We all know that muscle conditioning is an essential part of staying fit, but which muscle conditioning exercises should YOU specifically be doing? There are literally hundreds of different exercises and thousands of variations you could perform to get the results you are looking for. So where do you start?
Below are a few guidelines to follow when designing your resistance training program.
Start with basic exercises – when you are starting a resistance training program, it is necessary to progress from exercises that require the least amount of skill, coordination, balance, and overall fitness to exercises that will challenge these skills. This means that in the beginning, very basic exercises will do the trick. As you improve and master the technique of the exercises, then you can incorporate more challenging exercises.
For ex. – when performing a chest press, you may start on a machine that has a back support so that all you have to think about is pushing the weight. As you master the movement and your muscle conditioning improves, then you can add some variations (on your back with dumbbells; to standing; to single leg balance and push, etc.) You can follow this type of progression for any exercise. Every 4-8 weeks try to add a new challenge to any exercise that you are performing. But it is always important that you follow the appropriate progression; first develop the basic foundation and then advance the skill level.
Change your program regularly – the only perfect resistance program is one that changes. A program that we design today will be effective for about 4-8 weeks. After that a plateau will occur once the body adapts to the program. The body will need to be challenged in a different way in order to progress. You can change your program in a variety of different ways – change the resistance you lift, the exercises you perform, the order in which you perform the exercises, the number of sets or reps you lift, etc.
There are so many different types of exercises and variables that this is where an investment in a personal trainer may save you a lot of time and help you get better results. Even just one or two sessions every one to two months will go a long way in maximizing your workout time and provide the changes required for you to see continued results. IDEA, the International Health and Fitness Source, released a statistic at one of their International conferences. It stated that only 25 percent of people working out in a gym are getting the results they want. But out of the 25 percent of people getting results, 90 percent of them are working with a personal trainer.
Incorporate Staple Movements – squats, lunges, bridging, pulls/rows, presses, and core training movements like planks, back extensions, v-sits etc. are all fundamental movements that can be beneficial to most people but please make sure you are doing them correctly before adding them into your program.
Many physiologists believe that Strength Training is the true fountain of youth. So commit to 2-3 workouts per week to challenge your muscles. You will see improvements to your muscle strength and endurance, body toning, bone density, metabolism, posture and more!
If you have questions or need guidance on how to perform an exercise or to determine which exercises would be most beneficial to you just ask us. We are here to help you however we can.