This week’s blog is all about strength training and toning up your muscles. However, if you are immediately turned off by the thought of bulky muscles and a ‘macho’ gym culture, then think again.
Who should be doing strength training and toning exercises?
Everyone can benefit from strength training and toning – whether you are a 20-year-old looking for the perfect buffed bach body or a 60-year-old seeking to maintain muscle mass in the face of natural age-related muscle deterioration.
Here is an extract from fitness website Mercola.
“The truth is, nearly everyone, regardless of age or gender, will benefit from strength training. Working your muscles will help you shed excess fat, maintain healthy bone mass and prevent age-related muscle loss, the latter of which can start as early as your 30s if you do not actively counteract it.”
“As noted in a recent ‘Time’ magazine article:
“For many, weight training calls to mind bodybuilders pumping iron in pursuit of beefy biceps and bulging pecs. But experts say it’s well past time to discard those antiquated notions of what resistance training can do for your physique and health. Modern exercise science shows that working with weights — whether that weight is a light dumbbell or your own body — may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness.”
Benefits of lifting weights
Here at Kelsey Kerridge we cater for anyone who wants to lift weights. Our fitness instructors and personal trainers will happily advise you on the strength training and toning programme that best suits you.
This is because we realise that load bearing exercise is essential to good health. Among the benefits are:
Counteracts bone loss and postural deficits that occur with age (from 30 onwards).
Lowers your risk of most chronic diseases by lowering insulin sensitivity.
Reduces the risk of a cluster of weight-related issues such as waist circumference, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and low levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
Improves cognitive function and reduces anxiety and depression
Some great strength training and exercises
In light of overwhelming evidence in favour of regular strength training, here are a series of sessions that can be added to your weekly exercise routine.
NB: Before you start any exercise session, make sure you warm-up thoroughly.
- Bench Press – lie on a flat bench holding a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder distance. Brace your core and then lower the bar to your chest. Push it back up for one rep. (5 sets of 10 with a 60 second rest between sets).
- Incline dumbbell press – lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand by your shoulder. Press the weight up until your arms are straight, then lower them slowly back to start position. (3 sets of 12-15 reps with a 60 second rest between sets).
- Triceps extension – Stand tall holding a dumbbell over and behind your head with both hands holding the weight. Keep your chest up and lift the weight to be straight above your head. Lower it back slowly. (3 sets of 12-15 reps with a 60 second rest between sets).
- Bent over row – Hold a barbell using an overhand grip, hands just outside your legs, and lean forward from the hips. Bend your knees slightly and brace your core, then pull the bar up, leading with your elbows. Lower it back to the start. (5 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest).
- Standing biceps curl – Stand with dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forwards. Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top. Lower them back to the start. (3 sets of 12-15 reps with a 60 second rest between sets).