Strong: Fitness Tips

I always advise people to go to a gym/health club to workout. It just makes people more likely to get it done. Additionally, there are many more options for exercising; machines, free weights to group exercise classes, and some gyms offer functional fitness/cross fit equipment. At home, there are too many distractions. If you\’re a woman, you are naturally going to multitask. If you try multitasking while exercising, you may end up doing everything but exercising. Hey….didn\’t I just hear the dryer buzzer go off? Better fold those clothes before they wrinkle, then you remember you needed to pay a bill, you log on to your account, then you just check Facebook, and then 4 hours later, you remember you were about to workout.  But hey, it\’s too late now…kids are coming home from school or you have to make dinner. You can do it tomorrow, for sure. And well…you know what they say about tomorrow never coming.

However, sometimes even for those who are focused and driven, it\’s not possible to get to the gym or maybe even join a gym. That should not be an excuse not to exercise.  You probably are familiar with the different ways to get your cardio exercise; going on a walk, Zumba videos, jogging, but how do you gain strength? Building stronger muscles and bones is such an important part of why we exercise, not to mention more muscle means higher metabolism to burn more fat.

It\’s worth the investment to buy some dumbbells and some exercise bands. Bodyweight exercises are wonderful as well. You can get creative with chairs, steps using your own body weight.

To build more strength, with lighter weight, such as bands and light dumbbells, slow down the exercise. The eccentric, or negative, contraction builds more strength than the concentric (positive).  For example, if you are doing bicep dumbbell curls, you would curl the DB up close to the shoulder and lower it down more slowly in a very controlled manner, until you could no longer complete a repetition. Pausing at the top, (the isometric contraction- when no movement is happening at the joint), also helps with building strength.  You just have to make it challenging if it gets too easy, by doing more reps, more sets, and/or changing the speed and rest periods.

Dynamic exercises are preferred, but you can also do isometrics or static contraction (again, this is where no movement is happening at the joint), which are effective at building muscle and strength.  A great isometric exercise for the core, would be the plank. To prevent muscle loss in physical therapy, when the range of motion is contraindicated for an injury, patients are taught to contract and hold. You can do this type of exercise while riding in a car or sitting at a desk. Even bed ridden people can perform this type of exercise. It\’s definitely not preferred (without having resistance), but it\’s better than allowing muscles to atrophy.

If you can, go to a gym. It\’s an investment in your health. Most people who walk through the door, actually workout and don\’t make an excuse and leave. You should make your health a priority. Be proactive and prevent health issues that could evolve from a sedentary lifestyle. Weight gain is only one of the issues caused from no exercise.

If you go to the gym, should you do classes, cardio, machines or free weights? And if you do them, which ones and what order? More on that later…

I\’m still working on the exercising at home videos, but you can check out the ones I have available on  YouTube

Be Strong, Happy and Healthy!!

Coming Soon:

Strength Training, EPOC/HIIT, Core Stability, Flexibility, Cardio, Eccentric Training for strength, Proprioception/Balance Training, Resistance Bands, Dumbbells, Body Weight Exercises and other AT HOME Workout options, Physical Therapy Tips for injuries, restrictions and imbalances.

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