Muscle strengthening exercises are physical activities designed to boost energy and improve strength and muscle fitness. These exercises focus mainly on muscle contractions that produce pressure and tightness in the muscle itself and make the muscle work, increasing its strength and size. Muscle strengthening exercises can be categorized based on the types of muscle contractions they require, including isometric and isotonic, with the latter being divided into concentric and eccentric contractions.
In isometric exercises, the muscles work without moving the joints. This type of training is beneficial to people who have suffered joint injuries or have arthritis. These exercises are done by applying force to an immovable object or by holding an object in place against resistance.
Isotonic contractions are done by moving the joints. Muscle strengthening exercises that use isotonic contractions typically involve resistance in the form of weights or resistance bands. Some examples are arm curls, in which the elbows bend, or leg presses or squats, in which the knees bend.
A concentric muscle contraction is when the muscle shortens as it works, such as a bicep muscle contracting as the weight is lifted during arm curls. In eccentric contraction, the muscles stretch and extend. One example of eccentric contraction is the bicep muscle lengthening as the weight is lowered during arm curls.
Muscle strengthening exercises typically focus on specific parts of the body. For example, core muscle strengthening exercises mainly focus on the abdominal muscles, the back and pelvis. Neck muscle strengthening training helps to release tension in the neck muscles, reduce migraine headaches and correct poor posture.
The knee joints are two of the most delicate joints in the body, and there are more significant injuries to the knees than to any other body part. By flexing and extending the knees, the muscles surrounding the knees will become stronger, and this will help protect the joints. Knee muscle strengthening exercises include leg presses, squats and cycling.
Some of the important tips for performing muscle strengthening exercises are proper breathing while flexing and lifting, and starting the workout routine first with light weights and a manageable number of repetitions. This will maximize the benefits of the workout and help prevent injuries. The weights and repetitions can gradually increase in order to achieve a more extensive exercise and obtain better results.
These exercises can help prevent injuries to different parts of the body by building muscles that are more fit and healthy. They also increase joint mobility, leading to healthier joints. Muscle strengthening training also can help increase range of motion, especially in the knees.