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Old 05-19-2011, 11:03 AM   #1
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home strength workout

Does anyone know a good source for information on a strength-training home workout that doesn't require any specialized equipment other than a ball and dumbbells?

Thanks,
Mike

 
Old 05-19-2011, 12:16 PM   #2
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Re: home strength workout

When I bought my ball, it came with a little book and DVD of exercises. In fact, there are lots of books or DVDs of ball exercises. You can probably find one at your local bookstore or library.

Also, you might benefit from attending a few classes at a nearby fitness facility. It's great watching the video, but it's also good to have a teacher actually correct your form, at least the first few times. My local YMCA offers classes such as "tone" or "fitness" that are done using pretty simple equipment.

 
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:57 AM   #3
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Re: home strength workout

I have pretty bad fibromyalgia muscle pain, so most of what you write here is too hard. I can't do push ups. Maybe a few while resting on my knees. I don't think I want to do any jumping. I could do squats and lunges if I don't bend my knee much.

 
Old 05-25-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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Re: home strength workout

Hmmm.

Get a Pilates video, then. Conditioning Pilates, not power Pilates. The beginning moves are gentle enough even for people who are bedridden, but the more advanced moves are a gentle way to develop excellent strength in your core.

Really, I think the best thing to do is to find a gym, get a trial membership (1-2 weeks, it might be free if it's a promotional thing) and attend classes until you find one where you can do at least most of the moves without harming yourself. It's OK if you have to sit out or modify some of them.

If you have the financial resources, you could hire a trainer who works with people who have injuries or medical issues. I'm SO glad I took a few lessons back in the day.

 
Old 05-25-2011, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: home strength workout

I should add something about my goals. It is more important to develop muscle mass than strength or conditioning. I realize these are not entirely separate things, but I wouldn't be surprised if different workout patterns affect them differently. I'm not training to be an athlete; I'm hoping to address a hormone imbalance by developing muscle mass. My doctor advises me to do primarily strength training and only a little aerobics. I wonder if doing higher weight and fewer reps targets muscle mass compared to low weight/many reps. I wonder if certain muscles have more potential to add mass, such as the legs or glutes.

Regarding pain during workouts, there is a distinction between pain that represents a harm to myself, and the soreness that is always going to be there when I use my muscles (due to the fibromyalgia). I don't think it's realistic to find a workout free from the latter kind of pain-- it's usually there in any activity. But it is important to avoid injuring myself.

 
Old 05-25-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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Re: home strength workout

Huh. Okay.

I have heard that high weight and low reps adds more muscle, but I find that as long as I get a "burn," I'm going to build.

The muscles that mass the most are the quadriceps, immediately followed by the gluteals. Beyond that, I'm not totally sure, but hamstrings (BACK of the thigh) the calves, and the mid-back muscles are a good bet.

Still, you do want to stay "balanced" to some extent, because heavily unbalanced muscle development can lead to more pain problems. Don't build back muscles without doing SOMETHING for your abs, and vice versa.

2 good ways to build quads with little equipment:

Straight leg raises, from the floor to about 45 degrees. Or, you can bend your leg over a rolled up blanket and extend your knee. You can buy weights to strap on your ankles, or just wear heavy boots. Even a couple pounds can make a big difference, if your muscles are small to start with. I've been in PT for 2.5 weeks only, and I can actually SEE the difference in my quads. Then again, my quads were more of an idea than a muscle before I started.

The heel drop, off a step, will develop all the muscles down the back of your leg (calf, hamstring, and glute.)

Specifically for the glute, I sometimes get down on my hands and knees, then raise one foot into the air and pump it up and down. It's a small range of motion, but it burns my glutes SO good. Again, ankle weights or boots are an option. If you can't kneel, try what my PT calls the clamshell: lie on your side in a semi-fetal position, then raise one knee while keeping your feet together (so your knees come apart like an opening clamshell.)

 
Old 05-25-2011, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: home strength workout

The straight leg raises probably build abdomen and psoas too, don't they?

 
Old 05-25-2011, 06:57 PM   #8
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Re: home strength workout

They sure do! Lifting one leg at a time focuses it on the quads, lifting both at once (yes, it's possible!) focuses the exercise on the abdominal muscles, but either way builds all of them to some extent.

 
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