Resistance weight machines can be used to build strength and muscle. They can be utilised as part of a larger workout regime, alongside free weights and cardiovascular equipment, or used on their own.
If you are a beginner, resistance machines are useful. They are often easier to use than free weights are. In addition, these machines require less technique. Resistance machines are efficient at isolating particular muscles. This makes them ideal for rehabilitation after an injury or just strengthening specific muscles.
The physiological benefits of performing resistance training
From a physiological point of view, the plus points of constantly performing strength training are an increase in muscle size as well as tone, augmented muscular strength in addition to increases in tendon, bone and ligament strength. The action of lifting weights has also been seen to have benefits in terms of improving psychological health. In addition, weight lifting also has benefits in terms of increasing self-esteem, confidence in addition to self-worth.
Here are some other benefits of doing resistance training. This is not all of them – there are loads more – but here are some of the key aspects.
- Strength training results directly in you having increased levels of energy, more endurance, power and strength translate into more usable energy.
- When you regularly engage in resistance training you will experience improved digestion. This is because you will be actively working the muscles surrounding your digestive tract and as these become stronger the muscles will be able to more effectively aid in the passage of food through your tract.
- If you take part in strength training on a regular basis, the upside is that you’ll experience improved intellectual capacity as well as productivity. Your brain needs a reprieve from thinking. Physical exercise offers that respite from the constant demands that modern life puts on our psyche
- Exercise – particularly resistance training – promotes the development of better sleep patterns.
- Muscle burns more calories as opposed to fat owing to the higher rate of metabolism within the muscle tissue. As strength training is directly responsible for causing muscle growth, doing more resistance training will increase your fat-burning potential.
Tips on how to keep your strength training effective
As with all types of exercise, if you don’t follow best practice you won’t reap the benefits that you intended to get. So, here are a number of tips that will help you to make sure that your routines remain effective:
- Warm up and cool down for between five and 10 minutes. Walking is a great way to warm up while stretching in an excellent way to cool down.
- Focus on form and not on weight. Align your body correctly. Move smoothly during the various parts of each exercise. If your form is poor form this can prompt injuries as well as slow gains. When learning a strength training routine, many expert personal trainers suggest starting with no weight or very light weights. Concentrating on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled descents while isolating a muscle group.
- Working at the right tempo helps you to stay in control as opposed to compromising strength gains by relying on momentum. For example, count to three at the same time you lower a weight. Hold and then count to three while raising it to your starting position.
- Keep an eye on your breathing while you work out. Exhale as you work against your chosen resistance by lifting, pushing or pulling. Inhale as you release.
- Keep challenging your muscle by increasing weight or resistance slowly. The correct weight for you is different depending on the movement. Choose a weight which tires the targeted muscle or muscles by the last two repetitions while you still can keep good form. If you are unable to do the last two reps, select a lighter weight. When it feels to easy to finish add more weight.
Altering your workouts can help you push past a plateau. The theory of variation says that if you can coax growth as well as strength from your muscles by shocking them with a range of different stresses your muscles will respond in size as well as strength as they are forced to adapt.