Strength training is one of the best forms of exercise that you can do for your body. There are multiple physical, mental, and health benefits from regular strength training, like muscle tone, weight loss, and improved bone density. Unfortunately, too many people avoid strength training because they don’t know how to do it.
If you’re not familiar with strength training, it can be confusing, as it requires good technique and skill. If strength training is new to you, then investing in a session with a personal trainer is a great idea. A personal trainer can show you proper form and set up a weekly program that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Strength Training 101
There are two forms of strength training: resistance machines and free weights. Many people have strong opinions on the “right” way to do strength training, but generally speaking, one way is not better than the other. Both methods have positives and negatives, strengths and weaknesses. Set aside your prejudices and biases for just a moment, and let’s make clear some facts.
Strength Training In Any Direction
The major difference between free weights and resistance machines is the various planes you can move in, the directions you can move your limbs. Free weights allow you to move forward, backwards, horizontally, and vertically. Resistance machines, on the other hand, only allow you to move on a fixed axis in one or two planes or directions. For example, the Leg Press Machine moves your leg muscles forward and backwards.
Strength Training Beginner or Advanced?
Resistance machines are a great option for beginners, people with injuries or limited mobility, or older adults with stability issues. Some of the benefits of machines include lifting heavier weights and allowing you to target very specific muscle groups.
However, if you’re looking to get the biggest bang for your buck then free weights are the better option. Free weight exercises engage more than just your target muscles, as your body must work to stabilise the weight as you lift it. For example, a simple biceps curl uses more than just your biceps. You must also engage your core muscles to keep you upright. However, if you don’t have proper form, you are more likely to hurt yourself in the long run.
If you’re not sure where to start, come into the gym today and talk to our fitness professionals. They can design an effective strength-training program to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.