All strength training sessions should begin with a warm-up period of at least 10-15 minutes and conclude with a cool-down period of similar duration. Resistance exercise is strenuous. If you do not prepare adequately for muscular exertion, you place yourself at risk of injury.
Before you begin each strength exercise, make certain that you and the equipment are positioned properly. If you are at the gym and don’t know how to set up your equipment, ask for help. As you position yourself for an exercise, you should feel balanced – spine, head and shoulders erect, your chin up and looking straight ahead.
All exercises should be performed with smooth, slow, controlled movements in both the positive and negative phases of every repetition. There is no need tor quick jerking movements in adult strength training for health.
In almost all strength exercises, the proper breathing sequence in performing a repetition is as follows:
- Before you begin, inhale moderately through your nose so that your chest expands and rises slightly;
- As you begin to move the resistance, begin to exhale by blowing out gently and slowly through rounded lips:
- Continue to exhale throughout the positive phase of the rep.
If you feel joint pain or some other type of abnormal discomfort during the course of an exercise, stop immediately. Do not try to “work through the pain.” Simple!