So…. we all know that about every woman and their dog (and a lot of other ppl) hate weights and resistance training…
I’m not targeting the female populus today, that’s a whole other post for another day, instead I want to bring to light resistance training in general and why YOU need it.
Don’t run away yet! You gotta stay for dinner and dessert! Sheesh, just cause I mentioned weights doesn’t mean you’re gonna be the hulk when you pick them up.
Most common perceptions of weights and resistance training:
#1. That requires me to go to the gym
#2. It’s too much work and too heavy
#3. I don’t want to look bulky
#4. I’m too old for that young nonsense.
#5. I’m scared of that testoserone area of the gym
Ooookayyy, lets move on: what are the most caused problems of not having resistance training a part of your daily routine?
#1. Joint problems
#2. Decreased ability to perform on a daily basis (aka, your normal life)
#3. Lack of strength (unable to pick up your granddaughter? or you need to ask your husband to open a jar of canned tomatoes for you)
#4. Decreased proprioception and balance.
#5. Decreased core and therefore lack of support to the whole back = back problems
#6. Increased support of pain killers.
#7. Increased chance of osteoporsis (yah, I just said that, that also goes along with joint problems)
#8. Hip replacement, knee replacement, you know, all those good things that come with getting older.
Ahhh yeahhhhh, everyone wants that to happen!!! It’s only a matter of time!
Okay I’ll be serious. Resistance training is not simply just contracting a muscle, while contracting a muscle is great for knowing where your muscles are and to learn to be concious of a muscle, it is not sufficient for the growth and the strengthening of the joint itself. Simple contracting is excellent for rehabilitation, if you struggle with shoulder problems (rotator cuff anyone?) or any type of joint problems, isolating a contraction for that muscle alone is excellent. There are simple exercises for this:
Extension of the knee (knee problems)
Hip extension and flexion, to strengthen muscles around the hip.
I worked with a client once who struggle with her hips extremely, she found it difficult to sit on the toilet, I worked with her on contracting her leg muscles without any added resistance and she didn’t need a raiser for her toilet after a few weeks! It was amazing! Her hip strength had improved tremendously and she also had more range of motion!
However, simple contractions of muscles in isolation is only the beginning, this will not be beneficial to you unless you are rehabing or you are in the elderly category, you must progress to using added resistance. Added resistance challenges your muscles to grow. By growth I DO NOT mean getting huge, this is normal healthy growth. In addition to this resistance builds strength, and strength enables your performance of your daily life, your ability to pick up a few more groceries to carry into the house, to hold your child for a long(er) period of time (than you anticipated)
So, how do you increase your strength? Well, you can get very affordable resistance bands and do a workout in your own home! You can do body weight exercises: using your own body weight like squats, pushups, pull ups(which can easily be modified, even with that affordable resistance band you bought), and other things like PLAYGROUNDS! Play grounds are amazing for workouts, who needs a gym seriously.
Monkey bars are SO amazing for your back! Be a kid again!
FYI you’re only gonna get bulky if you like super heavy weights and you like the hardcore weight section of the gym, if you stick to simple moderately difficult exercises, you aren’t going to get bulky.
Lack of osteo! Boo yah! When you strengthen a muscle it forces the bone to increase the calicum in that area to strengthen the bone proportionate to the strengthened muscle = stronger bones YAY! Increase in calcium YAY.
Key word to decreasing your risk of osteoporosis = WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISES!!! Woooo!!
For the general populus, you don’t have osteoporosis yet, and you may not be over the age of 50, but it’s all about preventative measures, are you being liable to yourself? How well are you taking care of your bones?
Oh, and it you weren’t already aware, resistance training increases your basal metabolic rate, that basically means that you’re burning calories while you’re sitting down and doing nothing(outside your workout), now isn’t that AWESOME?!
Peace out. =D