Decoding Strength Training: Why You Need it as a Beginner
Of the hundreds of "beginner's quotes" you find on Google, there's one that catches the eye and sets the tone for our blog: " You've got to be a beginner before you can be anything else." So, if you want to be known as a "fitness freak", you've got to begin your fitness journey at some point.
Taking that first step towards better health and well-being is not easy. But you've done it, and you deserve hearty congrats! When you start training as a beginner, all you need is:
- Fundamental exercises
One of the most important fundamental exercises to follow is strength training exercises. Also known as resistance training or weight training, strength training uses opposing forces to build muscle and bone mass in your body.
Fitness experts worldwide swear by strength training. It is considered an important part of anyone's workout routine for beginners or seasoned fitness professionals. However, most beginners are intimidated by strength training. A few aspects may have made you wonder if you need strength training. Believe us- YOU DO.
Here are some reasons why this form of exercise is a must. Strength training helps:
- Build more muscle.
- Burn more calories.
- Build better endurance.
- Reduce the risk of injury.
- Build better bones and joints.
- Prevent bone-related ailments.
- Improve balance and body posture.
- Enhance athletic performance.
As a beginner, you have so much to gain with strength training. So, do not let the rumours, cost of gym memberships, or any pre-existing physical condition restrict you from strength training. And, it's important to know that you do not need anything fancy to build your strength with this workout routine.
This blog mentions some amazing strength training routines and exercises for beginners like yourself. But before we delve into those details, let's understand a little more about Strength Training.
Types of Strength Training Ideal for Beginners
Dumbbells are for strength training as much as the treadmill is for cardio exercises. Hopping on the treadmill can be easy enough because you are doing familiar movements like walking or running. However, it is not the same with strength training.
As a beginner, you may feel tempted to start off with the heaviest weight on the rack. STOP! Beginners should start with lighter weights, learn the proper technique and form until their body is comfortable with what they are doing. And remember that less is more when it comes to following a strength training regimen.
Generally, you ought to know three types of strength training as a beginner. They are:
1. Muscle Strength Training
Muscle strength training is about achieving maximum muscle strength and size by increasing your ability to lift weights. The larger your muscle size, the more power you can exert. Look around in your gym. Notice the powerlifters and the bodybuilders. The former trains for muscle strength and the latter for muscle size.
2. Muscle Endurance
Fast-twitch fibres are the largest group of muscles in your body. They are the muscles you use during sudden reflexive movements like hopping and sprinting. Intense strength training builds muscle endurance in fast-twitch muscles, providing more powerful forces for shorter durations. Consistent muscle endurance training allows you to perform intense movements for a longer period of time.
3. Muscle Hypertrophy
Want to lose weight through strength training? If yes, muscle hypertrophy is your best choice because it helps you shed unnecessary fat and gives you a leaner, well-toned look. Muscle Hypertrophy also helps you deal with age-related muscle loss that leads to frailty.
As we mentioned earlier, dumbbells are the basic devices for strength training. That said, you need not invest in the heaviest set of dumbbells you can find. Used right, even a 2kg dumbbell can perform wonders for your body. A pair of dumbells are more than enough to tone your arm and leg muscles with simple exercises.
However, strength training is not only about dumbbells. It also includes:
- Bodyweight Training is where you use your own body weight to build resistance. Bodyweight training is the best place for beginners to commence their strength-training journey.
- Kettlebell training is strength training using the all-powerful kettlebell, a small cannonball with handles attached to it. These kettlebells come in various weights and are compact in size. And boy, do they pack a punch in workout routines!
- Barbell training is where you add the desired weights to either side of the bar and progress with more weights as you train every week. Barbell training is an amazing way to work your entire upper body.
Now, let's get down to brass tacks. As beginners, you can postpone using the barbell and kettlebell for later stages. In the initial few weeks, all you need to use is your own body weight and a pair of dumbbells. Give yourself time to perfect the technique and condition your body to the new routine.
Given below are five basic strength training exercises that are essentially the foundation of all other exercise routines you will do as you progress. Master these exercises and become a pro in strength training! Let's check out what they are.
5 Fundamental Strength Training Exercises For Beginners
Want to feel the fat in your thigh and glutes burn? Do Squats! As simple as it seems, the squat harnesses all the muscles in your legs, glutes, and core. It is the most inexpensive and effective way to work your lower body. To do it,
- Stand with your feet wider than your hip width.
- Lower your hips and squat.
- Avoid exerting pressure on your knees by keeping them parallel to the floor and your back flat.
- Push back into the floor through your heels and return to the start position.
- Remember to keep your heels firmly planted flat on the ground and your knee aligned with your second toe to give you balance.
Alternatively, you can use a chair to perform squats if this method is too difficult.
Here's where you get to use your new dumbbells! Deadlifts are the easiest way to train your glutes and hamstrings. Deadlifts require proper posture so that you do not end up hurting your back. Hence, you can practice this exercise with lighter weights before a mirror until you perfect the technique.
- Start by standing with your feet at hips width, knees slightly bent, arms relaxed in front of your quads with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend from your hips. Keep the knees bent and back flat while slowly lowering the weights along your shins. Make sure your torso is parallel to the floor.
- Keep your core engaged and push through the heels to return to the starting position.
- Keep the dumbbells close to the shins as you return.
- Pause at the top and squeeze your gluteal muscles. One rep is done.
3. Dumbbell chopper
Also known as the wood-chop exercise, the dumbbell chopper is ideal for getting comfortable with movements that safely twist your spine. We suggest using your body weight or a simple towel until you get the hang of it. You may use your dumbbells once you've progressed.
- Stand with your feet apart, core engaged, hands clasped together or holding a small, weightless towel.
- Bring both hands towards your left leg, raise your arm diagonally in front of your body, and bring it to the upper right side.
- Slowly twist your torso and toes of your left leg to the right side as you do so and naturally rotate to the right.
- Next, bring the weight to your left by taking the towel towards your left ankle. Twist your torso to the left just like you did in the previous move.
- Ensure your lower body and core are stable.
The push-up is perhaps the best way to master your body weight. A regular push-up may be too challenging for beginners. You can try doing them against a wall, a step, or a table. Here's how you do a regular push-up:
- Assume the high plank position on a flat surface in the following stance:
- 1.Palms flat on the floor.
2.Hands shoulder-width apart.
3.Shoulders parallel to the wrist.
4.Core and glutes engaged
- Bend your elbows and use your body weight to slowly lower yourself as far as possible. Ideally, the lowest you can go is near the floor.
- An easier way is to assume the kneeling position and do the same movement.
- Next, push through the palms to bring yourself to the plank position. This is one rep.
Push-ups work your shoulders, triceps, biceps, and chest muscles. It also helps boost your overall body strength.
5. Reverse Lunge
A reverse lunge is a single, unilateral exercise that corrects the imbalance and rectifies your bilateral movements. Here again, you can use only your body weight or a pair of lightweight dumbbells for that added degree of difficulty. You should:
- Stand with your feet apart at shoulder width and engage your core.
- Step back with your right foot. Make sure to land on the ball of your right foot while keeping the right heel high in the air.
- Sink slowly into a lunge by bending both knees at 90 degrees. Do not stick out your buttocks. Keep your hips tucked and core engaged.
- If you are unsure of your posture, place your hands on your hips to ensure they are straight.
- Use the heel of your left foot to push yourself back to the starting position.
- Do the next rep with your left foot.
The reverse lunge is a simple but effective way to tone your thigh, core, and glute muscles.
So, there you have it! You can do five easy, simple, and amazing strength training exercises from anywhere- be it in the comfort of your room, the gym, or even your office! Spend ten or twenty minutes doing these exercises and watch your transformation!
GETFit360 for a Fitter You!
At GETFit360, we believe in getting fitter, healthier, and better with safe and sustainable methods. To know about our fitness routines that give you long-term results, please reach out to our team. We can help you attain your fitness goals with holistic weight loss practices!