Strength Training Exercises

Strength training exercises are those exercises that will challenge your muscles through resistance.

The resistance can be from exercise equipment or using gravity and your own body weight.

In order to strengthen your muscles you must provide resistance.

This resistance needs to be enough to challenge and add resistance to task your muscles.

You need to task your muscles more than they are used to from normal everyday activities.

When you provide resistance to your muscles they contract. 

This contraction is what builds strength and increases anaerobic endurance.

This will help increase the size of your skeletal muscles.

Weight Lifting

man lifting weightsThe most common form of exercise to build muscle strength is weight lifting. 

Although some exercises can be performed with a simple weight bench and free weights, to really get the benefit of weight lifting you will want to use specific exercise equipment. 

Most gyms offer a wide variety of weight lifting equipment or you can purchase a home gym.

Weight lifting does not mean creating "bulky" muscles, so don't worry ladies. It's just a great way to tone and add lean muscles to your body.

Start with the lower settings on the machines until you find this too easy.

Then add more repetitions and/or more resistance by increasing the weights.

Resistance Bands

If access to a local gym or purchasing a home gym is out of the question, then try an alternate strength training method. 

Resistance band exercises are a great alternative to weight lifting.

Forsome people this is probably a good way to start your strengthening routine. 

With resistance bands you can strengthen and tone all the major muscle groups. 

The advantage of resistance bands is that you can adjust the resistance, using less resistance when needed or increasing the resistance to increase the challenge.

You can buy a variety of bands that will offer different degrees of resistance.


woman with dumbbell weightsAnother fairly inexpensive alternative to weight lifting are dumbbell exercises

There are two types of dumbbells; fixed weight and adjustable weight. 

 If you use the fixed weight dumbbells be sure to by several different weight sizes so that you can alter the resistance during your strength training.

While you won't get as high of a resistance as in weight lifting, dumbbells are a good way to tone those muscles.

They are smaller and easier to store, so are easier to work with at home.  

Body Weight / Gravity

Lastly you can use your own body weight and gravity.  Body weight exercises are a great way to strengthen and tone your muscles.  

Many abdominal exercises are done with no resistance exercise equipment.

Instead, they rely on gravity to provide resistance. 

You can also perform many upper and lower body exercises with no dumbbell weights or resistance bands. 

Exercises like squats for the glutes will get some resistance from gravity. 

As these become too easy you will want to find a method to add more resistance.

Here are some toning exercises you can do with just your body weight.

Benefits of Strengthening

By strengthening and building lean muscle you are increasing your basal metabolic rate.  This is one of the key strength training benefits.  By increasing the lean muscle mass you are burning more fat and calories.  

The more calories you burn the more fat you burn and the leaner and toner your body will be.  So rev up your metabolism by building lean muscles.

There are many other benefits of strengthening muscles beyond burning fat and increasing your metabolism.  

These benefits include increased bone, ligament and tendon strength as well as improved joint function. 

Strengthening the muscles also minimizes risk of muscle injury.  Be sure to check out all the benefits of strength training.

Although strength training is primarily an anaerobic exercise, by performing circuit training you can add some aerobic benefits as well.

If you want to use a personal trainer to learn the proper way of performing your strength training exercises, then you want to know what to look for. 

Here is an article from a site dedicated to fitness for fun on personal trainer qualifications.

Additional Articles

Aerobic Exercises
In addition to strengthening your muscles you want to add some aerobic exercises to your weekly workout routine.

Free Fitness Videos
Make sure you are doing your exercises correctly by using these free fitness videos. From abdominal exercises to body stretches, you can find what you need.

Fat Burning Exercises
Burn more fat and calories during your workout with the best fat burning exercises. Read this article to learn more.