7 Strength Training Exercises You Must Include In Your Fitness Program
- Squats – A squat is a basic movement that makes a huge difference not only in the strength of your lower body but also in the shape of it. Proper form for a squat (with or without weight) is to position your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Angle your feet out and bend your knees, focusing on keeping your weight in your heels. Lower your body as if you’re sitting down in a chair. You should feel your glutes engage. Make sure to keep your knees in line with your feet. Lower yourself so that your upper legs are just below parallel with the floor then stand up, keeping your glutes engaged and your heels on the floor.
- Push-ups – Lay on the floor with your arms bent and your hands on the floor beside your body, just below your shoulders. Position your toes on the floor, then tighten your glutes and legs. Push up, keeping your body tight. Don’t let your back sway. You can also hold the push-up in the top position – an exercise position known as a plank. This is a great core strengthener.
- Sit-ups – Keeping your feet on the floor and your knees bent, use your abdominals to lower your upper body to the ground and then to raise it back up.
- Dips – Dips are performed by positioning your body on two parallel bars on either side of your body. Lower your arms are fully bent. If you can, press back up into a straight arm position.
- Presses – Presses can be performed with dumbbells, kettle bells, or a barbell. Starting with the weight at your shoulders, press the weight overhead. The movement is complete when your arms are locked out overhead. Note that if you are using dumbbells or kettle bells then your wrists will rotate as you press overhead so that they’re facing out at the top of the movement.
- Thrusters – A thruster is a squat and a press combined. They’re a full body strength training movement. With the weight at your shoulders, squat. As you reach a standing position, use the momentum to help you quickly press the weight overhead.
- Pull-Ups – The pull-up is a standard movement that can take a while to build up to. If you struggle to get your chin over the bar, consider adding a bounce or a jump to give yourself a bit of momentum. You can also use heavy-duty resistance bands looped over the bar to support some of your weight.
How to Become a Strength Training Success…
Strength training is easy to add into your daily life and your current fitness program. You’ll lose weight more quickly, you’ll be better able to manage your weight and you’ll enjoy lifelong health benefits. There are many different types of strength training you can embrace, and different types of programs to consider. Find a system that works for you and keep the following tips in mind as you begin your strength training program:
- Make sure you’re performing each and every movement correctly, on every repetition. Proper form helps prevent injury.
- Be smart and get a spotter if you’re lifting heavy weights.
- Keep control of the weight and control your breathing. Focus is important.
- Be patient. You’ll feel aches as your body adjusts to the new workload. Don’t push it too hard because you don’t want to be injured. Results do happen when you’re diligent with your workouts and keep yourself injury free.
- Don’t be intimidated by the gym. Women and men of all shapes and sizes can strength train and have fun doing it.
Last but not least, keep learning what works best for your body in the way of strength training and your nutritional intake by subscribing to the MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter where you’ll receive periodic updates in the world of strength training and your overall fitness.