Don’t make the mistake of thinking that weight training is only done by muscleheads who spend way too much time in gym. In reality, everyone of every stripe, man or woman, can benefit greatly from regular weight training. Besides simply making you stronger, it actually improves your bone density and even increase your energy levels.
There are a ton of weight training exercises out there, and it helps if you explore them all. But the absolutely most beneficial ones are the “compound exercises” that work a group of muscles and use several joints at the same time. These exercises give you more of a workout in less time than “isolation” exercises, which might only work one or two muscles at a time.
Here are exercises that all weight trainers should get to know very well.
Pull Up – This old standard is surprisingly effective in targeting your back muscles. Pull ups can be a little difficult for people who are just starting to work out. Most experts recommend that you perform between eight and ten every set, but some may have trouble performing one or two. Don’t get discouraged if this exercise is a little difficult for you. Instead of doing three sets of ten pull ups, you might start out with five or six sets of just one or two pulls ups. As you get stronger and more developed, you should be able to do more and more over time.
Bench Press – The bench press where you use a barbell or a set of dumbbells, and, lying on your back on a bench, lift the weights from your chest to the sky. When doing this exercise with a barbell, it is important to have someone “spotting” you. This person should just make sure that you don’t lose control of the barbell while you are lifting it. You should switch between doing this exercise with dumbbells and doing it with a barbell to get the most benefit.
Squat – The squat is sometimes called the “king of exercises” because it probably works more muscles than any other workout. The squat works by balancing a barbell on your shoulders, stabilized by your hands, and squatting down and standing back up. Alternatively, you can do this exercise by holding a pair of dumbbells by your side. Make sure you go all the way down. A “half squat” or “quarter squat” won’t give you as much benefit.
Deadlift – The deadlift is where you bend over to pick up a barbell on the ground. Proper technique on the deadlift is a little tricky and difficult to describe, so it’s best to ask someone who has experience working with weights on what the best way to do it is. When doing the deadlift, it’s important to do it fairly slowly, like with most exercises. Try to take about two second to lift the weight up and another two seconds to put the weight down. If you do the motions too rapidly, then you are moving the weight with momentum, not your muscles.
Chris McCombs is a personal trainer who offers an online Personal Training Directory for exercisers who want to find quality fitness programs in Southern California. Chris also offers Laguna Niguel Personal Training services for people who want to build muscle and shed fat rapidly.