Your resistance training program should be based on your health status, fitness training experience, and goals. You should assess your health status before participating in strength-building activities. In some cases, specialized exercise programs are needed for those with preexisting medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes. Thus, if you have a medical concern or issue, you should consult with your health care provider before resistance training. So here are some resistance training tips that can prevent any mishaps.
Also Read: Benefits of Resistance Training.
Resistance Training Tips
Recognizing that resistance training to improve general fitness is different from training to enhance sport performance will further promote the development of and adherence to safe, effective, and enjoyable programs. If you have little experience with resistance training, you are strongly encouraged to seek instruction from a qualified fitness professional, because most injuries are the result of improper exercise technique or excessive loading. Qualified fitness professionals can provide instruction on proper warm-up procedures, offer advice on specific methods of progression, and monitor the magnitude of your effort, which in turn can have a positive impact on training adaptations.
Also Read: All about Cardio. Proper Cardio 101!
Resistance Training Tips For Proper Breathing
Knowing proper breathing techniques will help you avoid the Valsalva maneuver, which can occur if you hold your breath while lifting. Not exhaling can increase pressure in the chest cavity, which can increase blood pressure to harmful levels. To avoid this effect, continue to breathe normally by inhaling before you start the lift, exhaling during the lifting–exertion phase (as you lift against gravity), and then inhaling again as you return to the starting position. Using this technique will allow you to lift weight correctly and safely.
Following are general safety recommendations for designing and performing a resistance training program:
- Maintain a regular breathing pattern when lifting and lowering weights. Do not hold your breath; rather, inhale before you start the lift, exhale during the lift, and inhale as you return to the starting position.
- Make sure the exercise environment is well lit, clean, and free of clutter. Tripping or falling over resistance training equipment can be avoided by following this guideline.
- Learn proper exercise technique from a qualified fitness professional. If you have little experience with resistance training, have someone with appropriate qualifications show you how to do resistance training exercises and assist you with making any needed
- Perform warm-up and cool-down activities. Taking time for warming up and cooling down helps your body to transition safely into and out of your workout.
- Move carefully around the strength training area. Resistance training by its nature is equipment intensive. Dumbbells, barbells, and weight plates are all potential tripping hazards.
- Do not use broken or malfunctioning equipment. Check for frayed belts or cables before using any resistance training machine. Fittings should be tight, and all belts and cables should be in good condition.
- Use collars on all plate-loaded barbells and dumbbells. Collars are devices placed on the ends of barbells and dumbbells to hold the individual weight plates in position. Without these fasteners in place, the weight plates could shift or even fall off, causing injury.
- Be aware of proper spotting procedures when using free weights. A spotter is a person who is in a position to assist you when you are using free weights. Because free weights are not supported by cables or any other devices, a spotter’s role is to help guide or lift a weight if you have difficulty with the resistance.
- Avoid jerky, uncontrolled movements while resistance training. Maintaining controlled movements maximizes the benefits of your workout and also helps you avoid injury.
- Periodically check all training equipment. Checking equipment for cleanliness as well as any signs of wear and tear (e.g., frayed cables or belts) and making needed corrections will help keep your resistance training sessions safe and enjoyable.
- Regularly clean equipment pads that come in contact with the skin. Pads become soiled with sweat; maintaining a routine of wiping off contacted surfaces promotes good hygiene.
What would be a good circuit of exercises at a fitness center?
Depending on available equipment, you will want to select exercises that target the major muscle groups. The following is an example of a program for an established exerciser with 10 body areas targeted:
- Hips and legs: Machine leg press or dumbbell squat
- Quadriceps: Machine leg extension
- Hamstrings: Machine leg curl
- Chest: Machine or dumbbell chest press
- Back: Machine lat pull-down or machine seated row
- Shoulders: Machine overhead press or dumbbell lateral raise
- Biceps: Machine biceps curl or dumbbell biceps curl
- Triceps: Machine triceps press or dumbbell lying triceps extension
- Low back: Machine back extension
- Abdominal muscles: Machine abdominal curl