to buy a book explaining the exercises, too.



yellowtamarin
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Sep 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,860
Location: Australia

09 Nov 2012, 10:42 pm

Here's a few basic ones:

Push-ups push-ups pushups! These are great. You can start on your knees before you get to your toes, or even start against a wall instead of on the floor. Works your chest and triceps.

Chin-ups: Go to your local playground and use the bars there. You won't be able to do it with your feet off the ground at first so the height doesn't really matter. Just try to use your back and arms as much as possible rather than your legs, which should just support you. Works your back and biceps.

Dips: At the playground again, or at home with a sturdy chair or something. Works your triceps.

Squats and lunges: Works your quads (if you want to strengthen your legs as well)

Crunches: There are different varieties which work slightly different parts of your abs. Also, make sure your core is "switched on" when doing any other exercises and they will be worked as well.

A swissball/fitball is a great investment to create variety - you can incorporate it into nearly all of the exercises above.

If you are unfamiliar with what these exercises are, make sure you read up on proper technique before attempting them.



1000Knives
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jul 2011
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,083
Location: CT, USA

10 Nov 2012, 3:25 am

Well, weights certainly will help things along a lot faster. The bodyweight exercises listed aren't bad at all, so if you wanna do them, they're good, but the problem with bodyweight exercises is, unless you increase the hardness of an exercise, all you end up building is muscular endurance, and not strength. So weights are great in that you can keep the form of whatever exercise you're doing the exact same and just add weight. Adding reps to things isn't necessarily going to have any correlation to how much power you have, only your endurance. The reason gymnasts get really strong on bodyweight exercises alone is that they keep doing more complex things to make progress. Like an example of making a bodyweight exercise more complex is moving from a pushup to planche, or pullup to muscle up. Weight training is pretty much the reason athletes in pretty much all sports have gotten better and stronger over the years. Even in things like, say, women's volleyball, most coaches have them do squats to increase their vertical jump, presses so they don't injure themselves spiking, etc.

Like, if you're a fan of bodyweight exercises and have the tenacity to learn them and master them, then more power to you, and if you grow to like doing bodyweight exercises a lot, then by all means, do them. But to become really strong on bodyweight exercises alone I think would take a lot more time and skill. Arguably, you can make yourself look better if you do bodyweight exercises, as the high reps done and fuller body involvement sorta ends up turning them into cardio. I could go on, I mean they're not bad, just it's pretty much gonna take longer to get really strong on them. Also, it's bodyweight, too, smaller people almost always have the advantage on bodyweight exercises simply due to having lower bodyweight.

Anyway, to get strong, concentrate on strengthening the legs and lower back. You hear people say "lift with your legs" and whenever you pick anything up off the ground, the power has to be transferred from your feet, then legs, then back. So I think if you want good everyday strength, those are the muscles that need to be strengthened most. When people speak of "the core" they too often mean the front abdominal muscles. The back is more important to strengthen. Yeah, it is possible to get a tear in the abdominal wall from lifting something, but it's much more likely you'll hurt your back. Basically, for weights, you want to do things like squatting and deadlifts, and then for upper body, standing overhead press (my favorite, as it feels more natural to stand up), or any bench press variant. If you want, too, you can sub the presses for push presses (ie, instead of pressing only with your arms, you squat down maybe 1/4 and drive up with your legs partially to get the weight over your head.)

For programs, most people like Mark Rippetoe's/Bill Starr's 5x5 program to start with, but I'd recommend simply doing the lifts first and getting a feel, then picking out a program and sticking to it. To a point, lower reps will build strength, and higher reps muscle mass, but generally a good program should be an even mix of those, aiming for you to increase the weight used in every exercise.

For that, you do more or less need a gym. You can buy a barbell and some plates if you want, and it'd fit in your closet or the corner of your room (finding a place you can do it and potentially drop the weights is a different story, though,) but a total weight set cost would be around $300 or so for Olympic barbells. A standard weight set is a lot cheaper (I know Dicks Sporting Goods sells a standard barbell with 100lbs of weights for $100 or so) but it's possible if you do the programs you'd max out on that amount of weight in a month or so. Standard plates and bars are a lot cheaper and more abundant (ie, I've seen standard plates at Goodwill/Salvation Army 2-3 times this past year, Olympic plates and barbells zero) though.

-------
If I've not sold you on weights yet, I'd say the last three things you can do are: Lifting heavy objects around your house, plyometrics, and isometrics. Lifting heavy objects around your house is fairly obvious, so not much explanation needed there. Plyometrics is basically explosive movements, ie, jumps and stuff, high jump, long jump, etc. Isometrics are when muscles contract while not actually moving. IE, push against a wall. You obviously can't move the wall, but your muscles are still contracting, your arms will be shaking, your face will turn red, etc. Lots of isometric exercises can be used at home, and they will get you stronger, but you'll see some sites that talk about isometrics as being like magic, and they're not. They only build strength in small ranges of motion, so if you're trying to let's say, jump higher, if you trained an isometric hold at 90 degrees, you'll have a ton of power at 90 degrees, but nowhere else. In traditional weight training, people will like, take a deadlift, their deadlift will be 400-500lbs or whatever, but they'll pull 800lbs off the rack just to gain power at that part of the motion.

Anyway, I kind of wrote an essay there, I'm sorry. If bodyweight exercises and the like are all you can do, then definitely do them, but compound weight exercises will yeild you the fastest results in my opinion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpIq2Y2paFg If you're set on the bodyweight exercises, he's got good routines it looks like. I personally gotta get my pullups better (as in not nonexistent).

Oh well, good luck, hope you get strong. Life gets a good deal more fun when you're stronger, imo.



DoniiMann
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 2 Sep 2010
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 308
Location: Tasmania

10 Nov 2012, 7:53 am

Ross Enamait has several books and dvds on this subject, and they are both good and inexpensive. Get his book 'Never Gymless'. It covers different aspects of strength and fitness with minimal equipment, mostly you can do in any room in your house. He trains fighters. If you want bodybuilding looks, his stuff won't be helpful, but if you want functional strength, he's really good. LOTS of free info on his site and forum.


_________________
assumption makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'mption'.


Shatbat
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Feb 2012
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,053
Location: Where two great rivers meet

10 Nov 2012, 9:40 am

yellowtamarin wrote:
Here's a few basic ones:

Push-ups push-ups pushups! These are great. You can start on your knees before you get to your toes, or even start against a wall instead of on the floor. Works your chest and triceps.

Chin-ups: Go to your local playground and use the bars there. You won't be able to do it with your feet off the ground at first so the height doesn't really matter. Just try to use your back and arms as much as possible rather than your legs, which should just support you. Works your back and biceps.

Dips: At the playground again, or at home with a sturdy chair or something. Works your triceps.

Squats and lunges: Works your quads (if you want to strengthen your legs as well)

Crunches: There are different varieties which work slightly different parts of your abs. Also, make sure your core is "switched on" when doing any other exercises and they will be worked as well.

A swissball/fitball is a great investment to create variety - you can incorporate it into nearly all of the exercises above.

If you are unfamiliar with what these exercises are, make sure you read up on proper technique before attempting them.



Great advice. As 1000 knives said, if you want to get really stronger you must eventually switch those ones for more advanced ones, I do that and now can hold a back lever and am working in the front one, but if you're a complete beginner in strength training as i understood you were, then chances are you will not be able to do a single rep of some of the exercises quoted above. So by the time you've trained enough to be able to, and reach the point where you need to worry about changing your routine, you'll have made a lot of progress already. I don't personally know a woman able yo do a single chin-up, aside from my mother, so more power to you! Bodyweight exercises take discipline and being constant for progress though, so you should try to make time at lesst three times a week.


_________________
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day. - Winston Churchill


meems
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Dec 2010
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,093

11 Nov 2012, 12:35 pm

Thank you, all of the responses in this thread were helpful. :)


_________________
http://www.facebook.com/eidetic.onus
http://eidetic-onus.tumblr.com/
Warning, my tumblr is a man-free zone :)


Kurgan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Apr 2012
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,379
Location: Scandinavia

12 Nov 2012, 4:42 pm

Find a cheap, used dumbbell set and buy a pull-up bar. Doing shoulder presses, bench presses, squats, planks, rows and bicep curls would help you get started. :) Do 3-5 series and 5-12 repetitions.

Don't buy any crappy TV Shop machines and be sure to eat enough protein. Good luck! :)



belikeh2o
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 25

13 Nov 2012, 2:39 am

DoniiMann wrote:
Ross Enamait has several books and dvds on this subject, and they are both good and inexpensive. Get his book 'Never Gymless'. It covers different aspects of strength and fitness with minimal equipment, mostly you can do in any room in your house. He trains fighters. If you want bodybuilding looks, his stuff won't be helpful, but if you want functional strength, he's really good. LOTS of free info on his site and forum.

x2

Yoga helps a ton as well; granted, you're taking it seriously.


_________________
Deus Ex Machina
Aspergers Dx, w/GAD , Dysthymic Disorder.