4 Reasons Why You Should Focus on Strength in 2020
What if we told you that focusing on one area of fitness this year will have the biggest impact on your overall results?
It will help you lose weight.
It will help you build muscle and improve your overall health and fitness.
It will reduce injuries, aches, and pains.
In 2020 we want you to simply focus on getting stronger.
We are here to make getting into the best shape of your life easier and it all starts with improving your strength.
In 2020 we're going all in on strength training.
Let's get into why!
1| Strength is your fitness foundation
Think of your overall fitness as a house. You want the biggest and nicest fitness house in 2020 and we're going to build it.
It all starts with your strength.
Your overall strength is the foundation of that house. Without that foundation it doesn't matter how big your house is, it will fail. In fitness terms, this means you wont reach your potential or worse, get injured.
With a strong foundation of strength, everything else fitness related only gets better.
Your running improves. Your yoga improves. Your cardio improves. Your workout intensity improves.
Here are two examples:
As part of your workout, you're doing burpees. The burpee requires you to get down to your hands, kick your feet out, hit a push-up, kick in, stand up, and jump.
Think about the level of strength it takes to control your body-weight and get up and down in a quick manner.
Now imagine completing burpees with a really strong upper body, core, and legs. Now it's easier to get down and get up which means we can do more burpees in a shorter time. This gets us even stronger and allows us to workout at a higher intensity -- more fat-loss, more calories burned, better results.
Or you're a runner.
Running requires a level of strength on each and every stride to push off the ground and propel yourself forward.
Now imagine getting really strong with lower-body exercises like lunges and squats. Stronger legs make you more efficient. In other words, you don't need to use as much effort on each stride. This equals faster running times, less time to fatigue, more miles, more fat-loss, etc.
Get stronger and everything else fitness related gets better.
2| It's measurable
One of the great aspects of focusing on strength in 2020 is that it's measurable.
You can easily track and see progress with various strength exercises like the ones we will highlight below.
This isn't as easy with other modes of fitness like cardio.
When it comes to 2020 fitness improvement, progress is the name of game.
The great thing about progress is that it builds momentum. This keeps you excited, motivated, and seeing fantastic results.
Simply increasing your weight, reps, or sets is such an easy way to continue to improve and work toward your goals.
3| Injury prevention
Getting stronger with strength training is one of the most important aspects of injury prevention.
Adding strength is like bulletproofing your body against injury, both in and outside of the gym.
First, strength works to protect your joints. It keeps your ankles, knees, hips, spine, and shoulders stabile and avoids unwanted movement and torque that can cause pain.
Strong abs keep your low-back safe. Strong hips and legs protect your knees. Having strong upper-body muscles like your rotator cuff work to protect your shoulders.
A lack of strength makes it harder to control your body, especially during your workouts, drastically increasing your risk for injury.
4| Ease of daily life
Just as added strength transfers to improving your fitness, it transfers to ease of daily life as well.
Getting stronger will help you with everyday tasks like going up and down the stairs, doing laundry and yard work.
When you're stronger, you simply don't need to use as much effort to do your normal daily tasks.
Everything gets easier. Walking. Climbing, Jogging. Shoveling. Carrying your kids or grandkids. Bringing in groceries. You name it!
Not only will strength improve your ease of doing your daily activities, it will drastically improve your ability to do them without injury.
Tired of hurting your back lifting objects? You're in luck.
The strength exercises below will not only get you stronger, they will teach you to move and lift in a way to protect your joints like your low-back.
Here's how you do it:
1st - Focus on getting stronger with these exercises:
Not all strength exercises are created equal.
The exercises below are hand picked to improve your total-body strength, bulletproof your body against injury, and improve your daily life.
The goblet squat is our favorite lower-body strengthening exercise. It works your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. The strength of these muscles is crucial for your workout performance and injury prevention, especially at your knees.
The push-up is our favorite upper-body strength exercise. It targets your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.
The split-squat is a great lower-body exercise that not only strengthens your legs, hips, and core but greatly improves your balance. It is a great exercise for improving workout performance in exercises like running and ease of daily activities like walking up stairs.
The kettlebell deadlift is fantastic strength exercise that targets your glutes and hamstrings or the back of your legs. Strength in this areas is crucial for reducing low-back and knee pain and increasing workout performance. Learning how to properly deadlift is a key factor in keeping your low-back safe by teaching you to lift object properly using your legs and not your low-back.
1-Arm Kettlebell or Dumbbell Row
The 1-arm row is a great exercise for targeting the often neglected muscles between your shoulder blades. These muscles typically weaken as our posture worsens and our shoulders roll forward. Keeping these muscles strong greatly improves your posture and is a huge aspect of keeping your shoulders strong and pain-free.
Front and Side Planks
Planks are the most important exercise to master in 2020. They transfer to you being better and stronger at just about everything in and out of the gym. The plank really challenges and strengthens your core muscles like your abdominals and obliques. First, getting these muscles strong is crucial for low-back injury prevention. These muscles work to stabilize your spine and resist unwanted twisting, bending, and torque. Secondly, a strong core is a must for fitness success as it's involved in just about every exercise. It allows for more workout intensity and duration, equaling better results.
The sled is a favorite among our members here at DSC! They are incredibly joint friendly and a fantastic exercise to strengthen your legs and hips. You're going to love these and will be shocked by how much weight you can push!
2nd - Track your progress and improve:
Once you start your strength training routine, it's crucial that you track your progress in some way.
This will allow you to know what you've done in previous workouts so you can continuously improve.
Each workout you can make a mental note of or simply record the weights you use and how many reps & sets you complete on your exercises.
From there, the goal is to improve week to week.
You can improve your strength each workout by:
Increasing the weight you use
Completing more sets of each exercise
Completing more reps of each exercise
Slowing down the pace of each exercise (controlling the exercise more)
Increasing the duration of the exercise (example: how long you hold plank)