Why do we need to be strong? Strength allows us to withstand the daily stresses of life. This also holds true to our muscles. If our muscles are strong, we are able to increase our ability to do more physical activities like lifting heavy weights or doing sports. If our muscles are strong, we also reduce our risk for injuries and help us maintain a healthy body weight. Muscle strength increases our confidence and improves the way we feel about ourselves.
So, how can you improve muscle strength? You can do this through muscle strengthening exercises. Muscle strengthening exercises are those that strengthen the muscles of your back, abdomen, shoulders, neck, knees and wrists. They make you more flexible and less susceptible to injuries. These exercises can make your muscles work against resistance. These exercises can also increase your muscle mass and make you burn more calories. These exercises include the following:
Squats are good for strengthening your hips, buttocks and thighs. In doing squats, stand first with your feet slightly more than a shoulder-width apart. Also extend your arms so that they become parallel to the ground. Lean forward a little at your hips and lower yourself slowly until you reach a near-sitting position. Then slowly rise to a standing position and keep your back straight. Repeat this exercise for 10 times for one set.
Wall pushups can strengthen your shoulders, arms and chest. This is a modified version of the floor pushup. Find a wall which is clear of objects and face that wall. Then, lean your body forward and place your palms flat against the wall at shoulder-height. Then, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body towards the wall. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Then, after three counts, push yourself back to your starting position slowly. You can repeat this exercise 10 times for 1 set.
Toe stands are a great way to strengthen your calves and toes. It can also restore stability and balance. Find a counter or sturdy chair. Next, stand with your feet wide apart and use the counter of chair as your support. Then, slowly push up as far as you can and stand on your toes and hold for five seconds and release. You can repeat this exercise for 10 times each set.
The finger marching exercise strengthens your fingers, hands and arms. It also strengthens your upper body grip and increases flexibility of your back, shoulders and arms. In performing this exercise, stand or sit in an arm chair with your feet on the ground. Then imagine that there is a wall in front of you. Slowly walk your fingers up the wall until your arms are above your head. Wriggle your fingers for about 10 seconds while holding them overhead. Then slowly walk your fingers back down the imaginary wall.
Biceps curls can give you the strength to lift heavy things. You will need a dumbbell in this exercise. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand or sit in an armless chair and slowly lift up the weights until your forearms rotate and your palms are facing downwards. Keep your wrists parallel to the floor. Then, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Other exercises you can try are step-ups, overhead press, hip abduction, knee extension, knee curl, pelvic tilt and floor back extension. The mentioned exercises are simpler ones however and can be as effective as the latter in improving muscle strength.
This post was submitted by Terry Wood from the US Insurance website. He writes about various topics related to health and its impact on insurance.