Many health and fitness experts suggest that strength training is a vital part of any healthy exercise routine. In addition to building muscle, strength training improves flexibility and can help maintain bone density. There are many different types of strength training equipment available that can suit individual needs. Whether a person prefers machines that assist with posture and weight distribution or likes to add to an aerobic workout with a pair of hand weights, the options are nearly limitless.
Some strength training equipment uses pulley systems and weight plates to help improve strength. These weight training machines are a staple of gyms and can be quite effective if used correctly. Some machine strength training equipment allows the user to do just one exercise, but others have a variety of positions and attachments to allow multiple moves. It is important to read instructions carefully before using this type of strength training equipment, as injury can occur both during the exercise and setting up the machine.
Free weights are another type of strength training equipment that many people find useful. These come in many types, from dumbbells to heavily weighted balls. Free weights use the body's own resistance to provide a workout; since the exerciser is usually less stable than on a machine, an added component of posture and core strength is added. It is important to perform moves exactly with this type of strength training equipment, as poor posture or pulling from the wrong place can lead to injury and diminish the effectiveness of the routine.
Some free weights can help provide strength training even with other forms of exercise than simple weight lifting. Lightweight dumbbells and weighted wrist and ankle bands can add a resistance and strength components to a cardiovascular routine like jogging or walking. Even yoga and Pilates can be made more effective by holding weights while performing postures. Adding weights to nearly any type of exercise routine can result in a faster muscle build and a higher calorie burn.
Another type of strength training equipment is the resistance band. These elastic bands comes in a variety of lengths and levels of resistance, and can be a great way to add anaerobic stretches and moves to a routine. Exercises are performed using the resistance of the band like a weight; stretching against the resistance activates the muscles. It's important to find the right level of resistance band, as too much pressure can cause the band to snap painfully.