Strength training is a form of exercise that trains your muscles and increases the strength of your bones. It helps tone and build muscles to help you move effortlessly and improve your overall health. Here is how you can get started safely and effectively to avoid injury.
The recommended guideline for strength training is doing it for twice a week, with the focus on major muscle groups such as your legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms. You can effectively do this by doing one set of a repeated movement between 8-12 times for each session. Remember to give your muscles time to recover for at least 48 hours before doing your next strength training session.
Warm up and cool down
Strength training can be done by the young and the old, but it is key to listen to your body at all times. Before you start each session, aim to do a warm-up and cool-down session for five to 10 minutes. Makes sure to spend most of this time stretching into each exercise as you feel your body open up and your muscles ease up.
Focus on form not speed or weight
Maintaining good form can give you the most out of each session, help you see better results and also minimize your risk of injury. Move from each workout with smooth precision and keep your breathing at the same rhythm. Align your body correctly to avoid injury and get the most out of each movement. You can start with no weights or use light weights to target each muscle group but remember to keep it controlled.
Target muscle groups effectively
The flexibility that comes with strength training is that you get to choose which area you would like to focus on. Try to pace yourself by counting to 3-5 seconds as you move from each rep. For example, if you are working on your legs by doing lunges, lunge forwards and hold the position for 3-5 seconds before coming up for the next rep. Hold and tighten. Remember to breathe through your nose and out of your mouth. Take breaks where necessary but keep going until you have completed each session.
Set a routine
Having a routine in place can help you be consistent as you work your way to strengthening each muscle group. When setting up your routine, remember to include rest days where you do a bit of foam rolling and deep stretches to help your muscles relax.
You can choose to do a full-body strength workout two or three times a week. There is also the option of breaking your routine to the upper and lower body strength training. Once you get used to it, gradually increase the pace and weights to give you more of a challenge. Take advantage of fitness apps that have levels ranging from beginners to advanced level such as the Nike Training app or Adidas Training app.