In this post I am going to share with you why weight training is so important for fat loss and functional fitness.In my opinion when it comes to functional fitness and aesthetic goals, nailing some of the main lifting techniques is key. These movements will not only help with the functionality of your day to day life (picking up heavy objects, children, having more energy) but will also help you build more muscle and have a leaner appearance. Often people tend to be scared of lifting weights for fear of getting bulky however to put on weight when resistance training you must be in a calorie surplus (consume more calories than you burn). Lifting weights will in fact increase your metabolism resulting in more muscle definition, fat loss and generally feeling awesome. I am not under rating cardio here for one second. Cardio should play a large part in your fitness regime as well. Your heart is a muscle too and cardiovascular health is incredibly important. However I find when it comes to the gym, a lot of us already have the cross trainer technique down! Compound movements are very important to include in your training (exercises that use multiple muscle groups). This is because they can get your heart rate up and stimulate muscle growth hormone. The more muscle we build the more calories we burn at rest equalling in a leaner appearance. Besides aesthetic goals the vast majority of research supports weight training as a very effective means to increase bone density.
1. Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles.
2. Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back. It’s important to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
3. Initiate the movement by inhaling and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backward as the knees begin to bend.
4. While your bum starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight. Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.
Once you are happy with the technique I highly recommend adding a light kettlebell held by the handle as the next step. After this use a high bar in the squat rack to perform a back bar squat.
When starting this technique just use the bar to begin and no weight.
1. Place your shins close to the bar, but not right on the bar. Keep your shins around an inch from the bar and perform a hip hinge until your hands are around the barbell.
2. Make sure your chin is tucked, this will ensure you maintain a neutral spine.
3. Force your knees out against your arms, this will create torque at the hips.
4. Stand up straight holding the bar, do not over arch and overextend your back.
The Bench Press
1. Lie on the flat bench with your eyes under the bar. Lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder-blades. Feet flat on the floor.
2. Hold the bar in the base of your palm with a full grip and straight wrists.
3. Take a big breath and rack the bar by straightening your arms. Move the bar over your shoulders with your elbows locked.
4. Lower the bar. Lower it to your mid-chest while tucking your elbows 75°. Keep your forearms vertical.
5. Press the bar from your mid-chest to above your shoulders. Keep your butt on the bench. Lock your elbows at the top.
With all of these techniques start with your weight low to begin and work your way up.
Feel free to contact me with how to use these in your workout or any questions.