Thursday, April 30, 2009

exercise cadence

For the recreational weight trainer working out at the gym, there are many benefits of exercise. Proper form is important to work the intended muscle group correctly and is also useful in preventing injury. The use of appropriate weights is also an important factor in getting the most out of your gym session.

An often overlooked aspect of weight training is exercise cadence. There are a variety of options you have regarding how you train. It is always good to change up your routine to keep things fresh and also to challenge your muscles with a different style of workout.

Exercise cadence is closely related to exercise form. By slowing your cadence down it forces you to concentrate more on the up and the down motion of each rep. It gives you a better feel for what the proper form of each exercise actually is. If you really begin to feel the burn, then you're on the right track.

Speed of each rep is also related to the weight that you will use to train. A slower cadence will be related to a lighter weight. This shows that more weight is not necessarily better. Certainly, with immaculate form you do want to consider increasing the weight you use but not at a loss in your form.

A cadence that may be worth experimenting with is 4-2-4. Taking a biceps curl as an example, what this means is that on the upward movement you take 4 seconds from start to finish. Then 2 seconds squeeze at the top of the movement. Next from the top position take 4 seconds to return to the beginning.

Doing this for 10-12 reps should set your muscles on fire. Try it out with half the weight that you normally use and adjust up or down if need be. As you work towards your best health and fitness keep exercise cadence in mind as an option to spice up your workout.

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