Strength training, a technique that’s quickly gaining popularity in fitness circles and gyms. In case you’re unsure of what this term exactly refers to, here’s a quick explanation of its main tenets. Strength training (also commonly referred to as weight training and resistance training) refers to the practice of making the body stronger by focusing on muscle strength and resistance.
The exercises involved in this training mainly involve moving or pushing your body against some type of resistance, which can either be your body weight, free weights, resistance bands, and other types of resistance machines. To know more about the way it works and how it changes your body, keep reading!
How Does Strength Training Work?
The best thing about strength training is that you don’t need fancy gym equipment or costly machines in your home to see good results. All you need is some space and the willpower to see the training through. There are a variety of exercises that are all focused on different parts of your body, so you will need to come up with an exercise plan that includes all the workouts for the main parts you’re trying to strengthen through resistance. For example, there are different types of rep ranges for hypertrophy which many people follow when they’re trying to increase and grow their muscle cells. Increasing muscle size is the main objective of this exercise, so the tasks you will have to commit to will all involve intense workout sessions.
What Are the Types of Exercises?
Here is a list of the most common strength training exercises you can do by yourself at home:
- Lunges: This requires no equipment (other than the use of an exercise mat) where you will have to do basic lunges for a few minutes to strengthen your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. Additionally, you can include different types of lunges (such as the walking or jumping lunge) once you get the hang of it.
- Squats Followed by Overhead Raise: This is a slightly harder version of a regular squat, as you will have to hold dumbbells in your hands with your arms lifted while doing the squat. Don’t push yourself too fast if you’ve never done this before, as it’s completely normal to start without any weights and later add the weights once you feel stronger. These exercises will help strengthen your leg muscles, core, back, shoulders, and triceps too.
- Planks and Pushups: You know how these work, and the main challenge with these exercises is to slowly increase the timing as you go along. For example, you can start by holding a plank for a minute and then go on to push yourself to hold it longer as you get more strength. As for pushups, you can calculate the number of pushups you do in a minute or two and keep trying to increase the number for however long you can keep going. These exercises help strengthen your chest muscles, shoulder muscles, abdominal muscles, and your core.
How Often Should You Exercise?
This is subjective to your body type and strength. For starters, you can begin by exercising for two days a week, with gap days in between. Once you reach an advanced stage, you can push yourself to work out for at least four days a week. It must be noted that pushing yourself to do too much too soon can have adverse effects on your health and body, especially if you’ve never really exercised much before this. Just remember to take things slow initially and figure out how your body responds to the different exercises. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to come up with more innovative ways to strengthen your muscles.
Benefits of Strength Training
Here are some of the benefits that regular strength exercises can result in:
- An increase in bone density, which automatically reduces the risk of bone problems such as osteoporosis in the future.
- An increase in metabolism which results in weight loss and maintenance to a certain degree.
- Increase in muscle strength.
- Increase in the body’s lean muscle mass and also prevention of its loss in the future.
- It helps reduce injuries. This is because it makes the muscles stronger, which then supports the body’s joints better, so even when a person is injured, the impact tends to be much less when the muscles are strong and well-toned.
- Reduces blood sugar levels.
On the whole, strength training is a set of specific exercises which are done to tone and build the body’s muscles. It can also increase a person’s overall health and help people lose weight through regular exercises that focus on specific muscles and body parts.