Not all of us are athletes. Would we like to be, sure? Could we, maybe. But there is nothing stopping any of us from starting the path to better fitness. Strength is one of the most common things people mention wanting on their quest to improve fitness, yet it can be tricky to achieve. However, if you’re looking for general strength improvement, here are five proven ways to increase it, with effort that is never more than you can accomplish.
Start With Sets Of 5
Many people believe that the more sets you do, the more muscle you’ll gain. And while they’re not exactly wrong, the type of strength you want to gain and any goals you might have will also need to be taken into account. Professionals typically recommend starting out with sets of 5. They help you tone as well as gain muscle – both of which are necessary for improving strength. It’s also an easier way to get started. So many people become daunted by the sheer time-consuming workouts that flood the market. If it isn’t fun or simple to do, they’ll quit. So do yourself a favor, start with 5 and see how you feel from there.
Try Cardio Bursts
Cardio is a love/hate relationship for strength. Some people don’t like cardio, others only do cardio, but in terms of strength, you have a fine line to balance before you’re overworking your body or beginning to break down the muscle and strength you’ve already built up. Cardio is typically a use it or lose it. Runners who take time off between trainings will have a harder time getting back into it. However, there is still a solution that can help. Recently, professionals have started recommending cardio bursts for strength and toning purposes. It relies on the fact that your body burns more calories in shorter burst workouts while still allowing you to build up over time…and it doesn’t take a marathon. For example, try running up a flight of stairs (say, from landing to landing) and then resting by walking back down. You’ll be amazed how you feel after doing this for a few weeks.
You’ll be surprised how far you’ve come. Most people don’t really notice the small and sometimes big changes that comes from exercising. Does feeling more fit mean you’re fit, or not? How much harder will you work when you know, without a doubt, that your training is paying off. If you can see, feel, and hear how great you’re doing, you’re more likely to continue to do it; not to mention it’ll keep your morale up for plateau time. So log it, record it, join a group, or whatever you need to do to keep track of any ups and downs you experience and how far you’ll eventually go. You may even end up being a success story for someone else to look up to!
Balance Your Training
For overall strength, you’ll need to have balanced workouts. Many people incorrectly assume that strength is all about legs and arms, but for a better body and lifestyle, it includes a wholesome workout. So remember as you go through your weekly workouts that everything needs to be balanced. If you do legs one day, switch and do core. No matter how you choose to do it, though, make sure you’re enjoying it!
Have Correct Form, Always!
An underrated problem in the world of fitness is form. There are so many ways to exercise and target each area of your body that people often forget that correct form is the key for all of these things to work. If you’re not seeing results after a month, you may need to have someone watch you and make sure you’re keeping form. It is never too late to correct it. Correct form will also help prevent injuries that could interrupt your progress and make it more difficult to restart. You can even video yourself and use it as a comparison and focus on what you need to fix.