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What Are the Different Types of Strengthening Exercises?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Straightening exercises are designed to reinforce muscle and improve joint flexibility in the upper and lower body. Common strengthening exercises include those designed for the legs and calf muscles. Many people with rotator cuff injuries require rehabilitation exercises for the shoulder. The shoulder press is one common exercise. Wrist strengthening exercises, such as wrist curls, are often recommended for repetitive-motion injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Many professional athletes and those who participate in sports often perform exercises for various parts of the body. These strengthening exercises are also designed to help athletes achieve a higher level of fitness and better performance. Runners often perform various leg exercises such as hamstring push-ups and leg curls.

Lower body strength training may be performed with the use of special fitness equipment. Elliptical machines and stair climbers can help runners strengthen their legs. Strengthening exercises for the lower body may also include lunges. Lunging exercises are an effective way to improve muscular strength in the quadriceps and calves. Exercise balls may also be used to strengthen the leg muscles.

People who have been injured from accidents or from degenerative disease may benefit from core strengthening exercises. Patients recovering from hip surgery may perform various exercises, such as leg raises, to help strengthen the hip joints and relieve pain. These exercises are typically performed under the supervision of a trained physical therapist.

Upper body exercises may target the pectoral muscles of the chest, as well as biceps and triceps. These strength training exercises are favored by swimmers and weight lifters. Push-ups are designed for strengthening the shoulders and pectoral muscles. Many upper body strength training exercises are performed with the use of a bench press. Barbells of various weights may also be used.

Various exercises and techniques are designed for strengthening the abdominal muscles. Abdominal crunches are one type of strength training exercise that can help achieve tight, firm abs.

To strengthen the shoulder muscles, an exercise known as bent-arm lateral raises may be performed using a large stability ball and a pair of dumbbells. Keeping the back straight while performing the exercise can help avoid injury and back strain. More advanced exercisers may strengthen their shoulders by performing an overhead barbell press. People with impairment or shoulder injury should always consult with a physician before attempting any type of strengthening exercise.

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Discussion Comments

By Animandel — On Mar 06, 2014

I have seen numerous people who injured themselves because they started out with too strenuous of a muscle strengthening program. You should choose exercises appropriate for your physical condition and start slowly.

With weights, don't be in a rush to lift the heavy weight. Start light and work your way up, slowly. It takes the muscles a while to get used to new activity.

By Sporkasia — On Mar 05, 2014

Pushups have been around for an eternity, and they are great shoulder strengthening exercises. These exercises work arm and chest muscles. One good aspect of pushups is you don't need any equipment, and you don't have to go to a gym to do them.

You can roll out of bed in the morning, drop to the floor and start your day off with a brief workout, and you can repeat this routine throughout the day. Since pushups work the muscles on the front of your body, you should incorporate a back strengthening exercise routine to complement them.

By Drentel — On Mar 04, 2014

When conditioning for sports, I used to lift weights regularly. Lifting free weights is one of the best means of strengthening the body. While many guys concentrate on weight muscle strengthening exercises that build the upper body, weights can be used to strengthen virtually any muscle in the body.

Once you determine which areas of your body you want to strengthen you can pick an appropriate exercise that focuses on the muscles you want to work on.

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