Strength Training Exercises for Beginners
A lot of people want to get started with strength training exercises but they have no idea where to begin. Of course some people that want to lose weight do not realize the benefits of strength training to lose weight so they skip it all together and stick with cardio.
While it is a good idea to incorporate cardio into any fitness program, it is also a good idea to incorporate strength training. That’s why fitness training programs like CrossFit are becoming so popular, especially for beginners. There are a few misconceptions about weight training that prevent some people (especially women) from jumping on the band wagon.
Many people believe that if you are participating in any weight training activities that you will instantly bulk up. As a matter of fact studies indicate that strength training can be one of the most efficient ways to lose weight.
Strength training exercise will help you to slim down without bulking up (unless you want to), it will help to increase your stamina and tone everything up. You should also know that the terms “strength training” and “weight training” are often used interchangeably but with “strength training exercise” you do not necessarily need a set of weights or even a machine to get a great workout with weight training you do.
Getting Started with Strength Training
Like any other fitness regime, getting started is the toughest step and once you start taking the steps you need to and start seeing results the motivation will increase and strength training will not seem to be so much of an obstacle.
The best strength training exercise no matter your level of fitness will target all the major muscle groups. To get started you can use weights that are as light as 3-5 pounds, or even your own bodyweight, and see results. But, always use the weights that are challenging but appropriate. The idea is to add additional resistance to your movements (resistance is weight) as you go along.
Adding resistance to your workout challenges your body to outperform itself. It helps to build muscles, stamina and burn fat.
Strength Training Exercises Two Scenarios
We are going to offer you two scenarios: 1. For the gym 2. For home.
Scenario 1 – The Gym
Each of these exercises should be done as two sets containing 10 repetitions each with 1 minute rest period between each set than 2-3 minutes rest between each cycle. Using 3-5 pounds of weight you are going to do chest presses. First set your weights ( you can get some help from the gym staff to learn how to do this) than lay flat on the bench, arch your lower back a little so that your shoulders are flat on the bench grab the weight bar and push using your chest to create the force.
Remember 2 sets 10 reps each. Make slow movements not jerky quick movements.
One armed pull is your next exercise in the circuit. Stand facing the machine, set the weights to 3-5 pounds and grab the pulley bar. Pull the pulley toward you, than outward. After you have completed the 2 sets of 10 reps move to the other arm.
For the legs simple leg presses work well. Use the leg press machine and set the weights to 20-50 pounds (remember your legs hold up your weight everyday so 20-50 pounds is relatively light). Do your 2 sets of 10 reps.
Bicep curls use weight that you are comfortable with. Keep your elbows firmly pinned to your side and use your arms only to lift the dumbbell. You should be lifted the weight by “curling” your lower arm up toward your bicep. If you are doing it right you will fell and be able to see the pull of your bicep.
Triceps work can be done with the pulley machine, add your weight and stand with your back toward the machine. Start with your arm behind you and slowly pull your arm toward your side and then toward your front, keeping your arm straight out.
You can also do squats with light weights for your legs and lower back. Set the squat machine to 10 pounds and slowly raise and lower. The proper position is lowering your body as if you are going to sit in a chair. Make sure your movements are slow and deliberate to gain the most benefit.
Scenario 2- At Home
You do not need to go to the gym to gain the benefits of strength training exercises you can do them right at home with a little modification. You will need either dumbbells or exercise bands and a blanket or mat for the floor.
If you are using bands you can do most of your strength training exercises. Start by standing on the bands with the handles held palm up and slowly pull the bands up above your head. 10 reps, 2 sets. Next switch the bands while still standing on them to a palm down grip and pull the bands up toward your shoulders slowly. 10 reps 2 sets.
Sit on the floor with your back straight. Secure bands on your feet that are stationed at a 45 degree angle and slowly pull bands up toward your chest. Use your chest as the focal group to pull on the bands. 10 reps, 2 sets.
Secure bands on something stationary. Stand with your back toward the bands and pull the bands from behind your back toward your front. 10 reps 2 sets.
Secure bands on something stationary and lay flat on the floor with your foot looped through the band. Lift your leg slowly while keeping it straight, 10 reps, 2 sets then switch legs and do the same with the other leg.
If you have dumbbells:
Lay flat on the floor grasp your two dumbbells so they are facing each other and push up using your chest 10 reps, 2 sets.
Stand with your legs hips length apart with your dumbbell in one hand. Slowly lift your arm from your side to shoulder height 10 reps, 2 sets and switch.
Assume a sitting position with dumbbells held in both hands and move up and down in slow deliberate motions, 10 reps, 2 sets.
Holding one dumbbell with both hands behind your head slowly move the dumbbell from behind your head to your chest and repeat the motion. 10 reps, 2 sets.
Strength Training Exercises Schedule
The bottom line is that lifting weights is one of the best ways to lose weight and to gain muscle. You want to spend at least 3 days a week with strength training as part of your fitness routine. When you first hear this, it may seem like a lot to do, but it really is not and the benefits are undoubtedly worth the time and effort.