Resistance exercise is any type of exercise that forces your muscles to create tension against some sort of resistance. The resistance can be free weights or weight machines, but could also include your own body weight, as well as resistance bands. The goal in these types of exercises is to increase your strength, tone, mass, and/or your endurance. These types of exercises help you engage in aerobic activity, and help you do to all of the things you need to do to get around in this world (take the steps, carry a laundry basket or a bag of groceries, etc.).
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it is recommended that we engage in at least two resistance exercise sessions a week. These should involve all the major muscle groups (this includes your legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms)
and should not occur on consecutive days. See below for some additional tips.
Start small. No one is encouraging you to head to the gym to pump iron on the first day. Think about things that you lift around the house to start off with. This could be soups cans, multiple soup cans in a recyclable grocery bag, or a milk jug.
Don’t forget about body weight exercises. Using your body weight is a great way to move forward. These types of exercises include push-ups, planks, and squats. To reduce or increase the intensity of planks and squats, consider the angle that you are using, or the
Include a warmup and cool down of at least five to ten minutes. For more information on the importance of both, click here.
Focus on your form. Be sure that you keep your body aligned. That means If the exercise involved stand up straight, that you focus on standing straight with your core muscles engaged, as well as the movement. of the exercise. In the early stages, lift lighter weight so you can really focus on the muscles that need it. Concentrate on the entire movement, not just where you’re lifting the weight.
Focus on your breathing. Never hold your breath while lifting. Inhale before the exercise, exhale as lift, push, or pull the weight, and inhale again as you release.