STRENGTH TRAINING Carla Mangrum on Physical Fitness
Many women tend to shy away from strength training for fear that they will "bulk up", actually that's quite impossible to do, unless your lifting heavier than 10lb. weights, and lifting excessively. Many women don't fully understand exactly what strength training is.
There are basically 3 different forms of strength training:
1. Weight Training 2. Resistance Training 3. Isometric Training
Let's start with WEIGHT TRAINING It is the lifting & lowering of weights, overloading the muscles, and forcing the muscles to grow. You honestly want to have more muscle, why? Muscle burns fat! Each weight training exercise consists of 3 components; the amt. of weight you lift, your repetitions, and your sets.
The amount of weight you lift is up to you. It should not be too easy, but have resistance. The repetitions are the number of times the weight is lifted and lowered without resting. ( usually 10-12 times). And your sets are the repetitions grouped together. Say 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Generally, a high resistance with a small number of reps are used to increase muscle size and strength. More reps using lower weight will increase your muscular endurance, tone, and definition without adding bulk.
RESISTANCE TRAINING This is the use of elastic or hydraulic(water) resistance to force the muscles to work. This applies the same principles as weight training, but uses elastic bands or water instead of gravity to stress the muscles. Resistance training differs from weight training with regard to when the muscles are stressed. In training with free weights, or hand weights, the largest amount of force is applied to them muscle at the start of each repetition. Elastic resistance is at the end of the repetition, when the elastic is stretched to its limit. Water resistance works against the muscles uniformly.
ISOMETRIC TRAINING This type of training engages the muscle in a fixed position, such as holding yourself in a push-up or squat position. Form is often overlooked and arguably the most important aspect of strength training. If done incorrectly, you will see little increase in your strength. Seek out a personal trainer or someone with knowledge about strength training.
There is a correct order for training major muscle groups: If you want to maximize the benefits of each exercise, the correct order involves working groups from larger to smaller.
Abdominals: Targeting these first will help prevent injury . Strong abdominal muscles help stabilize your body so all other muscles can be exercised properly.
Lower Body: These are large muscles that help promote blood flow through your body essentially warming the rest of your body up and preparing it for working out.
Chest: Focus on engaging the pectoral muscles rather than relying on those muscles in your arms. Improper form can overwork the biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles.
Back ( upper & lower): Work both, focus on using muscles of the back while stabilizing your body with your abdominal muscles and guiding weight with your arms.
Shoulder(deltoids): These muscles are often the most overlooked and incorrectly exercised area of the body. Increase weight slowly and use exercises that isolate the different areas of shoulders, such as front(anterior), middle(medial), and back(posterior).
Arms(triceps, and biceps): Working arms too early in the routine will decrease the muscles ability to perform. It's better to do fewer sets and complete the entire circuit, than to neglect a muscle group.
So, what I'm really trying to say is, strength training is just part of the fitness plan. It will greatly increase your chances of losing weight, along with your cardiovascular training, because muscle burns fat. So, you don't have to do it everyday, 2-3 times a week ,20-30 minute sessions, is all it will take to help you build a little muscle. So, what are you waiting for...Get Up and Move!!
Carla Mangrum is a physical fitness expert and professional aerobics instructor.
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