Contrary to its name, resistance training does not mean resistance to training! In fact, once you see the results and benefits of incorporating resistance Fitness Classes into your lifestyle, we are sure you will find it the exact opposite!
Resistance training (also known as strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction, to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and muscle.
Challenging your muscles with resistance, can dramatically improve the strength and tone of your muscles, as well as help you gain several long-term health benefits. These health benefits will strengthen not only your muscles but also your bone density, joint function, ligaments, and general metabolism.
There are so many different types of exercise out there that will inevitably help you build muscle, but amongst most of them, one thing remains constant: You have to move against the air (i.e. resist) if you want your body to grow. And any exercise movement that places you against a resistive force of some kind, is considered resistance exercise.
What are some resistance training exercises?
Below are several common resistance exercises that are used to work all major muscle groups in the body. Please note that at all times during these exercises, the core muscles; including hips, pelvis, lower back, and stomach, should be stable and tightened to protect the spine. If at any time you feel pressure on your lower back, make sure you stop.
- Bench press
- Abdominal crunch
- Biceps curl
At Kaya Health Clubs, we offer plenty of these resistance exercises and more, in both our Circuit Training classes, Pilates classes, and even Yoga classes! We offer a range of different fitness classes that range from resistance-based and bodyweight exercises to fitness-style Boxing Classes and plyometrics, all of which build strength, muscle, cardio, and endurance.
Do resistance machines build muscle?
Yes, resistance machines build muscle, but so do free weights, and not to mention natural body weight! Finding out which option is the best fit for you depends on what kind of muscle you want to build. Ultimately, it’s great to include all in your workout, but you’ll want to include them at the right times.
Machines can often be a great place to start, especially for beginners. While using resistance machines, you typically don’t have to be as concerned about maintaining proper posture because the machine puts you in a safe and supported position. This is especially critical when it comes to supporting your spine from your neck to your lower back.
Another benefit of using resistance machines is that they have mechanisms that allow you to adjust the intensity based on your height, body type, or limb length. Since the person who used it immediately before you probably isn’t the same size as you, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Ensure you do a light test before switching to heavier weights, or work alongside a trainer, to avoid injury.
Free weights and natural body weight are also effective ways to build muscle:
For those that don’t have access to resistance machines – don’t fret! Free weights are also very effective for building strength, and for more than one reason.
One of the biggest advantages of free weights is freedom in your range of motion that comes with it! Unlike resistance machines, with free weights, you have complete control over the range of movement – not just against gravity, but from left to right, and up and down. This requires extra coordination from stabilizer muscles, meaning more total muscle groups are involved in the lift! This also means that your core muscle groups are working harder, so you’re burning more calories.
And if you don’t have free weights? Just take a look in the mirror! All you need to achieve the body you’ve been dreaming of is, well, your body!
Your natural body weight provides enough resistance to keep your body working hard, and your muscles growing. A bodyweight squat, for example, performed with the right technique, can be just as effective as traditional weight training methods. So when it comes to building muscle, it’s not always necessary to keep adding more and more weight to your barbell.
Are resistance training and strength training the same?
Resistance training generally means that you’re building your muscles through using some form of resistance, which can come from your body weight, from free weights (like dumbbells), or from using resistance machines as explained above. Regardless of which form of resistance you use, you’ll be able to increase the strength of your muscles – although this won’t be your main goal.
If your sole goal is to gain strength, you will most likely turn to strength training. Strength training generally involves lifting heavy weights at low reps, specifically to get stronger. Both forms of training are designed to build physical and mental strength in a smart and informed way. Choosing between the two depends on what your goals are, and how much strength you want to build.
How do you strengthen weak muscles?
Muscle building isn’t just for those who are crazy about Fitness Classes. Muscle strength is crucial for good health, especially as we age. Having weak muscles can prevent us from doing everyday activities, such as carrying the groceries, mowing the lawn, lifting the kids or bending down to pick things up. Weak muscles can also make us more prone to injury, most notably falls.
Strong muscles are needed to strengthen bones, control blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy weight, reduce joint pain, and fight mild depression. So if you’re stagnant or inactive for too long, you can lose a lot of muscle protein, resulting in a decrease in muscle strength. Strength training, resistance training and fitness classes are a great way to re-build muscular strength. Some examples of great strengthening workouts include circuit training, Pilates, yoga, barre, or working with any type of resistance bands or machines. At Kaya, we offer lots of resistance training fitness classes, ideal for building muscle, click here to view our timetable.