What is Resistance Exercise?
Resistance exercise includes 'pushing', 'pulling' or 'lifting' activities, in which the muscles work against some form of resistance to overcome an opposing force. The resistance can be provided by body weight (e.g. push-ups), hand-held weights - free weights (e.g. dumbbells), or pushing or pulling using machines as resistance - fixed weights.
Resistance exercises include:
- Weight training e.g. bicep curl with dumbbell
- Calisthenics or body weight exercises such as push-ups, squats, or lunges.
- Gymnastics or plyometric exercises (hopping bounding e.g. jump squats
- Some styles of Yoga / pilates
- Weight-bearing gym classes such as F45, CrossFit or Les Mills Pump
- Water resistance e.g. swimming
What are the Benefits of Resistance Exercise?
The benefits of resistance exercise can last well after you have finished your work out. Resistance exercise helps to retain or build muscle, and the preservation of lean muscle mass increases your metabolism. A higher metabolism is a good thing as you burn more energy all day. You even burn more kilojoules at rest, which makes weight loss easier.
The idea that you burn more kilojoules even after your workout has finished is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or oxygen debt. It is difficult to say how long this lasts for, as this depend on the duration and intensity of the exercise. The intensity of exercise seems to be particularly important in terms of increasing the afterburn effect of resistance exercise.
- Alternating strength training exercises between upper and lower body movements, with short rest intervals, places a high demand on your body and may lead to a greater after burn effect.
Long Term Benefits of Resistance Exercise:
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
- Reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Help to control your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Prevent unhealthy weight gain and help with weight loss
- Create opportunities for you to socialise with other people
- Help to improve your mood and self-esteem
- Help you to develop and maintain overall physical and mental well-being
- Injury prevention/rehabilitation
Regular resistance exercise is particularly beneficial to help strengthen your muscles as well as:
- Manage blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Improve your posture, balance and mobility
- Reduce the risk of falls or injury
- Assist in weight management
- Increase muscle mass/physical performance
When we asked members what they liked about resistance exercise, most people told us they liked the improvements in strength, the associated health benefits and muscle toning and fat loss as a result of doing regular resistance exercise training.
Advantages for Weight Loss:
Some people find exercise hard, especially if they are overweight or obese. But with weight loss exercise does become easier.
The overweight and obese members we surveyed were more resistant to resistance exercise than those of a healthy weight but importantly they were equally aware of the benefits of doing muscle strengthening exercises for weight loss. The benefits of resistance exercise are especially important for overweight or obese individuals. For example, insulin resistance is more common in overweight individuals and is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Doing regular resistance exercise results in improvements in blood sugar control reducing this risk.
Things do get in the way of us wanting to do resistance exercise. Knowing what to do, how to do it and where you can do it are all common barriers to resistance exercise. Going to a gym can be a little daunting, particularly when you feel it will be full of fit young people. So knowing exercises that you can do anywhere to help build strength is important.
Potential barriers such as being worried about getting injured, and feeling uncomfortable doing resistance exercise were other common barriers for the obese individuals we surveyed. Like with any new exercise program, it is important to start slowly, progress slowly through the exercises, and build up your intensity over time.
A combination of both resistance exercise and cardio exercise is best for weight loss.
Note: is it important to have the correct form when doing a resistance exercise to avoid injury and get the maximum benefit. Ensure you follow the directions on your exercise plan, and research on the internet the correct form if you are unsure. You can also see a personal trainer for professional help with resistance training.
Resistance Exercise Plan:
We currently offer a Resistance Exercise Plan. You can change your exercise plan at any time. To do this select > Settings > Exercise Preferences.
You will automatically be put into week 1 of the new exercise program.