Weight training boosts energy for both sexes

By Barbara Trevino


Whether you’re looking into getting in shape for spring break or summer, it is always important to incorporate weight training into your gym regimen.

Weight training is not just for men — women can benefit also! Women are often under the impression if they lift weights, they will get bulky. However, this is one of the most common misconceptions associated with weightlifting. Some of the benefits of weight training include toning muscles, improving balance and posture, and increasing energy levels. Spectrum Athletic Club personal trainer Cesar Reyes and I teamed up this month to demonstrate simple weight-training workouts that can be achieved by both men and women.

Dumbbell Bench Press

a. Select desired weights. Start with both dumbbells in hand directly above your shoulders. To make this exercise harder, simply lift your legs into a 90-degree angle at the knees and hold.

b. Begin bench press by slowly lowering your dumbbells down towards your chest.  Keep in mind to keep your hands lined up directly at your shoulder plane and to always keep your weights stacked directly over your elbows in relation to the ceiling. Lower to at least a 90-degree angle at the elbows. Return back to starting position while keeping weights stacked as previously described. Do not forget to inhale as the weights lower and exhale as the weights elevate.

Barbell Deadlift

a. Select desired weight and lower barbell to the floor. Approach barbell at hips width. Be sure to keep barbell as close as possible to your shins — this keeps the weight as close as possible to your center of gravity which provides a more efficient lift. Lower hips into a squat position.  Hips should be lined up parallel with the ground at knee level. Maintain neutrality of the upper chest cavity and neck. Place hands outside hip width gait in a prone position.

b&c: Do not compromise any neutrality of the spine and neck. Under control, push through the hips and heels of your feet upward. Keep spine as upright as possible. Lift until hips have reached a standing neutral position. Slowly lower weight back down to the ground in the same capacity as it was lifted. This is a large compound movement and proper breathing is critical. Be sure to exhale on the upward exertion and inhale on the downwards release.

Bodyweight Row

a. Locate a sturdy bar that can support your own bodyweight. A Smith machine is usually the best option. Grab bar at shoulder width facing you. Next, walk your feet under the bar while keeping the bar in contact with your sternum. Maintain neutrality of the entire body, as if in a standing position.

b. Lower body to arm’s length. Under control, slowly pull body back to starting position. Be sure to make contact with bar and fully retract shoulder blades to optimize more posterior muscles of the upper body.  To increase difficulty, simply lower bar to the ground while maintaining all appropriate form as previously described. Exhale as the body travels upward, and inhale as the body lowers.

It has been proven that weight training improves balance and posture, tones muscles, and increases energy levels. By incorporating dumbbell bench presses, bodyweight rows, and barbell deadlifts into your gym routine, you’ll achieve that spring break-and-summer body in no time.


E-mail Trevino at batrevino@student.uiwtx.edu

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