Resistance training – which is also called ‘weight training’ or ‘strength training’- is important in order to improve strength, counteract age-related muscle loss, boost bone health as well as improve body composition (improve muscle mass and lose body fat).
Interestingly enough, your body will respond to different resistance training types. This is dependent on your gender, age, genetic make-up, nutrition as well as recovery. Even while at home, you are still able to perform strength workouts safely and lift weights effectively by using your own body weight as resistance or – alternatively – using light dumbbells and still enjoying the benefits of the traditional strength training.
The Benefits Of Lifting Lighter Weights
A study which was performed at McMaster University compared the advantages of lifting heavy and light weights. Interestingly enough, the results showed no major strength differences between the group allotted to lifting heavy weights and the group allotted to lifting light weights.
What the study revealed was that the key to gaining strength was to get tired from your workout. Volunteers in both groups could just increase muscle size and strength by pushing themselves to nearly total muscle fatigue.
Choose a lighter weight (as well as more repetitions) the next time that you’re in the gym. It’s your effort which matters and not the weight of your dumbbells. If you’re lifting easier weights, you’ll be able to work for longer periods before getting tired.
Reduced Chance Of Injury
Om addition, choosing lighter weights can reduce your chance of injury. This is because your body isn’t tasked with lifting more weight than it is able to support. Gone are the days of plummeting weights on your toes or overextending yourself! If you’re utilising lighter weights, you are able to focus solely on form and technique — assisting you to avoid injury as well as benefit from your time in the gym.
No Need To Rely On Momentum
If you’re lifting a weight which is too heavy, you’re probably relying on momentum as well as the strength of your muscles. While this may assist you with feeling powerful, it won’t help you build strength. When you work out with lighter weights, your muscles do most of the work and not momentum!
What Are The Benefits Of Using Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands offer a lot of benefits which standard weights can’t:
Same Muscle Activity, Less Chance Of Injury
Training with resistance bands offers similar and sometimes even better muscle activity as weight training. One significant difference is that is involves a lower amount of force on the joints, which means that more stimuli may be provided to the muscles with less opportunity for injury. Also, this is good news for anyone with existing injuries or joint pain as resistance bands could allow you to continue working out and doing exercises that you can’t with dumbbells.
More Muscle Stimulus
One significant difference between free weights and resistance bands is the varying resistance employed through the full range of motion of an exercise. With free weights, there are really parts of the movement when the muscles aren’t doing much work owing to lack of gravity, such as at the top of a bicep curl.
What this means is that when utilising resistance bands the muscle is receiving greater resistance at its strongest moment in the range of motion. Therefore, it is receiving more adequate resistance to better stimulate strength adaptations.
The constant tension from resistance bands adds an element of required stabilisation from your body in order to maintain form during many exercises. In addition, this means that you will frequently need to activate your core for balance. The requirement to control them from snapping back into place means greater stimulation as well as strength through the muscle’s full range of motion. The pull of the bands lowers your ability to cheat by using momentum.
Do want to know what the benefits of lifting weights are? If you do then you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. Follow this link to read more.