Home Forums Other Specialities General Topics STRENGTH TRAINING -THE WHAT AND HOW?

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    Anonymous
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    Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.

    When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being, including increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density, increased metabolism, increased fitness, improved cardiac function, and improved lipoprotein lipid profiles, including elevated HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

    Training commonly uses the technique of progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental weight increases and uses a variety of exercises and types of equipment to target specific muscle groups.
    Strength training is primarily an anaerobic activity, although some proponents have adapted it to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training.

    Sports where strength training is central are bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, Highland games, shotput, discus throw, and javelin throw. Many other sports use strength training as part of their training regimen, notably American football, wrestling, track and field, rowing, lacrosse, basketball, poledancing (or polefitness), hockey and football. Strength training for other sports and physical activities is becoming increasingly popular.
    seem a little daunting. But as long as you ease into it gradually and take the proper precautions, strength training is safe for most people.

    Use the six tips below to help you get the most from your strength workouts.

    1. Focus on form, not weight. Good form means aligning your body correctly and moving smoothly through an exercise. Poor form can prompt injuries and slow gains. “I often start people with very light weights because I want them to get their alignment and form right,” says master trainer Josie Gardiner. Concentrate on performing slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled descents whenever you learn a new exercise. You can always add weight to challenge your muscles once you know how to move with good form.

    2. Tempo, Control is very important. Tempo helps you stay in control rather than undercut gains through momentum. Sometimes switching speed — for example, taking three counts to lower a weight and one count to lift it, instead of lifting for two and lowering for two — is a useful technique for enhancing power.

    3. Breathe. Blood pressure rises if you hold your breath while performing strength exercises. Exhale as you work against gravity by lifting, pushing, or pulling the weight; inhale as you release.

    4. Keep challenging muscles. The “right” weight differs depending on the exercise. Choose a weight that tires the targeted muscles by the last two repetitions while still allowing you to maintain good form. If you can’t do the last two reps, choose a lighter weight.
    When it feels too easy to complete all the reps, challenge your muscles again by adding weight (roughly 1 to 2 pounds for arms, 2 to 5 pounds for legs); adding a set to your workout (up to three sets per exercise); or working out additional days per week (as long as you rest each muscle group for 48 hours before exercising it again).

    5. Practice regularly. Performing a complete upper- and lower-body strength workout two or three times a week is ideal.

    6. Give muscles time off. Strenuous exercise, like strength training, causes tiny tears in muscle tissue. Muscles grow stronger as the tears knit up. Always allow at least 48 hours between sessions for muscles to recover. For example, if you’re doing split strength workouts, you might do upper body on Monday, lower body on Tuesday, upper body on Wednesday, lower body on Thursday, etc.

    G Mohan.

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