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Introduction to Strength Training

Strength Training is an important part of any exercise program. Most strength training programs include 8 - 10 different exercises designed to strengthen different muscles. A basic strength training routine focuses on the core muscles: legs, shoulders, chest, back, arms and abs. Most individual strength training exercises include 8 - 12 repetitions of a given movement, and anywhere from 1 to 3 sets, or series of repetitions. Beginners typically start with 1 set of each exercise, and advance to 2 or 3 over time. Often, strength training routines involved pairing different muscle groups, for example working out your chest and triceps on one day, back and biceps another day, and legs and shoulders on a third day. Since your muscles take about 48 hours to recover, you should plan to leave that long in between working out the same muscles. Strength training is most often done at a gym or fitness center, or at home.

Gyms usually have a combination of free weights, machines, chairs, benches, balls and bands. For 'functional' strength, most people try to do exercises that mimic everyday movements, typically using free weights and natural body movements.

Some basic strength training exercises include squats, chest press, deadlift, leg press, bicep curls, seated row, lat pulldowns, pushups, crunches.

Benefits

Strength Training has a number of benefits - it can increase your metabolism, tone your muscles, help you lose weight, make your body stronger, enable you to do more, reduce your risk of injury, increase stability and balance, lower your blood pressure, prevent disease and most importantly, make you feel good.