February 13, 2011 |
Strength training has strong-armed its way beyond the realm of bodybuilding. A growing body of research shows that working out with weights has health benefits beyond simply bulking up one's muscles and strengthening bones. Studies are finding that more lean muscle mass may allow kidney dialysis patients to live longer, give older people better cognitive function, reduce depression, boost good cholesterol, lessen the swelling and discomfort of lymphedema after breast cancer and help lower the risk of diabetes.
February 13, 2011
How much strength training is enough to build muscles and garner some health benefits? Kent Adams, director of the exercise physiology lab at Cal State Monterey Bay, says most healthy people can follow the basic guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine, which recommends doing eight to 12 repetitions of eight to 10 strength-training exercises twice a week. (That's in addition to doing moderately intense cardio workouts for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.) But how can you tell whether you're using enough weight to build muscle?
February 6, 2011 |
Just two days after the start of the winter strength-and-conditioning program, Jim Poggi, a University of Iowa freshman football player, called his father to report that his body ached from the intense workouts. The pain in his arms and legs had not subsided even after a weekend of rest. "He called afterwards and said it was hard work and he was very, very sore," Biff Poggi said of his son. By the third day of workouts, on Jan. 24, it was clear something had gone terribly wrong.
January 10, 2011 |
My son is 12 years old, and he's going through a lot of changes in his life, most of which he'd rather not see published in this column. However, there is one change I have permission to relay: He's started lifting weights under my supervision. I can already hear the protestations of physicians and parents. "Blasphemy!" they cry. "It's not safe!" Many of them believe that weight training should wait until the end of puberty because it can cause serious, growth-stunting injury.
December 28, 2010 |
Strength training mostly consists of concentric exercises (when the muscles shorten to lift something, as in lifting a weight to do a bicep curl) and eccentric exercises (when the muscles lengthen to lower something). But could one action provide more benefits than the other? A study found that half an hour of eccentric exercise a week boosted muscle strength and lowered insulin resistance more than concentric exercise. Twenty women were randomly assigned to an exercise group that did either concentric or eccentric movements once a week for eight weeks.
May 10, 2010 |
Of the hundreds of exercise gadgets that have graced TV airwaves over the years, only a handful ever become big-time sellers and even fewer become cultural phenomenons. The Shake Weight is definitely in that rarified category. Over 3.6 million people have watched the Shake Weight ad on YouTube, and millions more saw the device featured on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and spoofed on "Saturday Night Live." If you've somehow missed the hoopla, an introduction is in order. The Shake Weight is a 2.5 pound dumbbell-shaped device with spring-loaded weights on each end. Instead of simply lifting the Shake Weight, users are instructed to grip it with two hands and shake it up and down as if priming a bottle of soda to explode.
June 8, 2009 |
More is better when it comes to alleviating lower back pain -- more exercise, that is. Although many people who suffer from back pain don't exercise, fearing it will exacerbate the problem, a recent study found that exercising four days a week gave people greater relief from back pain than working out fewer times per week or not at all.
April 27, 2009 |
Here's a move that combines yoga with strength training for double the payoff. You'll strengthen your arms and back while targeting your abs, buttocks and legs. -- Karen Voight 1 Standing with your feet together, hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms dropped straight in front of you. Inhale and shift your body weight over your right leg. On an exhale, lean forward and raise your left leg behind you. Keep your abdominals pulled in to support your spine.
January 19, 2009 |
Even the prospect of weight training can be intimidating. How much weight should you lift? How often? What muscle groups need to be worked? To help sort it all out, we called on trainer Mike Alexander, owner of MADfit, a private Beverly Hills training studio. Alexander, who did post-graduate work at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, has trained celebrities such as Jessica Simpson and Kristin Chenoweth.
October 27, 2008 |
This is the beginning position for two similar exercises that will strengthen your bicep, shoulder and chest muscles using light dumbbells. If you are new to strength training, stick with the bent-arm version. As you get stronger, progress to the extended-arm version for a more intense workout. -- Karen Voight -- 1 Holding a light dumbbell in each hand, bend your arms out to the side with your elbows at shoulder level. Keep your arms level and close them in front of your chest (not shown).