This article delves into strength and weight training, discussing what they entail, what muscles do while you train, and the various health benefits derived from weight training.
Weight training refers to a type of strength training that involves the muscles moving against some type of opposing force provided by equipment or body weight. Regular weight training helps improve bone density, joint strength, coordination, posture, mobility, and reduces the risk of injury from everyday activities. Proper form and posture are key to successful weight training, so care must be taken to lift weights correctly to avoid injury.
Here are some important facts you need to know:
What Is Strength and Weight Training?
Strength training involves exercises that use resistance to cause muscles to contract, increasing strength and exercise endurance, and can increase the size of skeletal muscles.
Weight training is a type of strength training that generally refers to the muscles moving against some type of opposing force provided by equipment or body weight.
What Are My Muscles Doing When I Lift Weights?
Muscles contract when you lift a weight. There are two types of muscle contractions: concentric and eccentric.
A concentric muscle contraction is when the muscle shortens and generates a force greater than that of the weight.
The opposite occurs during an eccentric contraction. Due to a force stronger than the muscle can produce, the muscle lengthens.
When you lift weights, your muscles work together, and concentric and eccentric muscle contractions happen at the same time. As you lift the weight up toward your shoulder during an arm curl, your bicep muscle shortens (concentric muscle contraction), and your triceps lengthen (eccentric muscle contraction). When you lower the weight away from your shoulder back to your side, your muscles do the opposite: the bicep lengthens (eccentric muscle contraction), and your triceps shorten (concentric muscle contraction).
Weight Training: Not Just for Muscles
Weight training helps your bones because the bone is a living tissue and can rebuild itself when stress is placed on it. Weight training also plays a role in brain health as physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure, lowers anxiety and stress, lifts moods, and keeps your heart healthy.
Benefits of Regular Weight Training
Individuals in a regular weight training regimen can provide many benefits:
Increases muscle strength, tone, and endurance.
Increases bone density, joint strength, and support.
Improves posture, balance, coordination, and mobility.
Reduces risk of injury from everyday activities.
Can help reduce overall blood pressure.
Stay Safe While Weight Training: Tips and Techniques for Proper Form
Lift with your legs, not with your back, to avoid back injury.
Don't attempt to lift too much weight, start with a low weight, and work your way up.
Proper form and posture are key to successful weight training.
Always perform the same exercises and number of repetitions on both the right and left sides.
Completing repetitions in a slow, smooth motion helps isolate the targeted muscles.
Do not drop weights quickly when finished with a movement.
Strength training should be challenging and difficult but not so much that it causes extreme pain. Do not hyperextend your joints, keep your knees slightly bent, and do not extend your arms completely straight. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when weight training to make sure you get the most out of your workout and avoid injury:
🚩 Start with a weight that is manageable and gradually increase the weight over time. This allows your muscles to adapt and grow stronger.
🚩 While weight training should be challenging, it should not cause extreme pain. Stop immediately if you experience pain and assess your form and technique.
🚩 Proper form and posture are crucial for successful weight training. Keep your spine straight and your abdominal muscles engaged to support your back. Avoid hyperextension of your joints, keep your knees slightly bent, and do not extend your arms completely straight.
🚩 Perform the same exercises and number of repetitions on both the right and left sides to maintain balance and symmetry.
🚩 Completing repetitions in a slow, controlled motion helps to isolate the targeted muscles and maximize their strength-building potential. Rushing through repetitions relies more on momentum than muscle strength and may reduce the effectiveness of your workout.
🚩 Avoid dropping weights quickly when you finish a movement. Instead, lower them slowly to engage your muscles and prevent injury.
By following these tips, you can increase the effectiveness of your weight training routine and reduce the risk of injury.