A Beginners Guide to Muscle Strengthening Activities

by The Cooperative

Muscle strengthening activities are important to incorporate into your exercise routine because they help with overall physical health and physical performance and help reduce your risk of injury. It is recommended to complete muscle-strengthening activities that work for all major muscle groups at least two days out of the week. You do not have to be a bodybuilder or have years of weightlifting experience to get started. Here are some beginner-friendly muscle-strengthening activities to help get you started:


  1. Bodyweight Exercises: Exercises that use your own bodyweight for resistance to help you build muscle. These exercises do not require equipment and can be done anywhere. The number of times you continuously do an exercise is referred to as a repetition. Here are examples of bodyweight exercises:
    • Sit-ups
    • Push-ups
    • Squats
    • Jumps
    • Crunches
    • Lunges
    • Biceps curls
    • Triceps dips or Triceps curls
    • Calf raises
    • Arm raises or Arm pull-downs
    • Planks
  2. Resistance Band Exercises: Adding resistance bands to your exercises is an easy and affordable way to gradually increase your resistance. You can place a resistance band securely around a fixed object such as your foot or feet, a door frame, a doorknob, a tree, etc.. Here are examples of resistance band exercises:
    • Biceps curl
    • Triceps curl
    • Lateral raise
    • Seated rows
    • Leg press or leg curls
    • Chest press
    • Seated calf press
    • Squats
  3. Free Weights: Adding dumbbell weights while performing exercises is a simple way to increase the resistance of an exercise. You should start with a lower weight and gradually increase over time to prevent injury. Here are examples of free-weight exercises:
    • Bench press
    • Biceps curls
    • Triceps curls
    • Shoulder press
    • Squats
    • Lunges
    • Calf raises
Repetitions and Sets: A repetition is the number of times you complete a full exercise movement. A group of repetitions performed without resting is known as a set. To help prevent muscle injury, it is important to slowly increase the number of repetitions and sets you do of an exercise. For example, you could start with three sets of push-ups, do ten repetitions in each set, and slowly increase the repetitions and sets.

Incorporating Rest and Recovery: Between each set of exercises, you should give your body 30-90 seconds of rest. You should also rotate the muscle groups exercised to ensure adequate rest between exercises and allow for one day of rest per week to promote recovery. Getting sufficient sleep each night and eating nutritious food will help you achieve optimal results.

Incorporating muscle-strengthening activities into your physical activity routine and following the suggestions mentioned above will help you build muscle strength, confidence, and resilience. Remember to listen to your body and allow plenty of rest and recovery time to achieve optimal muscle gain.
By, Coach Mariah

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