There a number of popular weight training exercises that most people know about. The most common of these are the bicep curl, the shoulder press and the lunge lift – the ones that are usually seen in movie montages where the main character is getting “buff” and the ones performed in a gym by people seeking to gain a little muscle mass.
While these will help you reach your goal of increasing your strength and toning your muscles, there are other, alternative weight training exercises that can accomplish the same thing.
Upper Body Strengthening Exercises
If you want to gain arm strength, consider doing some shoulder and triceps exercises along with the usual bicep curls. Some of these do not even require extra weights – they use the weight of your body as the resistance that the weights provide. To gain strength and definition in your shoulder area, do an exercise that works the deltoid muscles in your upper back and shoulders.
Sit in a chair with a resistance band around your feet. Hold the ends of the band in your hands. Lift your arms straight up, while keeping your back straight. Do several reps of this each time that you work out.
Another great exercise for arm strength is the triceps lift. To do this exercise, place two chairs next to each other and stand between them with the backs of each chair facing you. Put your hands on the top of the backs and do a push up like maneuver so that you are leaning on the chairs with your toes on the floor behind you. Hold the position for as long as you can before relaxing and completing it again.
Body Weight Training Exercises
To work out other parts of your body, try some calf raises and deep knee bends – without the weights in your hands – simply use your body as the weight. To do calf raises, stand near the wall with your hands on the windowsill for balance. Point your toe to the floor and, one leg at a time, lift your heel in the air while contracting your calf muscle. Repeat several times before moving on to the other leg. A few repetitions of this will add definition and strength to your leg muscles, most specifically, your calf muscle.
A deep knee bend should be completed while standing near the wall as well, as it will help you keep your balance. Stand perpendicular to the wall with one hand touching it. Keep your feet should length apart, and bend at the knees while keeping your upper body straight. When your upper legs are parallel to the floor, you have bent down far enough.
Slowly lift yourself back up, using only your legs muscles to do so. Repeat several times. This exercise works multiple muscle grounds, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles, hip flexors and gluteal muscles.
In order to gain both muscle strength and definition, consider doing alternative exercises like these along with the standard weight lifting movements. You will find yourself getting stronger and more flexible more quickly, and you will not be stuck working the same muscles over and over again each time.