Written by Amy Pusey (last updated April 22, 2009)
It is one of the most common New Year's resolutions made every year. We promise ourselves that we will begin and maintain an exercise program to help us become strong and healthy. And then it happens, we start out so sincere in our intentions and diligent in our efforts, but slowly we digress to our less active lifestyles. Honestly, we know we are only hurting ourselves, but it just seems so hard to carry out our plans. For beginners, especially, starting a strength training program is quite difficult because you are not sure if you are performing the movements correctly, you do not know when you should progress to the next skill level, and it is just so darn exhausting being your own motivator.
If you are serious about beginning a strength training program, then your best bet is to either hire a personal trainer or find a friend already committed to a healthy routine that is willing to train and mentor you. The whole purpose of changing your lifestyle and undertaking a strength building routine is to build a solid foundation on which to successfully build a healthy life, so it makes sense to begin with the basics. The directive of basics training is to develop basic, functional strength, so that subsequent training levels can introduce more strenuous activities. This type of training aims to create balance, so all the major muscle groups are worked, as well as tendons and ligaments, and joints, which will help prevent injury further on in your program. The end-goal is to balance, or equalize, strength on both sides of your body. This is necessary because if you participate in certain sports, such as tennis, soccer, or baseball, you may notice that from repetitive actions one side of your body is stronger and has more muscle tone than the other side.
Core strength training has become a familiar term to many individuals. When beginning a basic strength routine, it is important to focus on your core muscles, which include the abdominals, lower back, hip area, and spinal column because when these muscle groups are weak you are more prone to injury, and placed in further jeopardy of injury as your routine becomes more strenuous and demanding. The best way for a beginner to start a strength training program is to focus on the following:
In a last ditch effort to convince you that basic strength training is right up your alley, here are a few key reasons it is beneficial to you to begin one of these programs:
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