Key Pointers For Developing Muscle Strength
Body builders once had the monopoly on strength training. As part of a normal exercise routine, strength training brings benefits that can’t be obtained by aerobic exercise alone. Although many have the impression that muscle building requires expensive equipment, the truth is, a minimal amount of equipment is required.
Most people take up strength training because they want to look better. That is not the only advantage. It increases the strength of your muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments. The increase in the strength and integrity of your body will make you less likely to be easily injured and more likely to heal quickly when you do sustain injuries. Strength training also increases your basal metabolic rate so that, simply put, you will burn fat even when you are doing little more than sitting on that fat.
To build muscles strength safely, use smooth, rhythmic movements. Heaving a weight up or swinging your body into motion could strain or tear a muscle. Make the extension movement twice as slow as the compression movement, with a slight pause in between. What is important here is that you make your muscles do the work without relying on the inertia of the weights. Breathe steadily and deeply with each repetition.
If you spend any time in a gym, you will hear the terms “reps” and “sets.” A rep, or repetition, is one complete exercise, such as one push-up. A set is the combined reps you perform before resting. So if you do 12 push-ups, rest for a minute and do 12 more, you have done two sets of 12 reps.
Choose a weight that allows you to comfortably perform eight reps, but no more than 12. For your first session, do eight reps, rest, do eight reps again, rest, and stop or do eight more reps. Another option is to select a weight with which you can just do eight reps. Maintain proper form while you pump out as many reps as you can in a single set. Don’t do any more sets. With either approach, increase your weight when you are doing 12 reps per set.
As tempting as it may be to focus on favored muscles such as biceps, shoot for a more balanced approach. This requires you to work the full range of muscle groups on your body. Don’t overdo it. Working any of your muscles too much will not produce good results. To give your muscles time to repair themselves between workouts, you must wait 48 hours before stressing the muscles with another workout. If you like to hit the gym daily, do upper body one day and lower body the next. Another way to avoid overtraining is to alternate strength training days with cardio days.
When focusing on the lower body, pay attention to the glutes, hamstrings, thighs, calves, and quads. Lunges are a great at-home exercise to tackle the majority of these lower body muscles. You will be working all areas of your shoulders, upper and middle regions of your back, arms, and chest when you concentrate on upper body. Using a resistance band, you can recreate many gym exercises in the home, such as bicep curls. Good old-fashioned crunches will target the abs.
It is only through consistent, steady effort that you will see progress and prevent injury. Do whatever it takes to stay motivated. Keep pictures of your old body and new body on the refrigerator. Work out with your spouse. Reward yourself. Remember, you are making a valuable investment in your body.