As a walker, you take great care of yourself, and you understand the importance of complementing your walking program with some resistance training.
Conditioning your muscles will not only tone and sculpt your body but also will also help minimize the risk for injuries, improve your posture, develop your bone density, and rev up your metabolism.
But here's the confusing part—there are literally hundreds of different exercises you could perform to get the results you are looking for. So how do you know which exercises to choose?
Here are a few guidelines to follow when designing your resistance-training program.
Follow a Well-Balanced Program
Generally, you'll want to perform a few compound leg exercises like squats, lunges, and step-ups and a few isolative exercises for the hamstrings, quads, and inner and outer thigh areas. You'll want to perform three to five different exercises for the back like chin-ups, rows, lat pulldowns, reverse flies and extensions, one to three exercises for the chest like presses or pushups, one to two exercises for the shoulders like overhead presses or lateral raises, a set of bicep curls and one to two exercises for the triceps like pressdowns, kickbacks, overhead extensions, or dips.
Round off your program by including some exercises for the core, including crunches, but more importantly, include abdominal stabilization exercises like leg lifts, v-sits or planks. Remember that when you have a strong core, that strength radiates out to the rest of your body. Sets of eight to 15 reps are perfect.
Start With Basic ExercisesIt is necessary to progress from exercises that require the least amount of coordination and balance to exercises that maximally challenge these skills. This means that in the beginning, very basic exercises will do the trick.
As you improve and master the technique of these exercises, then you should advance the program by incorporating more challenging exercises. So in the beginning, weight training machines work great.
You pretty much just have to adjust the machine, sit down, and then push or pull or press. Machines require very little coordination and balance, therefore allowing you the opportunity to focus on your technique, breathing, and slow speed for each repetition. But eventually you will want to incorporate tools that will help you advance your skills, avoid training plateaus, and ensure you continue experiencing great results.
Hand weights, pulleys, stability balls, and medicine balls are fitness products that you will want to utilize as you advance. But remember—it is always important that you follow the appropriate gradual progression. You definitely do not want to attempt more challenging exercises without having first laid a good, solid foundation.