We only live once and we only have one body – the one we were born with. For this reason, it is essential that we make the most of what we have. Whether we want to win a bodybuilding contest; play a strength related sport like rugby; impress a potential sexual partner or just look better in our clothes; strength exercise should play a part in our exercise routine.
Strength exercise doesn’t have to focus itself solely on lifting heavy weights in the gym. There are many different types of strength exercise and almost all exercise will build your strength in some way. From vigorous weightlifting to yoga, all sports improve your strength and tone.
Lifting weights is possibly the most common strength exercise and basically involves making your muscles lift more weight than they are used to. This depletes them of their energy supplies and forces your muscles to develop in order to match this new demand. Dumbbells are generally more effective than barbells and the only other necessary equipment is a bench. This type of strength exercise is generally best when it’s at its highest intensity in which the most weight is lifted in the workout.
This may mean higher repetitions with a lower weight or more repetitions of a higher weight but intensity is the key to pushing your muscles beyond their comfort zone.
If you don’t fancy lifting weights, there are other forms of strength exercise. Running is good for building strength in your legs, especially if you combine it with sprints and hills. Adding resistance to your normal runs will add some strength exercise to your normal workout. This added intensity will soon become quite a normal feeling and you must continue to ramp up the pressure if you are to keep improving your strength.
If you aren’t into vigorous exercise then you can try some of the more gentle resistance exercises. Many core stability exercises are very gentle and static workouts can be very effective too. These involve holding yourself in one position for a period of time to work your muscles into holding your body steady. This can be surprisingly effective and good for a rainy day. Pilates or aerobics classes can also improve your strength whilst toning your body and making you more flexible at the same time. There are some people that think stretching is a good strength exercise in itself although others doubt this.
Strength exercise is easy to do and comes in many forms. There is a way for everybody to increase their strength and those of an active nature will build up their strength as part of their activities. You don’t need a huge amount of equipment and your wallet need not take a pounding either. You can perform most forms of strength training on your own and it will still bring the results. Strength training is a vital part of your overall fitness and will improve your shape, making you look better and feel fitter.