Last week I wrote about the benefits of resistance training. This week I’m going to talk about how to get started! It can be very challenging to know where to even begin!
A brief review of resistance training.
Resistance training is using resistance or a force to build or strengthen muscles.
Resistance training can be done at home or your local gym. You can use small hand weights if you have them. If not, use some bottles of water or cans of soup.
Your body weight is always an excellent tool to utilize.
1. Bodyweight is best. If you are new to resistance training, I highly encourage you to use your body weight on some exercises. Your body is not used to the force you will put on it when resistance training. Some examples of activities that I would start with bodyweight are squats, push-ups, lunges, and even plank. If you want some ideas for basic resistance training exercises, click here.
2. Warm-up is key. Always warm up to get your blood flowing, and to help prevent injury. Some examples of a warm-up can be walking outside or on the treadmill. Other warm-up ideas include arm circles or hip circles, and jumping rope. Save stretching movements for the end of your workout. Want to see more warm-up moves? Click here.
3. Compound exercises. Compound movements are always beneficial because you can kill two birds with one stone. A compound movement consists of a lower-body exercise with an upper-body exercise. Once you feel confident in your abilities to do the exercise with bodyweight, you can add compound movements. Some examples are doing a lunge while completing a bicep curl or doing a squat with a shoulder press. For more compound movements, click here.
4. Start small. Your workouts don’t have to be a long and drawn-out process. You will see benefits in as little as 10-15 minutes! Start with just 2-3 days a week and gradually work up to more. Begin with 2-3 rounds of 8-10 repetitions of each exercise. For example, if you are doing squats, do eight squats and then rest a bit and do eight more. Add another eight reps if you feel up to it!
If you are new to resistance training, one tip that can help is to look up moves on Youtube or Google for proper form or modifications.
5. Stretch! This is where the dynamic stretching comes in. Always stretch when you are done, even if you've only trained for 5-10 minutes. This is especially important for beginners because your body is not used to resistance training. Stretching can help prevent muscle soreness.
Strength or resistance training does not have to be intimidating!