Strength training is an important part of general health with known benefits to longevity, physical health, and mental well-being. Follow these tips to maximize your strength training!
- Movements must be held static for 3 full counts: keeping your body under tension for that little bit longer will help stimulate the muscle to grow and become stronger. If you’re already doing the action, this extra 3 count pause will fatigue you faster, pushing you further.
- One must work at the edge of their comfort level for at least 20-30% of their program. Pushing yourself and your body past a point of comfort is where muscle and strength development lies. If your strength training is not progressing, your body is not progressing.
- Maintain base and alignment to correct your posture: if you compromise good form for increased reps or weight, you are doing more harm than good. First, you are ingraining bad postural habits which can lead to chronic issues. Second, you are likely using auxiliary body parts to push your strength training which means you are not actually stimulating the target muscle.
- Train with a full range of motion. Full range of motion equals full development and recruitment of more muscle groups. Performance is specific to the range you train in, so maximize when possible.
Pay extra attention to your weakest and/or sorest spot(s) during and following a strength training session. Both spots indicate an area that needs a little extra love and attention. It is normal to have a weaker muscle and/or joint. By listening to your body, you can focus on this weak spot by including specific exercises to target it. Double up your sets on the needier side to build balanced strength.