Strength Training Tips

Photo Credit: Bruce Tanner PD
Your fitness program should include at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day, plus strength training at least 2 days each week. Skip one day between strength training exercises to allow your muscles to recover. You don’t need an expensive set of free weights or pay high gym membership fees. You can do body weight strength training, such as push-ups, planks and pull-ups or take advantage of low-cost ways to do strength training. Your work or apartment community may have a workout room with free weights or weight machines. Local health clubs, such as the YMCA, often provide low-cost public access to the weight room.
Before you add a strength training element to your weekly workout routine, consult a professional fitness trainer. It’s important that you maintain proper form when doing weight training. Poor form can result in muscle strains or joint sprains. To avoid an injury, seek instruction from a professional. A fitness professional can also help you develop a strength training program to help you reach your specific fitness goals. Whether you want to firm and tone all over or work on stronger, flatter abs, a personal fitness trainer can help you achieve your goals.
Start your strength training program by lifting light weights. Select a weight that you can lift without straining. Begin by doing a few repetitions slowly through the full range of motion for the muscles you are working. Do 8 to 10 repetitions of exercises in the first few weeks, then gradually add more repetitions. Once your muscles are adjusted to the repetitions and weight, add more weight 1 to 2 pounds at a time. Gradually increase weight and repetitions.

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