How to Increase Your Strength
Are you ready to kick your workouts and fitness levels up a notch and increase your overall strength? Then it’s time to add strength training to your cardio routine. You’ll still be sweating out those calories, with the added benefit of building your strength, endurance, muscle mass and tone your body. Whether your goal is to gain more muscle or achieve a fitter physique, weight training can help you get there. Weight training can seem to be intimidating - especially if you’re seeing people lifting and squatting double their bodyweight on social media. It takes time and commitment to get to that level, and you’ll get there if that’s your goal over time. Strength training is one of the top ways to help your body stay functional and healthy for the long run, and because muscle mass can begin to decline as you start to age, starting a weight lifting program as an adult can help maintain and even build your strength as you get older. Weight lifting doesn't have to be complicated, it can be a lot of fun so here’s everything you need to know to start your strength training program.
- Start with your body weight
If you’ve never lifted weights before, using your body weight is a great place to start. Not only can you achieve a super effective strength training workout using just your body weight, body weight exercises are also a helpful way for beginners to become familiar with performing the main movements for when you eventually move to using some weights. If your goal is to achieve a leaner, more toned, physique you don’t even necessarily need to add any weights and can continue using just your body weight exercise.
- Perfect your form
It’s important to ensure your form is correct when lifting weights, without proper form you can increase the chances of being injured. If you are new to certain exercises it’s worth getting professional expertise to assist you and help you perfect your form. A personal trainer can help you master those basic movement patterns that set the stage for many of the exercises you’ll be performing. Because they are able to suggest real-time corrections with you whilst you practice, you’ll be able to progress safely. If you don’t have room in your budget for a personal trainer, online tutorials and YouTube videos are still a useful way to help learn what a proper movement should look like.
- Warm up before you start
Before you think about starting any exercises and lifting any weights, it is important that you have completed a proper warm-up. Warm ups are a vital part of an effective strength training workout, without one you increase the risk of injury and prevent your muscles from performing at their highest potential to achieve the most effective workout. You could start with rolling on a foam roller to loosen and wake up your muscles. You should also implement dynamic strengths and exercises into your warmup, these prep your muscles for the exercises you're about to do and help increase your range of motion. A combination of foam rolling and dynamic warm-ups will reduce your risk of injury and allow you to push your limits during your workout.
- Remain consistent
Now that you’ve started your strength training journey, it’s important to remain consistent if you want to see results. You could start off with training two days for a couple weeks and gradually add a third and a fourth gradually over time. Doing too much too soon is a common mistake when people start out as it leads to overworking your body from jumping straight into weight training that your body isn’t used to performing. For beginners it’s better to make every workout a full-body workout rather than splitting it up into muscle groups. That way you’ll be doing a bit of everything, some upper and some lower body workouts and some core which will keep your workout balanced. Once you’ve started to add more days to your workout routine, you can start to focus on specific areas you want to build strength.
For those days that you aren’t headed into the gym or lifting weights, it’s important for your overall health to do some cardio. That can be going for a walk or high intensity workout, any way to keep your body moving that will suit your lifestyle.
- Ease into lifting weights
When you first start to lift weights, you should start off with a moderate weight that isn’t too heavy yet still challenging to perform after a few reps. Starting off with heavy weights as a beginner is dangerous and increases your risk of injury and sets you back on aims to increase your strength. Be sure to take rests in between sets as well to ensure that you’re recovered enough to complete your next set. You should feel challenged at the end of your sets but not constantly having an elevated heart rate like it is when you do cardio.
- Finish off with a post-workout stretch
Now that you’ve got the strength training down, it’s important to stretch at the end of your session. Stretching while your muscles are warm can help improve your flexibility and reduce the feeling of soreness the next couple of days. Like your warmup, your cool down should involve some dynamic stretches and movements to increase blood flow to your muscle which aids your recovery.
Now that you know how to start your strength training journey, it’s time to find the active wear and gym wear to help you achieve your strength training goals. Here are a few of our favourite crop tops and leggings to wear to the gym.
Train your way in these high performance and extremely flattering pairs of seamless scrunch bum leggings. With a scrunch bum feature and high compression waist band, these leggings will flatter your shape so you can feel confident in the weights room. With four way stretch and quick drying fabrication, these seamless leggings are 100% squat and sweat proof.
Move freely without any restricted movement in our Classic Crop Top. This crop provides the wearer with ultra comfort and a unique six strap design for extra ventilation. Removable padding allows for a comfortable fit to your desire.
Our Luna Scrunch Bum Shorts will be the comfiest and most flattering pair of shorts you’ve ever trained in. The high waist band and scrunch bum feature will accentuate and compliment your booty, making it pop! The tie-up straps on either side allow for a customisable fit whether you prefer the booty short or regular bike short look.