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There are TWO posts today...Sorry about that :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fitness Friday: Weights and Strength Training

This week you should be thinking about adding some weights to your routine.  All of the cardio and dieting in the world is not going to give you that definition you are looking for.  You will lose weight, sure, but the definition or toned look comes from weight training.  And don't worry, women don't bulk up like men, unless you take steroids or something.  Our bodies are just not built to do that help without help.

Strength training not only tones your muscles, but makes your body a more effective furnace for calories.  Muscle burns more calories while inactive than fat.  Also, strength training helps fight age-related loss of muscle mass, in addition to osteoporosis.  Our bones and muscles work together to strengthen and support our body as a whole, protecting our joints and internal organs, and helping us to stand up straighter.  But we need to challenge our bones and muscles to make them stronger.  Capisce?

There are many ways to strength train.  You can start off with just your body weight or you can use free weights.  These can be purchased or Target or Walmart.  You can also make weights from items in your house, such as soup cans, water bottles, or filling empty water bottles with sand.  The ideas is to start with a weight that you can lift with good form and not strain,  however the last few reps should be difficult.  If you never lifted weights before, go easy.  You can start with 3 lbs. to be on the safe side.  I started with 5lbs. and worked my way up from there.  It took quite some time.

The plan is to do 2 sets, 10-12 reps of each move.  The following are beginner exercises and what I used when I first started out.  I would recommend checking YouTube to watch the correct way to perform these moves and try doing them in front of a mirror.  And if a move is painful don't do it.  Find something else.

  • Biceps curl
  • Chest press
  • Deadlift
  • One arm kneeling row
  • Lunges OR squats (just be sure not to let your knee go past your toes; some days I can't do one or the other due to the bad knees)
  • Seated shoulder press
  • Triceps kick back OR overhead press
  • Single calf raises (one leg at a time)
  • Crunches
  • Superman move (laying on your stomach, strengthens your back)
If these seems too much or you would rather try moves using strictly your body weight, this link will give you a program from Livestrong.  It's a good program and I do many of these moves myself, minus the jumping ones towards the end.  The knees don't like it.

Well I think that's enough food for thought for this week. Before we chat again in two weeks, 

tell me, how has the past two weeks of cardio gone for you?  Enjoy it, see any improvement?  What would you like to add to your routine?  Any topics you like to see in an upcoming Fitness Friday?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a fitness expert.  Anything I post on here is from my own experiences or from books, magazines, or websites I have read.  You do what you will with the information I provide.

© Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"