- Carol Michaels
Strength Training is Helpful for All
Strength training or resistance training is an exercise using weights (or your own body weight) to strengthen and build muscle. It increases the size and strength of the muscle fibers and strengthens the tendons, ligaments, and bones. Strength training should be performed gently with a focus on slow and progressive improvement. Control and good form are essential. Strength training improves balance and posture. It can improve quality of life by making activities easier and more enjoyable. It can also reduce the chance of injury and can empower one physically and mentally.
My clients often ask, whether they should use machines or free weights. Although machines can be helpful for those with balance issues, exercise with free weights has several benefits. First, they allow you to strength train at home at your convenience, and you can improve by one pound increments. Free weights help you learn how to use your body in a way that you would during your day-to-day activities. Using free weights allows you to strengthen more major muscle groups without depending on the machine for support. Weight machines work only the large muscle groups. They can miss the small, but important stabilizer muscles, which help with balance, coordination and injury prevention.
If you are new to exercise, you might start with a very light weight. Try to do 5 to 10 repetitions. By the 5th to 8th rep you should feel the muscle working. By the 10th rep you should feel that you have worked the muscle but are not exhausted. If you are exhausted decrease the weight. If you feel like you have not done anything, it is time to increase the weight. In order to improve your strength, you need to keep increasing the weight. By slowly using more weight, you will increases muscle mass and strength. You want to get the most out of your exercise session -but not injured.
To learn how to strength train safely and effectively contact us at www.CarolMichaelsFitness.com