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Health Team

Strength training essential to any exercise program

Posted November 10, 2015

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— Many people don't exercise with weights because they're not interested in having the muscles of a body builder. Experts say strength training should be part of any comprehensive exercise program.

An obstacle many people face is not knowing where to start when beginning strength training. Like any other kind of exercise, it’s imperative to start slow and take the proper precautions.

Harvard Medical School said people who are strength training are better off focusing on form, not weight, to have an effective workout and avoid injury.

Professional help is available at most gyms so the body can properly align and move smoothly through exercise routines.

Tempo is important—it helps keep people in control of the weights, and it gets the most benefit to the muscles.

Breathing techniques are also important in effective strength training. Exhale when working against gravity by lifting, or pushing or pulling weight, and inhale to release it.

For 10-lift repetitions, chose a weight that tries the targeted muscles by the last two repetitions, while still managing good form. If the final reps can’t be completed, move to a lower weight.

If the weight is too easy, add additional weight or an additional set to the workout.

Performing a complete upper and lower workout, between two to three days a week, is an ideal timeframe for beginners.

However, giving muscles time off is essential. Strength training causes tiny tears in the muscle tissue. The muscles grow stronger as the tears knit themselves. Experts suggest 48 hours between workout sessions to recover.

Alternating days for upper and lower body muscles is also an option.

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