This One Change to Your Workout Can Help You See Better Results
Style Magazine Newswire | 1/12/2018, 10:30 a.m.
It is widely known that a great exercise regimen should include strength training. And the benefits of regular strength training are plenty: keeps bones strong, speeds up metabolism, and keeps the inches off for the long run. But what you may not know is that how quickly you move through your strength workout can make a huge difference in how quickly you can see the effects of your hard work.
When it comes to strength training, slower is better. If you rush through your strength workout, you might not be getting the most out of your time at the gym. But by slowing down, your muscles get to work overtime, meaning you’ll see and feel changes in your body in less time. As a general rule, when you’re lifting weights, slowly count “1,2,3” as you lift, and then again as you lower the weight to your starting position.
Keep reading to see all the ways slowing down can change your workout.
Get Stronger in Less Time
Once you slow down your strength training routine, you can build higher levels of strength than you would otherwise. The slower you move to lift a weight, like in a bicep curl for instance, you force your muscles to stay activated longer. Instead of needing to engage your muscles only for a second or two as you lift the weight, you’ll notice that your muscle is also working as you slowly lower the weight. This means you’re doing twice as much work and getting twice the strength gains from the same move.
Stay Injury Free
Starting a strength training regimen is always risky, simply because you are challenging your body in a brand new way. As with any new movement, it’s best to take your time to avoid hurting yourself (or others around you). Even if you’re a seasoned pro when it comes to lifting weights, there’s still a risk to hurt yourself if you move too quickly when moving with a heavy weight. For this reason, taking your routine slow will help to protect you from injury, since your body can better brace itself to lift those weights. You’ll also be able to better notice any weaknesses in your muscles more easily than if you rush through your workout. This can keep you from pulling or straining your muscles, which is common for anyone lifting weights— not just bodybuilders!
Perfect Your Form
Form is key to get the most out of any exercise. This is true whether you’re running, swimming, or lifting. Good form can help you be more efficient in your movement, and make sure that you’re actually using the right muscle groups and not overworking the wrong parts of your body. When it comes to lifting weights, bad form can be a waste your time, and n got time to waste!
By taking your strength workout slower, you can make sure that your form is next to perfect, so that you activate the right muscles for each move, and start to see real gains in your body. Just be sure to talk to a trainer to check your form if you think your moves aren’t working, then remember not to rush through so your work really pays off.
Get Noticeable Changes In Your Body
Whether you’re aiming to bulk up, or build lean muscle, slowing down your strength workouts can be the best change to see real changes in your body. First, keep in mind that women are not naturally built to bulk up like men because women don’t have the testosterone to grow huge muscles. So to the ladies who lift heavy, you can still get stronger without worrying about looking like the Hulk. Nevertheless, slower movements help your muscles to be more responsive to your regular workouts. In a nutshell, when you look in the mirror, you can actually start to see all your hard work pay off!
So the next time you pick up a weight, remember, to take it slow (cue John Legend vocals)!
Sharita Jennings is a health policy attorney, ACE certified group fitness instructor and nutrition specialist. She leads fitness classes in Washington, DC and provides online coaching and tips on her site, GetFitLikeThat.com.