If you're using your fitness equipment to help you reach a weight loss goal, bringing strength training into your home gym can make a big difference. Simple circuit style training combined with home fitness equipment workouts creates time efficient training that will get you big results. The best home gyms include options for strength as well as cardio, without adding a lot of space or expense with exercise equipment that you won't use. Functional movements that include bodyweight or light to moderate resistance will get you stronger and leaner while improving your form and even your cardiovascular performance, letting you work harder and more efficiently on your home exercise equipment. Let's take a look at a few programs that can be tailored to any fitness level to build muscle, improve metabolism, and support weight loss.

Rowing Machine and Upper Body (20 minutes): Why you need this: Most upper body home workouts fall short when it comes to targeting the back muscles. Adding rowing into your upper body training, targets the muscles of your posterior chain, including the traps, lats, and shoulder stabilizers, helping to support good posture and core strength. This efficient workout combines short periods of rowing with opposing movements for the front of your body and has the added benefit of getting you on your way in as little as 20 minutes. For a bonus round, repeat the workout or add on one of the other two options giving you up to an hour of training.

Warm Up: Complete a five minute warm up on the rowing machine, focusing on pushing through the legs, keeping your core engaged and pulling strongly by bringing the handle in to your low ribs or mid chest. Choose a resistance level that allows you to do this well.

Circuit 1: As many push-ups as you can complete in 2 minutes, rest for 30 seconds. Follow with 45 seconds of a plank hold, rest for 30 seconds. Repeat with a second plank hold before heading back to the rower.

Circuit 2: Repeat 5 minutes of rowing. Concentrate on maintaining a steady effort and rowing a bit harder than you did during the warm up.

Circuit 3: Banded Chest Flys. Using light weights or a resistance band. Bring your arms out as wide as you can at mid-chest level while lying on your back. Press them together at the top, completing one rep. Complete as many as you can in 90 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat. Finish with one final minute of Push Ups.

If you have time, repeat the entire series or add on one of the options below. Cool down with a few minutes of light resistance rowing.

About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Stay connected with Joli on Facebook.

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