Follow These Functional
Strength Training Guidelines

You must follow the correct strength training guidelines in order for improving your movement capabilities and building strength that you can use.

Observing the construction of the human body will reveal a master design (it is built to move and move efficiently). The human body is a unit, a kinetic chain, where movement is more than just individual muscles contracting and relaxing. Each link in the kinetic chain has a specific role to play and each link is part of an integrated whole resulting in efficient flowing movement. The body will always be a work in progress and it is highly adaptable to a variety of conditions and stresses!

Functionally, taking strength development from a movement and skill perspective rather than the perspective of isolated muscle training, develops neuromuscular efficiency (the body's ability to move efficiently as an integrated unit), which reduces injuries and improves performance. This training philosophy should be used for all populations, regardless of performance needs.

Safety Should Always Come First

In order to ensure a safe and effective functional strength training experience, here are a number of strength training guidelines:

1 Always consult your physician prior to starting any exercise program.

2 Complete a thorough warm-up before starting any workout.

3 Always complete your workout with a cool-down session

4 It is imperative that you follow the appropriate progressions when advancing through your exercises.

5 Do not hurry any exercise or advance to a higher level of exercise (more complex) before completing its basic version.

How to Make Strength Training a Habit

No matter how much you try to make it fun, and no matter what the experts tell you about how great you will feel, when you first start regular strength training, you will probably dislike it. Developing this healthy living habit takes time and effort. In the beginning it will be difficult, and time may move much more slowly than you'd like. You must force yourself to stick to your routine during this stage. A common pitfall is to forgo strength training on days when you feel tired and lethargic because you think you do not have enough energy for it. A secret, known to those who have become habitual exercisers, is that effort creates energy. Do not wait for energy to come when you are tired; create it by expending effort. You can easily prove to yourself that this principle works. Just try it.

The inner voice that says you don't have time for strength training is lying. You can make time for it once you realize its priority in an overall program of preventive health maintenance and healthy living. In fact, regular strength training, by giving you more energy and a greater sense of well-being, will help you work more efficiently, so that you use your time better and have more to spare. I promise you that eventually you will move beyond the initial stage into a different relationship with aerobic activity. It will make you feel good both physically and mentally, at first after you finish exercising and later while you are doing it as well. Days without strength training will not feel quite right or complete. Then you will know that your good habit has begun to take solid form, and the chance of your abandoning the program will be much diminished.

SUMMARY

The purpose of these strength guidelines is to increase safety and decrease the likelihood of injuries that might ultimately improve the standard of care being offered. It is hoped that all practitioners and participants employing them will mutually benefit from applying this information, and in turn significantly enhance the quality of services and programs provided to everyone who wishes to benefit.


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