What You Need To Know About Resistance Training
Whether you want to develop rippling muscle, or just to be able to lift your own body weight, incorporating resistance training into your regular workout regime is important. In fact keeping your body strong and healthy should be a priority in every person’s life.
Resistance training puts the muscles under stress by using resistance against muscular contraction in order to improve the anaerobic endurance, strength and size of skeletal muscles. Depending on whether you are using heavier or lighter loads of resistance, you can make your muscles stronger, bigger and more durable.
There are 3 different types of resistance training, which are isotonic, isometric and isokinetic resistance.
This type of training occurs when the weight of resistance remains constant throughout the range of movement. Isotonic resistance exercises can include both concentric and eccentric contractions (shortening and lengthening) within the muscle length. They require movement, which engages the muscles and joints to work to life a static weight. If you are aiming for lean, strong muscles, then aim for lighter resistance and higher repetitions. If you are wanting to bulk up your muscle mass then aim for heavier resistance and fewer reps. Using equipment such as dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells and resistance bands can be used to produce isotonic resistance when training.
Examples: Bicep curls, pull-ups, bench press, squats and most Pilates exercises.
Pros: This style of resistance training can be used to imitate movements needed to perform specific sports, such as kicking, throwing or pulling, so exercises can be used to target and strengthen specific areas. They are easy to do and not all of them require equipment. It is also easy to progress overload, by increasing weight.
Cons: If the technique is poor, then is it possible to cause injury to joints, muscles and ligaments.
Unlike isotonic, isometric resistance occurs when there is no change in the length of the muscle and no noticeable bending of the joint. This happens when they are pushing against an immovable resistance, such as a wall or a floor.
Examples: Plank, wall sit, side bridge and some static yoga postures such as the boat pose.
Pros: This style of resistance training can be used to develop specific weaknesses, such as core muscles. They are relatively safe, often only using your own body weight. Also they don’t place too much pressure on the joints so they can be used to help develop muscle strength in people with joint weaknesses.
Cons: Because they develop muscles at one specific angle, they do not work the full range of a muscle’s movement.
Isokinetic resistance occurs when there is a constant speed against the weight or resistance being applied. The harder you push against the resistance, the more resistance is applied so that your movement remains constant. This is achieved using exercise machines, or dynamometer, designed to provide a varying resistance as you move through the full range of movement. Basically it is a combination of the intense muscle contractions achieved in isometric resistance, with the full range of movement used in isotonic resistance.
Examples: Some exercise bikes and other specific machines that are used to perform regular exercises such as lat pull-downs, can create isokinetic resistance.
Pros: Machines are relatively safe and increases strength through a full range of movement. Resistance levels can be easily altered.
Cons: Exercise machines used for isokinetic resistance are expensive, so for most people this is training that will need to be done at a gym. As this form of training becomes more and more popular, more equipment is being created and becoming more readily available. This style of training does not strengthen the tendons and ligaments as much as isotonic training because the machines work to stabilise the resistance being applied.
Why not join in with the Resistance Training conversation in our 66fit LinkedIn group? You can also find us on Facebook as 66fit Australia, 66fit UK and 66fit Deutschland along with Twitter and G+. Come and meet us in person at the NEC Birmingham for either Leisure Industry Week (LIW), 22nd and 23rd September 2015, Stand No: Hall 4/C29 or the Occupational Therapy Show on the 25th and 26th November 2015. Also at the Sonnwendlauf in Seelbach, Germany 19th June 2015 and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia 2nd to 4th July 2015.