Exercises to help gain muscle strength
To begin strengthening your muscles you need to engage in resistance training. This involves performing a series of exercises where you lift a weight that you are unaccustomed to for a specific amount of repetitions. This type of training can provide significant functional benefits and improvements in overall health and well-being. These improvements include: increased bone density, improved muscle mass and joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased metabolism and improved cardiac function.
As with aerobic exercise there is a set FITT guideline to bring about the above physical outcomes.
Frequency (How many days per week do I need to engage in muscle strengthening exercise)
- 2-3 days/week
Intensity (How hard do I need to be working when I’m doing my muscle strengthening exercise)
- Moderate* intensity
Time (How long should a muscle strengthening session last for)
- Approx. 30-40 minutes – complete 8-10 exercises per set and aim to complete 2-4 sets.
Type (Examples of muscle strengthening exercise)
- Resistance exercises like the ones in our Resistance Training at home booklet.
*It is important that you perform your muscle strengthening exercises at a moderate intensity. In this instance, moderate intensity refers to the amount of times you can lift a weight during an exercise. Ideally you want to select a weight for each exercise that you can lift 12 times. If you can easily perform 15 repetitions of an exercise, the weight is low intensity and not enough of a challenge to strengthen your muscles. Likewise if you struggle to perform 8 repetitions, the weight is high intensity and not appropriate. You can download our Resistance Training at home booklet which will explain this is a little more detail.
Please read page 8 of our Resistance Training at Home booklet for important general instructions for resistance training at home.