Is Your Training Getting You Strong, Sleek and Stretched?

 

If not, then you are missing key elements in your fitness routine. We all want to look and feel better but the universal goal when it comes to working out is of course improved health. Well long term muscle and joint health requires that we design our workouts to develop muscle in three key areas: strength, endurance (sleek) and flexibility (stretch).
So lets begin with STRENGTH. Muscle strength refers to the heaviest load the muscle can bear, or in regards to working out, how much weight can you lift doing only one repetition. Lifting for strength grows muscles larger and allows us to bear more weight in everyday life activities. When building the strength element of your fitness program you want to lift the heavies weight you can with good form for 6-8 repetitions. Your goal is to increase the weight incrementally over a general period of 8 to 12 weeks.
SLEEK muscles are built through endurance training. Muscular endurance refers to your muscles’ ability to contract repeatedly over an extended period of time and resist fatigue. With this workout you should  select a weight that will allow you to complete an exercise 10-15 times with good form. As with strength training, endurance training is progressive and you should consistently monitor and record your gains every 8-12 weeks. Static exercises in workouts such as yoga, barre and pilates sessions will also build muscle endurance and can be a good addition to your other weekly strength routines.
Finally, muscles need to be STRETCHED. Flexibility training keeps muscles healthy by reducing the risk of injury due to more pliability and aides the muscles in recovery. Joints are more mobile when muscles are flexible and benefits are also seen with improved posture and balance from flexibility training.
So for the quickest and best results for overall muscle and joint health you will want to incorporate all of these types of exercises into your weekly fitness program.  Having STRONG, SLEEK & STRETCHED muscles is the sign of a well balanced and carefully planned workout routine.

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