One of the main goals when exercising is to increase strength. Once this is achieved, more demanding exercises can be implemented and further progress can be made. In addition, physical strength is essential to perform different activities, whether they are physically demanding or not. That is why strength exercises have been designed.
In this article we are going to focus on strength exercises for beginners. We will look at both the technique and the benefits of doing them.
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what are strength exercises?
Strength exercises are those designed to increase both muscle size and muscle endurance. They could also be used to maintain physical fitness, but increasing the capacity of the muscles.
Different experts point out the importance of this kind of exercises. For example, the prestigious Harvard University highlights the benefits of these activities. They even propose an exercise pattern endorsed by their medical school.
Benefits of strength exercises
The Ivy League University also endorses the use of these exercises. This support is largely due to their benefits. Among these, Eduardo Medina Jiménez, an expert in physical activity and integral health, highlights the following.
- It increases the musculature. It is not the main objective, but it is undoubtedly something that many people desire. In addition, the increase in muscle mass is uniform.
- Avoids injuries. By increasing strength, muscle endurance also increases. This reduces the risk of injury.
- Eliminates fat. Eliminates cholesterol and triglycerides, which cause cardiovascular disease
- Delays the effects of aging. With these exercises, bone mass is strengthened and lasts longer.
Recommendations for strength exercises
It is normal that many people want to do them. However, before starting with them, it is important to take into account some recommendations. These were elaborated by Harvard University.
- Warming up. It is important to prepare the body before starting the exercise routine.
- Technique. The use of proper technique is vital to obtain good results.
- Routine. The key to better results is regularity. They should be performed at least 2 times a week.
- Progression. Once improvement in strength is achieved, more demanding exercises should be performed to continue progressing.
Best strength exercises for beginners that you can do at home
The prestigious Ivy League University points out the best strength exercises, especially for those who are just starting out in this activity. Let’s see what they are.
The inchworm is an exercise also known as the worm. It is related to the way this animal moves. It is performed as follows.
- Start. The body is in a vertical position. Then, it bends down until the hands touch the floor. The legs are kept straight. The body remains in an inverted U-shape.
- Execution. Small steps forward are taken with the hands. The idea is that the body remains in the form of a bridge. Only the hands and toes are supported.
- Continuation. Step with the feet until the starting position is assumed.
- Repetition. The recommendation is to repeat the exercise 12 times. Each complete session consists of 4 sets.
As these are beginners, the focus should not be so much on speed, but on the correct execution of the exercise.
Squats are primarily used to increase leg strength. Although you can increase the demand by adding weight to the exercise, at the beginner level, only your body is used. Here are the steps to follow.
- Start. The body starts in a standing position, totally vertical. Feet are placed shoulder width apart. The hands are joined and placed at chest level.
- Execution. Only the knees are bent. By inertia the buttocks will go backwards. The thighs should be brought to a horizontal position.
- Repetition. The exercise should be repeated until you reach the starting position, then the exercise is repeated. Each series should consist of 10 repetitions
The minimum to perform per training session is between 40 and 50. Due to the demanding nature of this activity, it is important that there is a one-minute rest between one set and the next. In addition, there should be at least one day of rest between one session and another.
There are different versions of the dead weight exercise. In this case we will see the one that is performed on one leg. Thanks to this one, you can strengthen the muscles of the spine. It is performed as follows.
- Starting position. The body is placed in a completely vertical position. In one hand a weight is held, a few kilograms, according to the capacity of the person.
- Execution. One leg is lifted backwards and, at the same time, the trunk is lowered forwards as far as possible, without losing balance. Then return to the starting position.
- Series. There are 10 repetitions in each of the 3 recommended series. In the middle of each one, rest for 1 minute.
When the person is unable to maintain balance, it is suggested to lean forward until the hands can rest on the floor. As your resistance increases, you will also be able to keep your hands from touching the floor.
The weight will depend on your ability. In order to avoid injury, it is recommended to start with a small amount. It is performed as follows.
- Start. The body is placed in a complete vertical position. The arms hold the weights, leaving the arms fully extended.
- Execution. The elbows are bent making the weights go up to the shoulders. Only the arms should be involved to perform the activity
- Repetitions. The goal is to do a minimum of 20 repetitions per session.
There are a large number of exercises to increase strength. If proper techniques are used and expert suggestions are followed, the benefits are greater.