Weight lifting is one of the best types of physical training you can give your body. In addition to the physical improvements weight lifting provides, it is believed that improving strength may delay symptoms of dementia in the elderly and improve the mental functioning of younger people as well. It is important to remind yourself of these weight training techniques and the basic rules-of-thumb every time you begin your workout. Before lifting, be sure to stretch for 5 to 20 minutes, or do 10 minutes of aerobic activity. You will likely want to stretch all of your body in order to increase flexibility.
At the very least, you need to spend extra time stretching and warming up the muscle groups you’ll be focusing on during the day’s weight training. Focus on only 5 or 6 exercises during your routine, and between seven to ten working sets of each. A set of twelve repetitions at the right weigh is more useful than 20 repetitions at a weight that is too great. There are different exercises to work different areas of your body. When you’re focusing on your lower body, you can do squats, leg presses, dead lifts or extensions to work the quadriceps. Leg curls do the trick for your hamstrings, calf raises for your calves, and abduction and addiction exercises for your hips.
To work your arms, using a combination of chest fly and shoulder fly, presses, curls and pull-ups is a start to creating a beautifully toned and balanced upper body. For your body’s mid-section, a variety of crunches strengthens your abdominal muscles to their fullest and back extensions tone up the dorsal area.
For all of these exercises, make sure you’re using the correct form. Have a trainer teach you the correct form of any new exercise to make sure you’re getting the greatest benefit out of the activities and not injuring yourself.
Always be sure to breathe. Holding your breath, or breathing shallowly, can cause black-outs or stroke. A good idea is to “exhale on effort.” Exhale as you lift the weight, and inhale as you lower the weight. To avoid muscle cramps and muscle soreness, you must stay hydrated. Make sure to take in water every fifteen minutes while training. Be sure to vary your routine. If you overwork muscles or become bored with your routine, you’re less likely to keep up your training. Switch out your exercises from time to time, and regularly change the order of your exercises. Avoid stagnation!
Finally, be sure to get enough rest. If you don’t take days off from training, your muscles won’t have adequate rest for prime development. Don’t work the same set of muscles two days in a row. It’s during periods of rest that muscles recover and build up. Get plenty of restful sleep each night to avoid mental and physical fatigue that can lead to injury. Never train when you’re sleepy.