Weightlifting exercises can help you
look and feel your best in just a few weeks’ time – and you don’t to
spend hours in the gym, or empty your wallet on expensive equipment.
Weight lifting exercises, when performed properly, and in conjunction
with aerobic exercise and a healthy diet, have the power to bring about
- Better body tone.
- Increased stamina and strength during everyday tasks.
- Slowed rate of muscle loss due to aging.
- Higher rate of metabolism, causing your body to burn more fat
- Boosted confidence levels.
- Better bone density.
- Lower risk of depression and
If you have never done weightlifting exercises, do
not be daunted: weight lifting exercises are easy to learn, do not
require much time, and can even be done in the privacy of your own home
with minimal equipment. Whether you seek to lose weight, combat the
signs of aging, or want to boost your success in athletic pursuits,
weightlifting exercises offer too many benefits to ignore. Here are a
few tips for beginners:
- Be sure to get a clearance from your doctor before beginning any
new weight lifting exercises.
- Warm up for about 10 minutes by walking or cycling before doing
- You do not have to have a gym membership or fancy home gym
equipment to reap the benefits of weightlifting – you can use
inexpensive resistance tubes or bands, weighted balls, or even your
own bodyweight as resistance!
- Be sure to master proper form, technique and posture before
increasing resistance, frequency, or number of sets and repetitions.
How Often And How Much?
The American College of Sports Medicine has these
guidelines for weight lifting exercises:
- two days per week
- 1 – 3 sets
- 10 repetitions per exercise
- 8 – 10 different exercises
- 20 – 30 minutes
Organizing Your Workouts
To get the most out of your weight lifting
exercises, be sure to work each area of your body equally. For example,
doing a lot of arm exercises but neglecting your leg muscles will cause
imbalance in the body and can even lead to injury. There are two basic
ways you can organize your weightlifting exercises to achieve a proper
- Concentrate on only one muscle group during each session and
then focus on a different group in your next session. Rotate
through all of the muscle groups before going back to the first one.
- Include a few exercises for each group every time you do
weightlifting, so that each session provides a total body workout.
Target Areas & Muscle Groups
Here are the major muscle areas you will need to
target, plus some good examples of exercises for each group.
- Abdominals/Core: plank, bicycle,
crunches, sit-ups, leg raises, V-Ups
- Arms: biceps curls, triceps extension,
hammer curls, underhand grip pull-ups, triceps ‘skullcrushers’
- Shoulders: upright row, front raises,
lateral raises, overhead press
- Chest: bench press, chest press,
push-ups, chest fly
- Upper Back: dumbbell pull-over,
shrugs, overhand grip pull-ups, bent-over row, lat pull-downs
- Lower Back: back extensions, deadlift,
- Legs: squats, lunges (side-to-side or
front-back), calf raises, wall sits, leg press, hamstring curls
For a comprehensive exercise plan, be sure to
include aerobic (cardio) workouts as well as flexibility exercises. The
best results will always be achieved within the context of a healthy
diet rich in whole grains, deep-colored fruits and vegetables, and lean
additional information on the benefits of fitness and starting a workout
regimen, you can review our other fitness articles.