Are you thinking of adding a regiment of strength training exercises to your existing fitness routine? As the name suggests, this type of exercise involves improving muscle, ligament, and tendon strength. But despite what many think, this form of exercise isn’t just for body builders or marathoners.
Weight Training can burn fat fast and tone your body
When done appropriately and gradually, most exercisers benefit both from the increased physical endurance this type of workout can offer, and the resulting appearance of one’s body.
While strength training doesn’t promote weigh loss per se, it helps burn calories more efficiently, resulting in “burning” off more body fat. It also produces leaner muscle mass. And studies have shown that individuals who begin strength training exercising programs and continue them into old age have fewer issues with balance problems and “frailness”.
But despite all of this proven good news about strength training, a number of casual exercisers, particularly women, are resistant to beginning specific programs of this type.
One argument offered is that this type of fitness training will make the exerciser “bulk up” in unwanted ways. Another argument is that the exerciser is incapable of this type of physical activity.
And another is that the costs of physical strength training in terms of time and money are too high. But there are a number of basic strength training exercises that non-athletes can do in a variety of settings, with no or little (and substitutions can easily be made) equipment.
And rather than visibly expand the appearance of certain muscle groups, these exercises both strengthen and produce leaner muscles, while teaching your body to dispose of calories more effectively. The result is a metabolism altered in a healthy way, meaning genuine (and permanent) weight loss through exercise.
And as little as a half hour of your time on a daily basis is enough to get you started on an effective strength training routine. But what exercises should you be starting with?
Weight Training for fast burning
While homemade weight can be made by using full milk jugs, socks filled with rolled coins, washers, etc., caution should be used with these, as they’re not designed for exercise, and can slip or drop, causing injury. Handheld weights however are inexpensive, easy to hold, and can be found at any number of big box stores.
A great strength training exercise that can be done with this type of weight is the overhead press which entails standing with straight legs, holding weights at shoulder level. Raise one hand above your head with a weight until your elbow locks.
Return weighted hand to shoulder level, then repeat four more times. Then repeat lift five times with the other hand. In addition to muscle strengthening, this exercise improves posture, and helps to correct shoulder slumping.
Squats – for that perfect buttocks
Squatting exercises are important for strengthening leg muscles. But the secret behind squatting is that this literally lowly exercise benefits the entire body. Squatting tones and creates a slimmer calf and thigh look. And this exercise also benefits your core muscles as well as your hips.
And successful squatting requires no special equipment, such as weights. If you’ve seen a ballet exercise class in action, then you may know that there’s a surprising number of squats.
But before you dazzle onlookers with those kettle bell squat moves, it’s important to master the basic squat first. To start, begin by making sure that your weight is directly above or centered, over your heels, and that your knees don’t extend forward beyond your toes.
To avoid the urge to hold your body in a way that can create muscle strain while squatting, look straight ahead and slightly upwards while doing this exercise.
Basic Push-Ups for great breast and arms
Push-ups are one of those exercises that don’t look hard until you try them. This exercise can be great for strengthening those all-important upper body muscles. This muscle group comes in very handy for everything from reaching above your head to carrying an armload, so it’s important to keep them healthy and in shape.
Another benefit to having strong upper body muscles is a more balanced, and thus, more appealing figure. But it’s not difficult to strain muscles and cause injury doing this type of exercise. Necks, backs, shoulders, (rotator cuffs) and wrists
are especially vulnerable to injury in both men and women, because they quite simply don’t know the correct position to assume for simple push-ups. There are almost twenty different ways to do a push-up, but start by mastering the basic one.
To do so, begin by getting on the ground and making sure that the hands and wrists are resting directly below the shoulders. Grip the floor with your hands, and allow them to carry the bulk of your weight, not your wrists. Contract your core (abdominal) muscles. Push back on your heels. Gaze directly in front of you at your fingertips.
The only part of your body coming down and then back up are your shoulders, shoulder blades, and your elbows, with the rest of your body still and stiff in what is known as the plank position. Stop coming down when your chest is a foot away from the floor (and positioned directly over your thumbs) and rise back to the level you started from.
Twists – for a great tummy and strong core muscles
For a toned tummy and strong core muscles, try the Russian Twist. Sit on the ground and pick up a medicine ball or weight, and hold it straight out in front of you.
Your knees and hips should be bent at a ninety degree angle, and your torso should be at a forty-five degree angle to the floor. Turn as far as you can go quickly from this position first to the left, then to the right. Repeat this move eight to twelve times, and it’s a great ending to your strength training workout.
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