Spoiler Alert: It’s not just about bulking up.
We tend to gravitate to the exercise type that best suits our personality, but your overall wellness will benefit if you mix in some type of resistance work to your cardio, balance, and flexibility training. Strength training is more than just about getting ripped. There are perks that go beyond the aesthetic look of a muscular physique.Strength training is about more than getting ripped. There are perks that go beyond the aesthetic look of a muscular physique. Click To Tweet
You may think you need access to a gym to strength train, but there are plenty of strength exercises that you can do at home. Weights are great, but if you have just a few pieces of key equipment paired with your body weight, you can put together a never-ending set of workout routines.
- Body weight: You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push ups, pull ups, abdominal crunches, and leg squats.
- Resistance bands, fitness cables or sleeved tubing: All of these pieces of resistance equipment are lightweight and provide resistance when stretched.
- Free weights, barbells and dumbbells: Classic strength training tools but you might want to also try our weighted sandbag kettle bell or SMART Medicine Ball.
What happens during a strength workout?
During strength training, your muscles work by using resistance against a weighted source, such as a dumbbell, weighted ball (like our SMART Medicine Ball), or even your own body weight. This results in your muscle fibers breaking down.
After the workout, your body builds more muscle mass by repairing these broken down fibers. Building muscle will elevate metabolism, which will help your body burn calories even after your workout.
Why we need to strength train?
Resistance training increases lean muscle mass, which is particularly important for weight loss because lean muscle can burn more calories than other types of tissue.
Strength training can boost benefits in 6 areas:
- Increased muscle mass: Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but strength training can help reverse the trend.
- Stronger bones: Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
- Joint flexibility: Strength training helps maintain joint flexibility and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
- Weight control: As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more efficiently, which can,make it easier to control weight.
- Balance: Strength exercises can increase flexibility and balance as people age, reducing falls, and injuries.
- Sharpens your thinking skills: Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.
How often to see results?
With just a few short strength training sessions per week, you will look and feel better. Your goal should be to train a minimum of 2-3 times per week.
At Home Strength workout
Body weight: Fast Sprint Mountain Climbers
Start in High plank and alternate knees to chest in a sprinting motion while holding the body in a straight line from head to toe. Try 30 seconds on, 10-second rest. Five rounds. Try the move while balancing both hands on a SMART medicine ball for an advanced challenge.
Works: Triceps, Abs, Shoulders, Back
Strength Bands: Plank Arm Lifts
Start in high plank and hold the band in both hands. Lift one arm off the ground, holding the end of the resistance band, elbow toward the ceiling. Alternate sides.
Works: Triceps, Abs, Shoulders, Back
Free Weights: Front Squat
Start in standing position with feet just outside hips. Hold Kettle bell in both hands at chest level. Bring your bottom back and down toward the floor as if sitting back into a chair. Drive through the heels and return to standing. Repeat.
Extra Challenge! At the top of the squat, lift both of your heels off the floor and press the weight overhead. This will activate your calf.
Works: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes