Tag Archive | "Proper Body Alignment"

Good Tool For Weight Training

You can increase your strength in many ways. There are, for example, tools like tubing, swiss balls, body weight, and free weights that all work perfectly well in building muscle strength and endurance. For the sake of simplicity, however, I am going to stick with free weights since they are probably the most familiar to the vast majority of you.

Free Weights

Free weights refer to weights that are unattached or free from a machine. The most common form of free weights includes dumbbells and barbells. Dumbbells differ from barbells in that they are separate entities, so that each limb is challenged individually. Barbells, on the other hand, are operated using two hands so that more than one limb is being used simultaneously. The advantage of using dumbbells over a barbell is that you are better able to determine strength discrepancies from one limb to the next. The weaker side cannot freeload with the stronger side and, instead, has to fend for itself.

When you use a barbell, it is not unusual for the stronger side to overcompensate for its weaker counterpart, which inevitably encourages the discrepancy rather than rectifying it. The advantage to using barbells over dumbbells, however, is that you can lift more weight with each repetition. The strength of two limbs rather than one is greater so it is easier to push the limits of your strength a little more by using a barbell. The best solution is to alternate between barbells and dumbbells so that you can catch your weaker spots while pushing your strength to greater capacities.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages, including free weights. Because free weights are naturally free from structure, they require a lot more stability and attention to form precision. When using free weights, you must maintain proper body alignment and control of movement or else you risk throwing the rest of your body off and, in the worst case, injuring your back or some other body part. The key with free weights, therefore, is to memorize proper form and to start light. Although this does not ensure an injury-free routine, it does substantially reduce your risk of getting hurt.

Another advantage to using free weights is that you can use them in the comfort of your own home, or anything else, for that matter. Equipment is relatively inexpensive as well as easy to adjust, and it can be easily transported if necessary. All you really need is a set of ankle weights and several sets of dumbbells to design a complete weight program. If you can, buy 10-pound ankle weights that have adjustable one or two-pound weights attached to them so that you can add and remove resistance as needed. The same goes for the dumbbells. Try to buy ones that can be adjusted.

Many sports stores sell adjustable hand weights, which come with a set of plates that can be added and removed with just the twist of a knob. If adjustable weights don’t sound appealing to you, you can buy weights that are covered in vinyl or chrome and come in pairs ranging in weight from two to 100 pounds. These are usually a little more expensive since you have to buy them separately, but they work just as well as any other to build your muscles.

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