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Get the Most Out of Your Strength Training

By Sandy Schroeder

We all know how to walk, run, and jog, but most of us could use a few tips on getting the most out of our strength training.

Harvard Health says weight training is an important part of a healthy exercise program. They recommend easing into it gradually to stay safe and build strength. Take the time to learn how to do it well.

Get the Most from Your Workout

Try these tips to maximize your benefits.

Remember to breathe - If you hold your breath during strength exercises your blood pressure will go up without your awareness.  Exhale when you are lifting, pulling or pushing weights. Then inhale as you release your efforts. Just enjoy the whole process letting yourself relax into the routine.

Get your form right - Starting with light weights may be the best way to go as you concentrate on aligning your body correctly and moving smoothly through each exercise. If the form is wrong, you will slow down your progress and invite injury. Once you have mastered the form you can start to increase the weight. You may want to use a trainer when you start to master techniques.

Exercise regularly - Do upper and lower strength workouts two to three times a week. Develop a schedule that exercises your whole body.

Pace yourself - Build a healthy rhythm that keeps you in control. Lift and lower weights with one to three counts and alternate the speeds to maintain a comfortable pace. Pay attention to your body's reaction and never push yourself beyond your limits.

Choose the right weights - To continue to test your muscles, select a weight that tires a muscle by the last two repetitions. If you cannot finish the last two reps, go to a lighter weight. If the routine feels too easy, add weights, 1-2 pounds for arms and 2-5 pounds for legs. Make sure you rest a muscle group for 48 hours.

Let muscles mend - Strength training causes little tears in muscle tissue, making it crucial to allow at least 48 hours between sessions to let muscles heal. You could do upper body on one day and lower body on the next.

As always, check in with your doctor and your chiropractor before beginning a new exercise routine. If you become sore and stiff, you may want to stop in to see your local chiropractor to ease your pain and develop the best workout routine.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.

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