Raise your hand if you have ever felt awkward or intimidated by the middle of the gym…i.e. the weight machines.
Most of us have been there at one point or another. I know I have. Feeling like everyone’s eyes are on you. Someone is definitely about to walk up, telling you that you’re using that machine totally wrong and you look ridiculous.
First things first, you don’t look ridiculous and if someone is eyeing you it’s probably just because you look amazing. The benefits of strength training are too great to let anything get in your way. Most of us are in off season right now and it’s the perfect time to incorporate weights into your regimen. Want to improve your swim form? Strength train. Looking for more power on the bike? Strength train. Tired of running out of steam halfway up the hill? You guessed it, strength train.
There is an outdated theory that building muscle will slow you down. However, that could not be more wrong. Incorporating weights into your workout and increasing muscle mass enables you to function more efficiently because the type II muscle fibers that are built improve whole body metabolism and give you more energy. Already got plenty of energy? (What’s your secret??) Lifting weights on a regular basis will also help prevent injuries by strengthening your stabilizer muscles and increasing bone density. And we all know nothing is more heartbreaking than an injury slowing you down.
Get the most out of your strength training by focusing on form, form, form. Put those headphones in, find a mirror, block out everything else and really focus on what your body is doing. Which moves should you be doing? Glad you asked.
Lateral pull down
Lateral dumbbell raise
Bicep curls (will also provide climbing leverage on your bike)
Get out there and SHINE, Sirens!
Follow Ashley on Instagram for more tips and inspiration @ashley.trisirena