It is important to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine because it aids in joint health by keeping them flexible, and it helps you to sculpt lean muscles. A strength training exercise will not leave you bulky, but toned and fit.
Strength Training Exercises
Strength training exercises should include ab exercises, back exercises, biceps, calves, chest, hams and gluteus, hips and thighs, neck and triceps exercises. All of these exercises can be performed with light weights and should include limited resistance. Each of these strength training exercises should be done with a weight limit and resistance level that is comfortable for you. You should be able to do at least 8 repetitions per set for each exercise.
Use more free weights and multi-joint exercises like free weight squats, dead lifts, pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups and bench press. You may also want to do dips, lunges and power cleans as well.
Isolating Different Muscle Groups
There are different exercises for different muscle groups which include:
- squats, leg extensions, walking lunges and leg press to work the muscles in the legs
- crunches, pelvic raises and seated leg lifts for the abdominal muscles
- bicep curls and incline bench curls to work the biceps
- dumbbell shrugs and up-right rowing to isolate the neck
To work the back include exercises such as behind the back cable pull and the lat machine pull downs behind the neck. When working the chest incorporate bench press, flys, push ups and incline bench press.
Tips for Exercising
When doing strength training exercises, remember your body alignment. Proper body alignment is important. Make sure to stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent. This alignment will help you to avoid putting stress on your knees and back.
Your body movements should be slow and controlled. Use the four count system, pausing for four counts and then returning to the staring position. With the proper body movements, you will reduce over-extension and injury.
Keep in mind breathing techniques when doing strength training exercises. Never hold your breath. Inhale at the beginning of the lift and exhale during each release.
Don't overdue the resistance used for each exercise. Too much resistance can be dangerous and can damage joints. Limit your workout to one or two sets of each exercise.
Make sure that all of your major muscle groups are included in any strength training work out. You will eliminate over-working any specific muscle groups when you incorporate each into your workout regimen.
It is only necessary to do two to three strength training work outs per week. Over excursion of the muscles could result in pain and injury.
Remember when starting a strength training exercise routine to start slow and to incorporate all of the major muscle groups into your work out. With these tips and ideas, adding strength training to your workout will be easy and beneficial.
Karilyn Lesassier Van Oosten serves as Director of Strategic Alliances at Chamberlain College of Nursing. In this role she is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the healthcare and clinical development teams and expanding educational opportunities. Van Oosten has a strong background in business development with more than 10 years of experience developing business alliances for nursing education institutions, previously service as senior director of enrollment and director of strategic business alliances in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Grand Canyon University Phoenix.