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Build Muscle With Strengthening Exercises

How Do I Start Strengthening Exercises?

Start strengthening exercise with light resistance or weights at first. Increase the weight very gradually as your strength increases. Start slowly and allow your body time to adjust.

What About Breathing During Exercise?

Breathe properly when exercising with weights. Never hold your breath during the exercise, and always follow this rhythm:

  • Exhale when pushing against the weight or resistance.
  • Inhale when there is little or no resistance.


How Quickly Do Resistance Exercises Work?

Allow about two weeks for your muscles to get used to resistance exercise. During this time, allow for a day or two off for rest after training. It's during the "rest period" that your muscles strengthen. If you work out daily, you will end up exhausted and sore, increasing the risk of injury, strains, and sprains.

If you stick with your strengthening program, within a few weeks, you'll start to feel stronger, have better posture, and have noticeable muscle definition.

Listen to Your Body

Only you know how much weight or resistance you can handle during exercise. Some teens are extremely strong. Others have muscles that are not used to strengthening exercises.

A teenaged boy may weigh 200 pounds and easily lift heavy weights. A girl the same age might weigh 100 pounds and be able to handle only light weights. Obviously, they each need to choose weights and exercises that "fit" their size and ability.

Talk to your PE coach, your health care provider, or a fitness trainer to find out how to start a strengthening program. Get expert instruction on how to use weight machines or free weights properly.

Most important, listen to your body. If the weight or movement feels like it's too much, then it's too much. Stop, and let your body rest. The next time you work out, start with a lower weight (or no weight). You should feel like you're challenging yourself without causing too much stress to your muscles, heart, and joints. Now, go for it!


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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on February 06, 2014

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