HOW TO START STRENGTH TRAINING AT HOME FOR WOMEN

STRENGTH TRAINING AT HOME FOR WOMEN

Strength training also called resistance training, becomes increasingly important as you age because inactive women (and men) naturally lose about 3–5% of their lean muscle mass each decade after age 30. Resistance training—which includes both bodyweight movements and weight lifting—can help counteract this muscle loss, supporting a stronger metabolism as you age. It also increases bone density, reducing your risk for osteoporosis, and improves stability and muscular endurance, both important for staying healthy and active throughout your lifetime.

HOW TO START STRENGTH TRAINING


You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to begin strength training at home. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a safe area to move. Here are 5 tips to help you get started today.

TIP 1: LEARN THE LINGO


Strength training has its own vocabulary. Once you understand the lingo, you’ll feel more comfortable choosing workouts that fit your needs. A repetition, or rep, is one complete movement of a particular exercise (for example, one squat or one bicep curl). A set is a specific number of consecutive repetitions (for example, 3 sets of 15 reps). A circuit is a sequence of exercises repeated in a cycle. There’s more to learn, but these are the basics for today’s workout.

TIP 2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT WEIGHT


To increase strength, you must tax the muscle. Lifting a weight that’s too light won’t require the muscle to adapt, which means you won’t make physical progress. Lifting a weight that’s too heavy will make it difficult to complete the specified reps and sets and may lead to injury. For best results, always work at the edge of your ability: the last two reps of every set should be challenging, but not impossible, to complete.

If you have access to multiple dumbbells, feel free to pick a different weight for each exercise to maximize effectiveness. If you’re just getting started and want to invest in a single set of dumbbells, I recommend choosing a weight you can bicep curl for 12–15 reps and squat for 15–18 reps (your legs will usually be stronger than your arms). This will provide a challenge with room to improve.

TIP 3: PRACTICE GOOD FORM


Choose a challenging weight, but always remember that it’s more important to have good form than to lift heavier or quicker. If your form starts to suffer, slow down, drop weight, or reduce reps. One universal key to good form is to keep your core tight. Your core includes your entire torso—everything except your arms and legs—not just your abs. Focus on strong alignment from your tailbone to your head. Hold your abs tight; don’t let your back arch or your shoulders slouch. As you maintain proper alignment and core strength, you will engage the correct muscles, generating more power, and preventing injury.

TIP 4: FOCUS ON THE WORKING MUSCLE


All muscle movements are controlled by tiny signals between the brain and the body. When a muscle begins to burn, it’s tempting to divert mental energy away from that muscle to avoid discomfort. But doing so weakens the brain-body connection, reducing your ability to execute a move with proper form and maximum strength. Instead, stay fully present in each movement, and imagine recruiting more muscle fibers with each repetition.

TIP 5: EASE INTO EXERCISE, AND ROLL OUT


It’s normal to feel sore for up to two days after a workout (three for newbies). But you shouldn’t be incapacitated. If you are, it’s okay to ease up a little. Start with 3 workouts a week, exercising every other day. Add days as your strength increases. To aid recovery, get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces), stretch sore muscles, and use a foam roller. Similar to a massage, foam rolling is a stretching technique that applies gentle pressure to sore muscles to break up knots and release muscle tension. Hold pressure on extremely sore spots for 30–90 seconds. This is especially helpful for sore legs.

Image/DoctorFitness
Powered by Blogger.