A thorough warm-up reduces the risk of injury, especially when performed prior to resistance-based exercise. A general warm-up can:
- Increase body and muscle temperature and blood flow to working muscles
- Facilitate the production of energy for exercise
- Increase oxygen delivery to muscles
- Improve the travel speed of nerve impulses
- Improve the speed and efficiency of muscle contractions
- Gradually increases the load on the heart, which helps prevent abnormal cardiac rhythms
Continuation of article & answer concerning resistance training
Resistance training is the cornerstone of a lean body and a fast metabolism. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body burns throughout the day. If you’ve been doing tons of cardiovascular activity, but slacking on the weight training, that can reduce the effectiveness of your weight loss efforts. Weights strengthen and tone the body (while raising metabolism), and cardio defines it. These two types of exercise compliment each other, and should be components of any sound exercise regimen.
Common questions about resistance training
I want to put on as much muscle as possible. Are there limits to how big I can get?
Yes. There are factors that will ultimately determine how much muscle you can pack on your frame, and most of those will be genetic. Factors such as age, hormonal levels, muscle fiber type distribution (type I (endurance) or type II (power, strength) predominance), total number of muscle fibers, frame size and current level of development can all affect your total muscle growth ability. Most do not hit these genetic barriers; as over training and improper eating seem to be the biggest obstacles for most.
How can I be sure that I am ready for the resistance-training program I have in mind?
You need knowledge of how exercises are created as well as an understanding of how to monitor the person performing the exercise to ensure that it’s consistently being performed safely and effectively. A six-step process developed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine will help to determine which resistance-training program is most appropriate.
What are dynamic flexibility exercises, and how can they help me with my fitness goals?
Dynamic-flexibility exercises are movements performed without the use of prolonged static holding positions and are most useful for building muscle through dynamic movement. The key to dynamic flexibility is moving slowly and never stopping the movement for more than one or two seconds. This technique allows the brain to constantly monitor the change in length of the muscles and specifically prepares the body for dynamic movement and exercise.
I want"bigger" arms. What types of exercises can help?
A whole host of exercises are intended to target the biceps muscles. These exercises rely upon variations of resisted elbow flexion that can be achieved by altering shoulder positions. By altering the starting length of the biceps, new effects can be created. Examples of variations include the incline dumbbell curl in shoulder extension (shoulder behind the body) and the concentration curl in shoulder flexion (shoulder in front of the body).