April 21, 2024

Getting Started by Brett Klika C.S.C.S.

Getting Started With 3 Simple Strength Exercises

Strength training helps increase the amount of lean, mean muscle you have.  Muscle burns fuel like an engine, so the more you have, the more fuel you burn. Aside from the ability to burn more calories and fat, muscle adds shape and definition to your physique. Strength training is the practice of improving your own level of strength, whatever that may be!

Bodyweight, dumbells, kettlebells, machines, resistance bands, and a number of other forms of resistance all work to provide a challenge to the body, making it stronger.  In order to continue to get stronger, you just have to find new ways to challenge your body.

Here are 3 exercises to get you started. (As always, consult your physician before performing exercises.)

1.  Lunge (Click to view YouTube video demonstration)
The lunge is a great starter exercise for strength, flexibility, and shaping of the lower body.
1. Start by standing with your feet together.
2. Step forward as far as you can with your left leg.
3. Once your left foot contacts the ground bend both your left and right knee until your right knee is as close to the ground as possible.
4.  Keep your torso upright, your left heel on the ground, and don’t allow your left knee to pass the toes on your left foot.
5. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side!

Try 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

2.  Slow push-ups (Click to view YouTube video demonstration)
Most people have at least attempted to do a push-up sometime in their exercise life.  This intense upper body exercise, however, can prove to be a little difficult for first timers.  Here’s a way to start a little slower to build success!

1. Start in the “all 4’s” position with shoulders aligned over the hands.
2. Keeping the shoulders over the hands, bring the knees off the ground so the spine and hips are parallel to the ground.
3.  Squeezing your ab, glute, and quad muscles while attempting to “grab” the ground and slowly lower yourself to the ground, keeping your spine and hips parallel to the ground.
4.  Your chest, belly, and knees should all touch the ground at about the same time.
5.  Once you reach the ground, use your knees to get back up to the “all 4’s” starting position and repeat.

Try 2 sets of 6 repetitions.

3.  Supermans (Click to see YouTube video demonstration)
Strength training can do a lot more than improve your physique.  It can improve your posture and help get you out of chronic pain.  The superman exercise is a great movement to improve posture and strength of the upper back and shoulders.

1. Lie on your stomach with both arms straight out in front of you, thumbs up towards the ceiling.
2.  Pretend that you have a tennis ball tucked under your chin.
3.  Keeping the feet on the ground, arms straight, and chin tucked, lift the chest, arms, and head off of the ground.
4.  Hold for 2 seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat.

Try 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Here’s a quick whole-body beginner workout you can do at home without even changing your clothes!

Enjoy getting stronger, happier, and healthier!

Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids (www.spiderfitkids.com) is an award winning personal trainer, author, and international motivational speaker inspiring men, women, and children around the world to create a culture of wellness in their home and live the best version of their life.  To contact Brett with questions or comments at brett@spiderfitkids.com.

Weight Training: Why You Should Start NOW! By Angelena Riggs

If you’ve never ventured to the weights section of your gym, then you are missing out! Weight training is the fastest way to speed up your metabolism and give you a tight tone look. Weight training isn’t only good for your appearance either it is so great for your overall health.

Here are the top 5 benefits when it comes to weight training:

1. Lose or maintain your weight. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, strength training can help you lose body fat or maintain the weight you worked hard to reach. When you add lean muscle your metabolism is revved up and helps to burn more body fat even when you are not working out.

2. You will look lean even if the scale doesn’t change. Muscle weights more than fat, but takes up less space. For example a woman who works out with weights may weight 150, and her friend who doesn’t also weighs 150, the woman who strength trains will look leaner and fit.

3. It maintains or improves your bone density and muscle mass. Studies have shown that weight bearing exercise is the best way to increase or maintain your bone density and muscle mass as you age. Both of these tend to decrease with age, the best way to slow this loss, you guessed it lifting weights! This will improve your quality of life as you age.

4. It is important for your mental and emotional well being. When you work out you are releasing endorphins which improve your mood. The more consistent you are with your workouts the more benefits you will see. Exercise is also a great anti-depressant and helps to improve your quality of sleep. Have you ever finished a workout and felt like you can take on the world?

5. It reduces your risk of injury and illness. Strength training helps to increase the strength of your connective tissue, muscle and tendons which improves your range of motion in every day life, thus leading to less injury. Regular strength training also helps to strengthen your immune system. Who doesn’t want fewer sick days?

Angelena is a mom, healthy living blogger at On Fire Fitness Healthy Living (www.OnFireFitnesspt.com), a NASM Certified Personal trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Her goal is to inspire others to take the steps to living a healthy lifestyle. Visit Angelena on Facebook and on Twitter.