Make it Happen Mondays – Lifting Weights

In the beginning phases of the weight training program, you’ll want to do about 2-3 sessions a week.  You can do this for about 3 months.  You’ll want to do anywhere from 8-10 total exercises and do 2-3 sets of each.  Start off with a weight that will allow you to do ~20 repetitions.  The beginning phase can last up to 4 weeks.  After that, you’ll want to decrease the number of exercises for the lower body to about 4 or 5, and increase the weight slowly to eventually allow for 6-8 repetitions.  The upper body exercises can remain at 15-20 repetitions.  You can still do 2-3 sessions a week for the remainder of the off season.  As spring approaches, male athletes can get away with nearly eliminating weight training from their program while women and those 40 and older should continue to lift year round as the lower levels of testosterone in women and in older athletes is lower than for men in their physical prime, so muscle mass is generally lost slowly over time. (Note from Darryl: Even if you’re only doing a couple effective exercises per week…it’s definitely going to help you out)

Below is a list of exercises to choose from.  Remember to listen to your body, do what you enjoy and add variety every 3-4 weeks!

Lower Body:

1-Step-up using a stable bench or chair with or without free weights in each hand held at the side, alternating legs with which you step up with.

2-Walking lunges with or without free weights in each hand held at the side and walk across the floor.  Make sure that when you perform these, the knee doesn’t extend past the foot.

3-Squats with or without free weights held resting on top of the shoulder; again making sure the knee doesn’t extend past the foot.

4-One-legged squat : A variation on the traditional squat and is a great exercise that utilized core stability.  Only do this if you don’t have knee problems!  Hold your body and free weights in each hand resting on top of the shoulders like you were doing a squat, but lift one leg off the ground and extend behind your body.  Be sure that when you squat that you don’t extend your knee past your foot.  Complete one entire set on one leg before switching to the other.

Upper Body:

1-Chest fly lying on your back on a stable bench using free weights or tension band .

2-Chest press lying on your back on a stable bench using free weights or tension band.

3-Push-ups with or without knees on the ground.

4-Pull-ups ; this is a great exercise but only if you happen to have a supported bar already installed in your home.

5-Extended Row : Do these by bending at the waist slightly, having knees slightly bent, and holding a free weight in each hand, arms next to the body and elbows bent at 90º.  Extend your arms out front and then pull all the way back squeezing your back muscles.

Core:

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