February Fitness: Day 4 - Weight Lifting - Start now! - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

February Fitness: Day 4 - Weight Lifting - Start now!

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By Stephanie Byars - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Weight lifting is not just for body builders! A lot of people focus more on cardiovascular exercises to lose weight but fitness experts say weight bearing exercises are just as important.

Weight lifting helps build muscle fibers that burn more calories. It also strengthens the bones, which can help protect against osteoporosis.

Women often worry weight lifting might cause them to "bulk up."

However Healthpoint Fitness manager, Amy Sutherlin, says that's just not possible.

"Women don't have enough testosterone in us to be able to do that," Sutherlin said. "You can lengthen your muscles and make them more shapely from weight training, but most women will not bulk up," she added.

Sutherlin recommends this weight training plan to get started at home. It includes one lower-body exercise, one upper-body exercise and one core exercise. All of these exercises are classified as functional, multi-joint, so they will use more muscle groups:

  • Squats using a chair - stand in front of chair and squat into the chair. (Put the chair up against a wall)
  • Wall push-ups, working toward a modified push-up (on hands and knees), then full-body push-up.
  • Plank (for core strength), starting on knees. Make sure you squeeze your butt to protect the low back. When plank gets easier, there are variations you can do - marching legs (one at a time) out, in or up, down.

One set 12-15 reps. Hold plank for 15-30 seconds. This can be repeated 3x a week, with at least one day of rest between. Once the first set becomes easy, they can add another set, up to 3 sets. Once 3 sets becomes easy, it's time to start adding some hand weights, and additional exercises.

Sutherlin says if in a fitness center the following exercises are all functional movements/patterns that we use in daily activities:

  • Leg press (lower body)
  • Seated row (a pull exercise for back to improve our posture)
  • A core exercise is still important (planks, hovers, etc). One set 12-15 reps.
  • Chest press (a push exercise). If you only want 3 exercises, I would leave this one out and demonstrate the plank instead.

Follow same guidelines as above, increasing weights as the exercises become easier, and adding more exercises as you get stronger and more confident.

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