One reason for working out is to improve your overall strength. The people who work out regularly end up stronger, faster and better than the people they are competing with. Use the tips in this article to get the most out of each strength training workout.
When you are lifting weights, it is much better to move slowly with each set. Your muscles have to work harder this way, and the overall benefits come to your muscles more quickly. Lifting weights is all about resistance. If you lift quickly, your muscles do not face resistance as long, and the workout is not as effective, even if you are lifting more weight. Slow, steady repetitions throughout the full range of motion are the most effective way to get the job done when you are doing strength training.
Warming up is crucial to getting the most out of a workout. Taking the time to get in 20 minutes of easy cardio training before you lift prepares your body for the muscle work to come. Your metabolism is elevated, the blood is pumping through your body at a higher rate, and you are ready for a more intense workout. Because your metabolism is elevated before you even start lifting weights, you will get more benefits out of each set.
If you have never been in a weight room before, you might want to think about getting a trainer to take you through the first steps. Most fitness clubs offer you a free assessment with a personal trainer, and having that instruction is invaluable. It's true that the weight machines have pictures and instructions on them, but if you want to do free weights, and you don't want to have to look at that picture you cut out from a men's magazine every other rep, having personalized instruction from a trainer prepares you to come back to the gym, with your lessons memorized.
Flexibility is key to maintaining muscular strength and health. Most of us work in sedentary jobs, in which we spend a lot of time on our bottoms in front of a computer or paperwork. This is bad for our flexibility, because our hamstrings and calves spend a lot of time in their most compressed positions that way. We have to counteract that by spending some time stretching before we go to bed and when we wake up. This prepares our muscles for the day and maintains greater flexibility for the times when we want to work hard.
Your lower back and abs are the foundation of your body, when it comes to strength training. Taking the time to keep these areas strong makes everything else simpler. You'll run with better posture, and your lifting form will be easier to maintain, because the muscles in your back and abs will also be strong.
Knowing the right techniques and training tips makes strength training more effective and more efficient. Put these tips to work for you the next time you head to the gym.