There are lots of different types of resistance training, and as we home personal trainers know it’s not just about going to the gym and doing weights; resistance can be applied in lots of different ways.Over the next few blogs I’ll be looking at a few of the more common ones..
Free weights; these can be barbells, dumb-bells, or medicine balls, as well as lots of other gizmos and gadgets out there on the market. Free weights are called this because they are moved by your muscles in open chain exercises, where the weight is free to move about on the point of resistance. A good example of this would be a chest press, where you push up a pair of dumb-bells up while lying on a bench. The weights are not fixed to an immovable object (like a wall, machine or the earth) but are free to move around as you push them up. The staple of the home personal trainer, these free weights have the advantage of being proprioceptively enriched. This just means that they require a lot more co-ordination and control not just from the main muscles pushing the weight but also from the stabilisers and helpers (fixators and synergists as they are known in the trade). In this way free-weights not only challenge the muscles but also the brain and the way it communicates with the muscles, providing balanced training . This type of exercise is more functional (we do these movements in every day life) and therefore more effective for most people. The only disadvantage of free weights is that the learning curve can be quite steep, so beginners need to be monitored to ensure correct technique and form; this is why they are really good for personal training at home.