Most people wish they could get in shape but don’t actually put out much effort into doing so. They have discussed the benefits of strength training and better health with their Physician but they may feel they don’t have extra time in the day or the extra money to afford a membership at a gym.
Many don’t have the knowledge of which muscle groups to focus on and in which order exercises should be done. Or they just don’t know where to start in building an exercise regime outside of a gym training environment. But with a bit of basic information and a common sense approach, you can start your training today.
There are a variety of beliefs that in order to build strength you need to focus on upper body muscles. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The upper extremities contain only 15 – 20% of the body’s total muscle mass. If your goal is to build lean muscle to maintain your health, then you need to target the major muscle groups in order to get results.
Major Muscle Groups
The largest muscles in the body are the quadriceps on the front of the thighs. Second are the gluteus muscles in the buttocks. Third are the hamstrings on the back of the thighs. The key is to work on flexing and extending the hip joint. By working on these major muscle groups first and in proper order, you will get faster results as that’s how our body naturally runs most efficiently.
Best of all, these exercises can be performed at any time of the day or night and at any location. So, it’s not difficult to maintain your body weight with an exercise program that will help you develop functional strength, build muscle and get you into better shape.
Lean muscle mass speeds the body’s metabolism and this helps to burn fat. So if you can’t get to a gym there are other options. Body weight resistance exercises are performed without any weights but instead; use your own natural weight to create the resistance. These exercises have been in an out of fashion for years but have popped up again for the simple reason that they work naturally, and be can be done anywhere.
Body Weight Resistance Exercises
The push up is probably the best example of a resistance body weight exercises. It works the chest and the biceps and can be modified to work your abdominal muscles and other parts of the body as well. It can be varied in levels of ease from wall push ups for beginner’s right up to intensive one handed workouts. Find the one that works for you and build on it.
Squats are another well known resistant exercise. You can develop your lower body with squats alone using good form and repetition. Incorporate a few lunges and you will see progress even faster. Again, these can be modified according to your fitness level and intensified as your muscle mass improves. Doing squats in slow-motion with your hands raised is an excellent body toner as well.
It is also important to work your core muscles or your abdominal region. Strengthening your core muscles can protect you from back pain or injury, improve your balance and flatten your stomach. These can include sit-ups and crunches. A balance ball is a useful tool for building up these core muscles and costs very little money. Do what you can without straining and simply increase the number of reps as your strength increases.
So here you have some practical and simple exercises to help you not only get back into shape, but help to increase your metabolism. For men and women, burning fat and increasing lean muscle keeps us active and healthy longer. It decreases our chances of serious injury and we look and feel great in the process. And it doesn’t have to cost a dime.