Burn Calories, Improve Your Endurance: Strength Training Exercises To Add To Your Routine
You don’t need a gym membership to feel stronger.
If you want to take your workout routine to the next level, look no further. You can take a break from cardio and consider strength training instead! Not only will it help burn a lot of calories, it will also give you a leaner and fitter physique too. Another plus is that you can do these exercises right at home!
What is strength training?
Strength training, also called “resistance training”, involves exercises designed to improve your strength and endurance. It is a versatile routine that may involve free weights, resistance bands, resistance machines, or just your body weight.
Getting started might feel intimidating, especially if you haven’t used resistance or weights before. However, you do not have to completely switch to resistance training in a snap. You can include these workouts in your existing routine until you are comfortable performing them.
“You can start by practicing resistance training just a few times a week,” says Sarah Revenig, a certified strength and conditioning specialist. “As you adapt, you can increase your frequency of training.”
Types of strength training
According to Certified Personal Trainer Rafique Cabral, there are 7 different types of strength training, all equally important to maximize the benefits of the routine. However, Rafique says that it is impossible to incorporate all 7 modalities in a single session, so it is suggested to train them individually or in pairs.
- Starting strength
This refers to your first push when performing any type of movement, like taking your first step or standing up from a chair. There was nothing that came prior to that first move.
Rafique says that working your starting strength can improve your ability to accelerate in any movement and allows you to lift heavier weights in the long run.
- Agile strength
The word itself explains it. This involves your ability to change directions quickly while maintaining power. According to Lauren Wilson, CPT, agile strength helps improve your fluidity, so that you can move with ease, improve your coordination and balance, and prevent injuries.
- Endurance strength
Endurance strength tests how far your body can go without experiencing fatigue. This involves starting with easier exercises, and gradually increasing the weight, speed, or frequency as your body adapts.
- Speed strength
Now, this refers to how fast you can go. It can reduce your reaction time and enhance your athletic performance, says Rafique.
- Explosive strength
Explosive strength is present whenever you perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises. It enhances your muscular coordination, so that you can perform high-energy movements for a short amount of time.
- Maximum strength
Maximum strength refers to the maximum weight you can carry for a single rep. Since bone density decreases as we get older, maximum strength preps your body for aging.
- Relative strength
This type of strength is a result of working on all the other 6 modalities. It considers your body composition as it reflects your strength-to-weight ratio.
Benefits of strength training
What exactly can you gain if you incorporate strength training exercises into your routine? Aside from rock-hard abs and a leaner physique, you can get health benefits too!
- Helps build muscle and reduces body fat
Your resting metabolic rate increases as you gain muscle mass. This means that your body burns more calories at rest to maintain its essential functions, says Sarah.However, this doesn’t happen without consistency, hard work, ang proper nutrition.
- Stronger bones
A 2018 article by the Harvard Medical School states that resistance training helps in slowing down bone loss. “What many of us don't know is that strong muscles lead to strong bones. And strong bones can help minimize the risk of fracture due to osteoporosis.”
- Improves your body mechanics
Consistently engaging in strength training exercises can benefit your balance, coordination, and posture.
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with body weight exercises to avoid injury. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can gradually incorporate free weights or resistance bands into your routine. Here are exercises you can do on your trusty fitness mat!
- Push-up holds
Do a high push-up position with your feet together and your hands under your shoulders. Engage your abs, glutes, quads, and back, and make sure that your body is in a straight line.
- Dynamic side planks
Lie on your left side with your knees bent, and put your right hand on your hips. With your elbow as support, raise your hips off the flow for two seconds, then bring it back down. Repeat these steps on the other side.
- Reverse lunges
Stand on one end of your mat. Bring one leg backward and bend the knee of your front leg. Once you’ve mastered the right form, repeat these steps to the other leg.
- Wheelbarrow planks
This exercise involves a workout buddy! Get on a high plank position, just like how you would do a push-up hold. Your partner will slowly lift your legs until your body is in a straight line.
- Power leg raises
Another by-pair exercise is a power leg raise. Lie down on your back with your partner standing just above your head. Hold onto their ankles for support, and lift your lower body with all the power you’ve got without letting go of their ankles.
You can follow along this strength training routine led by Coach Sam Ajdani in Workout From Home: