Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guest Post: 4 Ways to Fit Weights into your Workouts

Good morning, everyone!  Today is my last day of work before Thanksgiving break.  It's also that time of year where teachers and students (and math coaches!) are ready for a mental break, so I'm excited to have a few days off!

I'm so excited to have a guest post for you today!  Today's post is from Julie, a RWP reader, who wanted to share some great tips with you :)

Hi all, I am Julie Roberts, a proud wife, SAHM, runner, outdoorsy nature lover, and a fitness fanatic! I also love to write and now that I am a full-time SAHM I have a lot more time to focus on it! Thankfully for me, Amy has been wonderful enough to let me share my writing with you, her readers, on her awesome blog. So for today, I have some of my favorite ways to fit weights into your workouts, I hope you enjoy it! Here’s my email if you have any questions or would like to get in touch!

You know, there isn’t much more that I like than a good, hard run. I put on my headphones, head outside and pound the pavement for a while. It’s a good exercise that allows me to clear my head. But sometimes I need a little more. After all, running only exercises certain muscle groups in my legs and core. It doesn’t do much for my arms at all. When I’m itching to beef up my workout, I add weights. But that doesn’t mean I need to spend hours in the gym. Below are a few of my own tips for adding weights into your workout.

1. Wrist and Ankle Weights
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When I wanted to start lifting weights, I wasn’t sure how. It seemed like it might be a lot of weight to add. And I was worried I’d end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end. But, come to find it’s not the actual lifting of weights that will have you looking that way, but also what you are eating, along with many other factors. If you’re like me and you want to start slow, try wrist and ankle weights. I like these because they don’t have a ton of weight. You barely notice that you’re wearing them. But boy, do they pay off.

2. Dumbbells
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Once I was ready to do some proper weightlifting, I decided to get a set of dumbbells. I wanted to have some small ones that I could use while I went out walking. Now, you can spend a fortune buying dumbbells in a variety of weights. After researching, I decided to go with a set of dumbbells from Beachbody that have multiple weights to choose from. Once I got the set, I had to figure out where to use them. Besides doing bicep curls and the like, I found that I got a lot of traction out of using those dumbbells while I did squats. Either with my arms down or straight out in front of me, the weights added a layer of complexity to my workout.

3. Medicine Balls and Kettle Bells
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I knew that I had arrived in the exercise world when I started looking at medicine balls and kettle bells. They seem fairly insignificant, especially the ones that only weigh 3-5 lbs. Just wait. I got my start doing Pilates, and I felt fairly confident that my core was absolutely awesome. But the day I started using a medicine ball in combination with some other stretching exercises, I thought I was going to die. It worked my muscles in ways I could only have dreamed about before. I will say that kettle bells can be tricky at first, but I watched a few how-to videos and felt comfortable in no time.

4. Resistance Bands
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Sometimes I wonder why there doesn’t seem to be much love for resistance bands in the wide world of weightlifting workouts. Resistance bands, in fact, are quite versatile. They’re inexpensive, for those of us who cannot afford the more expensive equipment. They’re small, and therefore portable and easy to store. And you can adjust the weight you put on your muscles and joints simply by changing the way you use them. What’s not to love about resistance bands? I have a set that I keep in my car for when I need to work out in a pinch but don’t have the time to head to the gym or bring my bulky equipment with me.
My personal philosophy regarding fitness and exercise is that it should be a varied approach. I try not to perform any one style of exercise in much greater quantities than others. I feel that in order to be totally fit, I need to work as many muscle groups as I can throughout the week. Using weights helps me achieve this goal, through easy additions to my existing workouts.

Thank you so much, Julie, for your fantastic advice!  I hope that you all learned something new, whether you are a beginner in the fitness world or more advanced.

Question for you: In what ways do you fit weights into your workouts?

***Disclaimer: Images were found via Google search.  I (Amy) do not necessarily endorse those image sources or guarantee their security or validity.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Thanks Amy and Julie. I defintely need some more weights in my life!