Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Undo the splurge.

Get the Most from Strength Training

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Add a little oomph to your strength training routine. Here’s how …

From fitting better in your jeans to functioning easier during chores, strength training helps the cause. As with any workout, evolving your program is essential. Keep muscles guessing and mind engaged with these tips to power up your strength training program. These are great for a boost in between personal training sessions or your routine evaluation!

Circuit Your Muscles

Circuit through a variety of stations.
Circuit through a variety of stations.

To avoid stressing any one area of the body, it is usually best to work the upper and lower body separately. However, you can safely manage to circuit through all muscles in a full-body workout. Some trainers specialize in this fitness approach, which capitalizes on the rapid response needed to work different areas of the body consecutively. This increases your heart rate, allowing you to burn more calories in less time. The switch-off also prevents strain and lessens fatigue on muscle groups.  (so you can do more reps!).

Try this: Alternate lunges and shoulder presses, without rest in between.

Zap Your Weak Spot

Where is your trouble zone? Think your legs are too skinny? Your belt too tight? It’s probably easy to decide the area you would most like to zap with a magic muscle wand. Focus on this area by consecutively doing multiple exercises that engage those specific muscles. This is an intense approach to target problem areas. Only perform this workout biweekly to avoid strain.

Try this: To sculpt well-defined calf muscles, perform calf raises with an exercise band, followed by calf presses on a fitness machine, and then some treadmill time. Bring on the shorts!

kettlebell, kneeling, pic
Engage your core while working the upper body.

Multitask Your Muscle Work

Work two muscle groups simultaneously. This is a great solution for a time-crunched day. You can manage a full-body workout and burn more calories, all in less time.

Try this: Incorporate tricep presses with squats. Add arm work with lunges. Use an exercise machine that works opposing muscle groups simultaneously.

Go Further with Less

Go lighter and manage another rep!
Go lighter and manage another rep.

When fatigued during strength training, form can suffer in the final reps– if we actually make it to the final reps. Avoid getting sloppy or having to stop short. At the first sign of muscle fatigue, decrease your weights. You can do more and maximize muscle effort with this drop-set approach. You will also reduce the risk of injury. Only perform this workout monthly to avoid setbacks from soreness.

Try this: Choose a weight that fatigues your muscles in 10 reps. Feeling the urge to quit? Drop to a lighter weight for a second round. Go lighter and manage a final, additional round.

Incorporate these tips into your fitness program. You’ll impress the trainers—and maybe even challenge them to arm wrestling. Or not. But, you should be able to tackle baskets of laundry and bags of groceries without sending yourself to the couch.

Image Credits

Kettlebell kneeling swing: pixabay.com/en/gym-room-fitness-equipment-1181814/

Arm curls: www.flickr.com/photos/121183998@N08/13335780903/


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