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Resistance exercise typically is comprised of a strength-training workout that uses some form of resistance or tension. It is used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles, such as biceps or quadriceps. Resistance training can be done using free weights, elastic bands or the person’s own body weight and has become a common feature in comprehensive workout plans. Many people do different types of resistance exercises along with cardiovascular exercises to help build and tone muscle mass as well as lose weight.
There are many forms of resistance exercises that can be done with free weights and circuit training machines. To tone and build arm muscles, some people do arm curls, biceps curls and triceps curls. For stronger shoulders, many people use free weights to do forward arm raises, lateral raises, chest presses and rotator cuff exercises. When people want to strengthen leg muscles, they often do dumbbell squats and other resistance training exercises that work the hamstrings, gluteal and quadriceps muscles.
Some resistance exercises are done with the person’s own body weight. They include pull-ups, push-ups, basic crunches, lunges, rear leg lifts and triceps dips. There are also many tools to help get better resistance, such as elastic resistance bands and fitness balls. One of the most important features of this type of strength training is the need for a full range of motion in the exercise movement, because a person can experience muscle overload if only the specific muscle joint angles are worked.
Resistance exercise, or strength training, can usually be found in many different types of workouts, so a person doesn’t have to be a gym rat to get the benefits of the exercise. Yoga, which uses the majority of core muscles, is one way to begin resistance training. Dance classes, which utilize many leg lifts and moves, is another type of exercise that utilizes some form of resistance training. Swimming is another form of resistance exercise that uses water as the resistor.
There are many benefits of incorporating resistance exercise into a regular workout regimen. When done over time, this type of workout can build muscles, strengthen the core and increase bone mass. Other benefits might include reduced body fat, improved mobility for older people, lowered heart rate and lowered blood pressure. Before incorporating a resistance exercise into a current program, one should always talk to a health professional to ensure there are no health risks. It might be beneficial to speak with a personal trainer to find out which strength training exercises best fit a person’s body type and fitness goals, as well.