Your Guide To Strength Training
Strength training can provide a variety of benefits for mind and body. Comprised of machine weights, free weights and bodyweight-driven exercises, strength training relies on resistance and repetition to boost endurance and strength. Physically, these exercises build bone density, strengthen heart muscles, lower blood pressure and prevent injury, so you can stay healthy and active, whether you’re at work, at home or elsewhere. Mentally, strength training has been proven to relieve stress, boost endorphins and improve self-confidence, which all contribute to a happier and more productive lifestyle. If done correctly, strength training can be an integral part of working smart and living well. Whether you’re exercising with a trainer, outdoors or at home, it is important to keep strength training best practices top-of-mind, as it ensures you receive every benefit of a great workout. Here are our training tips for a stronger, healthier and more dynamic you.
1. DON’T: Workout Alone
Strength training can work wonders for physical endurance, boosting energy and building muscle mass, so you can move through your busy day with ease. That said, if done incorrectly, strength training can also lead to tendonitis, muscle tears and other painful injuries that could inhibit productivity inside and outside of the workplace. To make sure your workouts stay injury-free, bring a buddy to the gym. Often called a “spotter,” this person can keep an eye on you while you’re lifting. If you’re new to strength training, consider working out with a professional trainer who will give you the hands-on experience needed to do every exercise correctly.
2. DO: Try a Group Class
When you’re rushing from meeting to meeting, fitting strength training into your schedule may seem like a stretch, but with group classes, this form of exercise is more appealing than ever. Nowadays, you can find exciting group classes that will brighten your workday with a variety of strength-building exercises. From high-intensity TRX to toning yoga and Pilates, there are a variety of group exercise classes that build muscle and boost energy, so you can get back to the office with more enthusiasm. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, one of the most common reasons for quitting a workout program is boredom. Group exercises provide structure, social interaction and fun that keep people motivated and engaged. If you’re interested in integrating a group workout class into your busy schedule, check out KINETIC, Irvine Company’s workplace fitness and wellness movement. Here, you can find a wide selection of group fitness classes that can be easily attended throughout the workday. Download the KINETIC App for iPhone or Android to see which classes are happening at your workplace.
3. DON’T: Stick to One Exercise
Performing the same exercises again and again is one of the easiest ways to get injured. When you hit the gym, consider focusing on different muscle groups during each session to prevent strain. If you’re intimidated by certain equipment, try getting out of your comfort zone by using a new machine with every workout. Start with the least amount of resistance and work your way up to a weight your body can handle. As your body gets stronger, feel free to increase the weight in small increments to gradually build strength. If you’re already dealing with an injury, a full-body workout can actually help the body heal, so you can be productive and physically comfortable inside and outside of the office. Ergonomically friendly workouts like chest flies and lateral raises work muscles in the chest, shoulders and back to prevent common upper body strain. Rotator cuff injuries, which are also common in the workplace, can be lessened with strength training exercises like side-lying external rotation, which rotates the arm through the full range of motion using a light dumbbell.
4. DO: Start with a Warm Up
Light exercising and stretching is a great way to get the body and mind prepared for working out. Dynamic stretching, like low lunges and high kicks, loosen up the body and extend range of motion for a safer, more effective workout. Stretching combined with strength training exercises that hone in on the shoulders and upper back also improves posture. With better posture comes an array of mental and physical health benefits such as heightened levels of productivity and self-esteem, more energy and less stress, all contributing to a positive and active lifestyle.
When it comes to staying energized and active throughout the day, regular strength training can make all the difference. From building muscle strength to boosting mood, these exercises are great ways to stay healthy in the long-term.