Safety Tips for Resistance Training

By Faye A. Stenerson

womanweightsEmerging research leaves no doubt that building your body’s lean muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate. You need strength training tips! That sounds complicated, but what it means is simple:

You can burn more calories (energy) while at work, at play, and even while sitting still watching a movie.

Sounds great, right? Now the big question is: how do I get started?

Here are a few simple tips to be sure you are off to a safe start and on the path to a regular resistance training program.

1. Be sure to check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Once you have a green light from your doctor, always remember to start a resistance training session with an adequate warm up. This is very important. Your body needs time to get the blood circulating to the major muscle groups you are going to be working and to raise its core temperature up. It’s important to get the joints lubricated as well. Walking briskly for 7-10 minutes, or light cycling will do this for you.

2. Work each muscles group separately.

There are many different theories on how to effectively train your muscles, but a very basic program that starts with the largest muscle groups, i.e. legs and glutes, and moves to the larger muscle groups in the upper body, such as your back and chest. Then you can hit the smaller muscle groups: triceps, biceps, and shoulders. Finishing with some core conditioning works well, and can be done in about 45 minutes.

3. How Often? Start with twice a week.

Begin with a program of training twice per week and work your way up to three sessions giving yourself at least a full 24-hours of rest between workouts.

4. How to Begin…

Start with weights or resistant tubing bands that allow you to accomplish 12-15 repetitions per set (working up to a total of sets) and you should feel like you are fatiguing on the last couple of reps. Keep your rest between sets to no more than 30 to 45 seconds.

Watch your form and be very aware of whether you are using the focus muscle of the exercise to do the move or if momentum has taken over. Keeping the navel firmly tucked toward the spine will give you trunk stabilization.

At the end of your work out it would be a good idea to grab another 10-15 minutes of light intensity movement to flush the lactic acid out of the muscles. Finish with cool down stretching. Be sure to stretch each of the muscle groups used and hold the stretch static (steady) for a full 60 seconds.

If you get motivated and start doing the work, you will get the results you’ve always wanted!

Just remember these two keys words:
Keep movin’.

More SMW Health Articles
Affordable Fitness: How to Work Out at Home
Why You Want Muscles – and How to Get Them
Hard Bodies in Tight Times

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Faye A. Stenerson is the Group Exercise Director for Gainey Village Health Club and Spa. She has been a fitness instructor/trainer and directed programs in the fitness industry for over 20 years. She has been on the faculty of ACE as a continuing education provider, convention presenter, and featured in several exercise videos. Committed to excellence Faye believes in the power and life changing power of movement.