When people hear the term ‘resistance training’ they may think of red-faced, painful ordeals involving extraordinary volumes of weight, for which an unbecoming leotard is a necessary evil.
However, we can get sore muscles from a bike ride or a good yoga class, so surely this counts, too?
Resistance training twice a week will keep the metabolism running efficiently, while carrying a healthy amount of muscle mass will make you look toned (NOT bulky) and feel great!
Here are some excellent resistance training exercises if you don’t fancy lifting weights at the gym.
Now the weather’s improving, the last place you want to be is cooped up in the gym. Hiking has numerous health benefits, and you can make the most of the stunning Welsh scenery, too!
Walking over uneven terrain is hard work and, as well as improving cardiovascular health, hiking engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and the muscles in your hips and lower legs all benefit from a good walk.To extend the benefits to your upper body, walk with hiking poles.
When you do yoga poses, you position your body in such a way that you have to support it with your muscles for extended periods of time. Repeated several times, you are lifting weight and increasing muscle endurance!
Balance and inversion poses are great resistance exercises,while the Warrior and Tree poses will improve leg strength.
Cycling is great for developing definition in your leg muscles, but that’s not all. It’s also fantastic for toning your gluteal muscles, particularly when cycling whilst raised off the seat, developing a pert and perfect behind!
Of course, your arms won’t be working as hard as your legs but, in tandem with your chest, shoulders and upper back, your upper body will get a good workout too.
So next time you try and find an excuse to skip the gym, think again. Look at your own favourite sports and pastimes and see if you can tweak them to include some resistance training. We’d love to hear about it – share your ideas on our Twitter page @YesMagNWales.