Whatever your sport or fitness goals, Strength Training should be a key part of your exercise routine to help you to achieve a healthier, stronger, leaner body. More people are starting to see the positive results of cross training and adding weights or resistance to a workout. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Promotes fat loss
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases bone density, helping to prevent fractures or osteoporosis
- Prevents age-related muscle loss
- Helps to burn fat
- Can improve posture
- Increases metabolism
- Improves sporting performance
Our lean muscle mass gradually reduces as we age, so it’s important that we work our muscles with weight bearing or resistance exercises regularly.
What are the Options?
Strength training doesn’t just have to be done in the gym or involve bench-pressing a huge weight surrounded by groaning. There are lots of exercises can be done at home too with some simple kit you can buy that wont take up too much space and is relatively inexpensive. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Body weight. You can do so many exercises with little or no equipment for a full body workout. Try Mountain climbers, abdominal crunches and leg squats or lunges.
Resistance bands. Resistance bands are inexpensive, lightweight rubber bands that provide resistance when stretched. There are many types that are usually colour coded for the level of resistance that they offer and you can buy them in most sports stores or even some large supermarkets that have a fitness section.
Weight machines. Most gyms will have a variety of machines that work every muscle group of the body. Get familiar with the machines and make sure you know how to use them properly. Gym floor staff are usually good at advising on weight and set up.
Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools used to work the upper body and lower body to isolate muscle groups. Check the right technique to avoid injury and make sure you are working the muscle groups properly.
With all of the above and any exercise, make sure you warm up properly beforehand. There are lots of training sessions and routines that you can try to see what works for you and what you enjoy.
It not only helps to build up the muscles you need for power in the majority of sports, but it also adds variety to your workouts and gives your body a break from the regular training and using the same muscle groups that you would for running or cycling or any other sport that you focus on.
For me personally, strength training has always been part of my weekly routine. My main sport has been running, although I like the variety of mixing up exercise to work different parts of my body and certainly notice a difference in how I perform, look and feel. It has most definitely helped in improving my running performance and achieving marathon times I never thought possible on running just 3 days a week!
How do I fit it into my week?
You may be thinking ‘its another thing to fit into the week’ or ‘I don’t have the time’, but there are ways to incorporate different workouts into your routine. Maybe you can run to the gym for a weights session, or make your commute to work your cardio in order to free up 30-60 mins for strength work. There are ways around anything!
To get more out of your training contact CK Fitness or follow CK Fitness and Wellbeing on FB or Insta…