Whether you want the physique of a body builder or just hope to shed a few pounds, strength training is a powerful form of exercise that allows you to meet a variety of different fitness goals. There are endless weight training workouts that challenge various muscles throughout your body and build strength, so where should you start?. Below are “7 Strength Training Tips for Beginners” that can lead to a fitter and happier you.
Start with dumbbells
Dumbbells offer an easy and effective introduction to strength and weight training. The logic behind starting with dumbbells is that they take up minimal space and are easy to vary the weights. Handheld dumbbell weights are also less intimidating than barbells, which are often 45lbs in weight on their own. Once you have mastered several dumbbell movements, try transitioning into more barbell and kettlebell workouts. Barbells offer a stable setting for lifting heavier weight than you could with dumbbells while kettlebells offer an offset center of gravity for a more well-rounded workout.
Pay attention to your form
Failure to execute strength training moves without proper form can limit your gains and cause injuries. Go slow and use smaller weights when trying out new moves until you have mastered the form. This will ensure that your body aligns properly for a smooth and safe workout.
Lift weights barefoot
Trust us, this helpful tip will maximize your gains and improve your lifts. Having your feet flat on the floor increases your leverage, allowing you to lift heavier weight than you would with shoes on. This will also increase foot strength, allowing for a more stable and properly executed lifts.
Warm up and cool down
Warming up for five to ten minutes before your strength training session will allow you to get the most out of your workout while also preventing injuries caused by stiffness. Even a brisk walk can get the job done when preparing to lift. The same rule applies to cooling down; however, you should focus more on stretching in the cool down period. Check out our post “How to Increase Flexibility & Improve Your Workout Routines” for more information on using stretching to enhance your workouts.
Proper breathing technique is essential to safely and effectively performing any exercise. It is especially important to remember to breathe when learning new movements. Typically in strength training workouts you will be exhaling when you are working against resistance and inhaling each time you release.
Training with the same weights over and over again is only going to get you so far in terms of strength and fitness. When you begin feeling too comfortable lifting a certain weight, try to increase the load slowly over time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a drastic weight change though; just add enough to ensure that you are still able to execute each workout with proper form.
Develop a routine
For optimal results you are going to want to shoot for working each major muscle group two to three times per week. The combination or order in which you work each muscle group is up to you; just remember that muscles need an average of 48 hours to properly recover before each training session. For ideas on how to stick to your strength training plan, take a look at our previous post, “8 Tips for Sticking to Your Fitness Plan.”
Train at home
There are plenty of entry-level home strength training products available at marcypro.com that will allow you to begin your fitness journey from home at an affordable price. As for weights, products such as the 110 lb. Olympic Weight Set – MCW-110, 3-Pair Neoprene Dumbbell Set and 50 lb. Kettlebell Set are all good starting points. Equipment pieces such as benches and racks will allow you to perform even more strength training workouts with these weights as well.
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