Can anyone recommend a few weight training exercises I could do at home with minimal equipment (i.e. free weights or kettleballs) that would work most major muscle groups. I was hoping to find a routine that I could do while the kids napped that would for the most part tone me up a bit.
Thanks, I am a novice at this.
I have a few things that, so far at least, give me a good variety of strength training without having to go to the gym or spend a ton of money. The first is an upper body IronGym thing that slides onto a regular doorway with molding. I do pullups (well, hangs -- still can't do a full pullup yet) on that. I also bought a kettlebell that I use for swings and squats (my arms are not yet strong enough to lift 45 lbs in ways the other kettlebell exercises do, but I'm getting there).
I also have a set of free weights (8lb each, I wish they were more like 12-15lb but I've had them for years, maybe later I'll upgrade) that I use to work out my arms, and an extra thick yoga mat that I use for easy yoga poses, and also pistol squats, jump squats, crunches, pushups (the IronGym thing can also go on the floor to help with those last two if you like). The last thing I use is a "fitness ball". I originally got it as a desk chair alternative, which I still use it for, but I've found a few ab exercises that you can do with it via YouTube and I have to say they kick my ass in the best way possible, in a way that crunches cannot hold a candle to.
All this stuff I got from either Amazon or Target, every item was under $40, so you could mix and match those ideas to fit your needs.
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” -- Joseph Campbell
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Also, sprints. Sprint uphill once a week, work up to ten "reps", but it's okay if at first you can't physically do more than 5 or so. After I've been away from sprints it's pretty tough for me to do 10.
Any compound movement, especially if you add explosiveness. Think push ups, pull ups, squats, burpees (especially burpees), turkish getups, etc... Watch bodyrock.tv youtube vids for ideas, check out Al Kavadlo's videos...
P90X, Insanity and Similar Nonsense | Drew Baye's High Intensity Training
[Plyometrics] are relatively ineffective for building strength, unnecessary for developing speed or explosiveness or improving rate of force development, and carry a very high risk of injury. They have no place in any training program.
What you should be doing instead: If you want to develop speed or explosiveness simply focus on getting stronger. All these different things are expressions of strength, rather than different types as some people believe. You don’t need to train one way for “maximum strength”, another for “speed strength” another for “explosive strength” or any of the other types these people come up with to make their programs more complex and scientific sounding than they need to be.
Neural recruitment is also a factor to consider. Simply having a large volume of muscle mass doesn't mean you can use all that muscle in concert. That's why compound movements are better than isolation exercises that work those same parts individually - and in less time too. We have to not only train our muscles, but brain and nerves as well.