Fitness Article: Weight Lifting Does
More than Increase Strength
By Karen Goeller, CSCS
This article is not for reprint without
written permission from the author.
lifting should be part of any fitness program. It is a great way to increase
your strength and is an excellent exercise choice for nearly everyone. Weight
lifting can help with strength, weight loss, and general fitness. Weight lifting
can be a very safe and effective form of exercise, when performed correctly and
consistently. It is a valuable form of exercise for most people, from the teen
to senor years.
Unfortunately, some of the benefits of weight
lifting are not widely known. Weight lifting is essential for good health. One
positive aspect of weight lifting is that bone density will increase with
consistent training and aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a
bone thinning disease that can lead to serious fractures. Osteoporosis adversely
affects many women after menopause and some men in their senior years. Girls and
young women should concentrate on building strong bones in order to decrease
their risk of osteoporosis later in life. Women undergo rapid bone loss after
menopause, when levels of estrogen drop significantly. The more bone density
they have at that time, the more prepared they are to battle osteoporosis.
Rather than thinking of using weights to pump
up, we must remember that weight lifting is imperative for maintaining good
health. Besides improving bone density, using weights to exercise will increase
muscular strength, improve coordination, improve balance, decrease body fat, and
can lead to better overall health. And for those interested in weight loss, you
may enjoy knowing that the more muscles you build, the more calories you will
If you have never used weights to exercise,
weight lifting is not something that you should start on your own. Weight
lifting can be a very safe form of exercise, but you should seek the help of a
fitness trainer to help get started. An experienced fitness trainer can assign
an exercise routine and teach you how to perform each exercise safely. Beginners
should use machine weight lifting in order to become accustomed to the proper
motion and learn safely. Those more advanced can build strength efficiently with
dumbbells and barbells.
Once on your own, be sure to perform each
exercise with perfect form before increasing the weight. Three great exercises
for the upper body are the chest press, shoulder press, and wide-bar pull
down. For more variety in your fitness program an exercise routine may include
pull-ups, rowing, biceps curls, and triceps extensions. Popular lower body
exercises include step-ups, squats, and the leg press. Besides weight training,
body-weight exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups are very effective when
performed correctly. It is best to perform a variety of exercises, appropriate
for your fitness level, to ensure you have a well rounded fitness program.
Performing the same exercise routine over and over will eventually result in a
plateau. Your muscles will have adapted to the routine. At that point you must
change the exercise routine otherwise you could decrease your chances of
reaching your goal.
Weight lifting should be part of your complete
fitness program. Cardiovascular exercise such as walking on a treadmill or using
an exercise bicycle should also be performed on a regular basis. And of course,
flexibility exercises must be included in each workout in order to keep the best
possible range of motion throughout your body. As previously mentioned, weight
lifting, when performed correctly and consistently, is essential for a healthy
Always seek the advice of your physician or
other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a new
exercise program. Keep in mind that you should promptly seek professional
medical care if you have any concern about your health.
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Karen M. Goeller
Karen Goeller has
been training athletes since 1978. She has an
education that includes training in emergency medicine, physical therapy, and
nutrition. She has held certifications that include NSCA-CSCS, Fitness Trainer,
EMT-D, Nutritional Analysis, and many Gymnastics Certifications among others.
Besides being author of the Gymnastics
Drills and Conditioning books, Karen is the author of the
Swing Set Fitness books. She has also published
journals, training programs, and
articles. Her books are used by fitness
experts, coaches, teachers, and athletes worldwide. Karen has worked for world
famous gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, owned a gymnastics club for ten years, and
has been featured in several newspapers and on television many times. She offers
sports performance training and private
gymnastics training in NJ. For
more on Karen visit
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