We all know that exercise – any exercise – is good for you. However, physical trainers agree that the very best exercise to help you live a longer, healthier life is strength training.
Top exercise professionals and current research seem to agree that if you could do one thing to improve your health, strength training should be at the top of your list. However, not everyone knows how to safely and comfortably work out with weights. We went to the experts for some advice. Here are some tips from Quincy Sutton as he provided them to Fox 13. Sutton is a Seattle-based certified personal trainer specializing in fitness nutrition, weight loss, sports performance, and corrective exercise.
Sutton told Fox 13 that he believes that the foundation of weight training begins with proper form. That’s why Sutton shared three exercises focused on form to get you started.
- Squat (with two variations)
Sutton says to start off with your feet shoulder apart and pretend like you’re sitting into a chair. To make it easier, grab a chair and sit down in it and stand right back up. To make it harder, grab a dumbbell or a kettle, or if you have a barbell, you can put a barbell on your back as well.
“The squat is such a powerful move because it’s a functional movement you are going to do the rest of your life,” said Sutton. “On top of that, it’s going to use a lot of energy as far as your legs, your upper body, your core. It’s going to burn a lot of calories as well as get you stronger throughout the entire body, feet up.”
- Dumbbell bench press
“When doing this by yourself for the first time, make sure you have someone behind you to keep you safe, whether it’s a trainer or a friend,” said Sutton. “You’re going to lean back. Feet are strong; back is flat, come down controlled, then push (your arms) up. The best way to think about this is to inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up.”
“Twist your hands, bring them to your knees, and use that momentum like a little roller coaster ride to get you back up,” he said.
- Bent-over dumbbell row
“The third exercise we’re going to do is a bent-over dumbbell row. To set that up, you’re going to hinge through the hips, making sure your back is flat, lean forward – knees a little bit bent – back is nice and flat, I want you to pull your elbows to the ceiling,” said Sutton. “As you perform the row, you’re going to be getting stronger through your entire posterior chain as well as your biceps and shoulders, so it’s a very powerful move that hits a lot of different muscle groups at once.”
Sutton says it’s important to remember that everyone has a different starting point.
“If you need to make it a little easier to make yourself feel confident, then I suggest you do that, and you will get stronger every day,” he said.
Sutton is not the only one in the fitness game who says that strength training is key to health and long life. According to a recent report released by Ingo Froboese, fitness trainer and a professor at the Health Centre of the German Sport University in Cologne, “Since muscles consume energy, muscle-building training — and consequently a higher proportion of muscle in the body — is one of the building blocks for a lasting increase in energy turnover, and the key to long-term weight loss.”
Of course, always consult your doctor before you begin any type of exercise program.