Strength training exercises are so-called because resistance is used to oppose muscle contraction in order to increase strength, enhance endurance and build muscle. Strength training may be done with or without weights. Weight training, as its name implies, is strength training where weights like dumbbells and barbells are used to create resistance, build muscle and change how the body looks. Through incremental increases in weight, muscles grow bigger and larger.
Not all strength training exercises need to be done with weights, however. Body weight training or calisthenics is another form of strength training that makes use of an individual’s own body for resistance. In bodyweight training, no free weights are used but by increasing the workout intensity, muscles grow in strength. Some examples of weight training exercises are bicep curls, deadlifts, bench and shoulder presses and lat pulldowns. Body weight exercises include squats, dips, pull ups, push ups and abdominal crunches.
To make the most of any strength building routine, it’s best to choose those that exercise multiple joints. Also very intense weight training workouts should be followed by a day or two of rest so that the muscles can take time to repair itself and thus become stronger after the trauma. To develop intensity and power, speed is critical. In weight training exercises, it’s important to understand that it’s not enough to lift weights. You have to lift it fast to get the best results. By following proper techniques all throughout your routine, you not only get maximum benefits from the exercise, you also protect yourself from any injury.
Whether you’re doing weight training or bodyweight exercises or combining both in your routine, the importance of strength training exercises have long been established. They give greater muscular strength, improved muscle tone, and enhanced bone density. Joints are given better support and the risk of injury is also minimized. Because strength building workouts increase muscle mass, it aids in long-term fat loss. Aside from this, these exercises also develop joint flexibility and enhance its efficiency in performing day-to-day activities. There is also no doubt that this form of exercise improves the physical appearance of both men and women. Males are able to develop “ripped” muscles (the epitome of male sexiness in this day and age) while women are able to get toned physiques with regular strength training regimens. Cardiac function is also greatly improved as studies have shown that the levels of good cholesterol also increase with strength training sessions. The psychological benefits of strength training cannot also be underestimated. Intense exercise routines not only improve mood, they also counter feelings of depression. Developing strength is not only beneficial in weight loss. It is also an important element in the rehabilitation, especially following injuries or surgery. Weak muscles are made stronger and useful again with a professionally-designed strength program.
Strength training is indeed a form of exercise that you should incorporate into your exercise regimen. With all the benefits it offers, it’s definitely a training program that needs to be included in any sensible fitness program.