Home Based Beginner Level Weight/ Resistance Training Program

Prior to getting started make sure you have read and understand the basic resistance training guidelines. If you have read these recommendations, keep several points in mind:

- Warm-up - Your warm up should consist of similar weight training movements that you will be performing during your workout. 

- Perform 1-3 sets of each exercise. If you are just beginning, start with one set of each and progress to three sets over the course of several weeks to a month.  

- Each set should consist of 10-15 repetitions.

- Inhale as muscles lengthen and exhale as muscles shorten producing force.

- Perform this program 2-3 days week with at least one day of rest in between each exercising day. An example of this would be Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Cardiovascular exercise should also be incorporated.

Exercise 1: Wall Squat

- Preparation and Setup: Standing a comfortable distance from a wall or other stable and stationary object grasp the object for support.

- Movement/Execution: Descend, flexing your knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. If this is too low, go as far as you can. When your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as you can go), return to the starting position by extending your knees and thighs until your legs are straight; then repeat. Avoid locking out your knees.

Target Muscle/s: quadriceps (legs)


Exercise 2: Lying Leg Curl with Band

- Preparation and Setup: In a seated position place a single resistive rubber band around both ankles and then lie on your stomach.

- Movement/Execution: Holding your left leg extended and firmly against the floor, flex your right leg, bringing your right heal as close to your buttocks as possible. This will cause the band to stretch and provide resistance. Slowly extend your right leg until it is straight. then repeat. Perform the same sequence of events for the opposite leg.

Target Muscle/s: hamstrings (legs)

Exercise 3: Standing Calf Raise

- Preparation and Setup: Position yourself on a step or another elevated stable surface placing your toes and balls of your feet on the step. Your heels and arches of your feet should extend off the surface you are standing on. Hold on to a stable surface for stabilization.

- Movement/Execution: Push up with the balls of your feet raising you heels and ankles as high as possible.
Lower your heel and ankles back to the starting position; then repeat.

Target Muscle/s: gastrocnemius (calves)

Additional Comments: If using both feet at the same time is too easy, use one at a time.

Exercise 4: Wall Push-Up

- Preparation and Setup: Begin by standing far enough from the wall that you must fully extend your arms to reach the wall with your hands. Your hands and feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Now slide your feet back several inches so you are leaning into the wall as illustrated to the left.

- Movement/Execution: With your feet firmly planted, lower yourself in a controlled manner to the wall as far as you can go without bumping your head on the wall; your elbows should roughly reach a 90-degree angle as you approach the wall. Extend your arms, returning to the start position; then repeat.

- Additional Instruction: While performing this exercise keep your back and neck straight and in line.

Target Muscle(s): pectoralis major (chest), triceps, anterior deltoid (shoulder)

Exercise 5: Seated Row with Band

- Preparation and Setup: In a seated position place a resistive band around the bottoms of your feet and hold one end in each hand. Your back should be straight and knees slightly bent.

- Movement/Execution: Flex your arms and pull your shoulders back stretching the band to provide resistance. You should pull your hands and the band as close to your chest as possible with both hands. Slowly extend your arms back towards your feet returning to start position.

Target Muscle/s: back

Exercise 6: Shoulder Press

- Preparation and Setup: From a seated position place dumbbells or other available hand held resistance in each hand and hold them at shoulder height with your elbows directly below your wrists.

- Movement/Execution: Extend your arms pressing the dumbbells overhead. Flex your arms lowering the dumbbells back to the start position; then repeat.

Target Muscle/s: deltoid (shoulders)

Exercise 7: Alternating Bicep Curl

- Preparation and Setup: From a seated or standing position hold two dumbbells (or other hand held resistance) at your sides. You arms should be straight and palms facing in.

- Movement/Execution: Flex your right arm raising the dumbbell; keep your elbow at your side not allowing it to rise as you raise the dumbbell. As you raise the dumbbell rotate your forearm until it is vertical and your palm is facing you. Extend your right arm returning the dumbbell to the start position and immediately begin raising the opposite side just as instructed above; repeat and continue to alternate sides.

Target Muscle/s: biceps brachii (arms)

Exercise 8: Overhead Tricep Extension

- Preparation and Setup: From a sitting or standing position place both dumbbells (or other hand held resistance) behind your neck; your elbows should be pointing up.  

- Movement/Execution: Extend both arms raising the dumbbells above your head until your arms are straight. Flex your arms returning the dumbbells behind you neck; then repeat.

Target Muscle/s: triceps brachii (arms)

Additional Comments: If it helps, you may perform this exercise on one side at a time.

Exercise 9: Opposite Arm and Leg Lifts

- Preparation and Setup: Lying on your stomach place a firm pillow or rolled up towel under your forehead; you may also place a pillow or towel under your hips for further support.

- Movement/Execution: Raise your right arm and left leg off the ground approximately six inches. Your arms and legs should remain straight. Pause briefly at the top of the motion. Lower your right arm and left leg back to the starting position and immediately repeat this same process for you left arm and right leg. then repeat

Target Muscle/s: erector spinae

Exercise 10: Curl-Up

- Preparation and Setup: Lying on your back flex your knees and hold your arms out in front of you.

- Movement/Execution: Flex your abdominals lifting your head and upper back off the floor and reach for your knees. This movement should be done slowly. Once you have touched your knees or come as close as possible, lower yourself back to the starting position.

Target Muscle/s: abdominals

The above images are from the software package Physigraphe which contains a collection of exercise images.

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