10 Ways to Build Strength Without the Size
Want to get stronger without having to bulk up and pack on the pounds? Follow these 10 easy programming tips.
9. Stand Stable
Strength training shouldn’t be a circus act, however; a picture of someone squatting on an exercise ball seems to surface on Facebook from time to time. Lately, it has been trendy to “functional train,” which means standing on unstable surfaces to activate more core muscles. This type of training is unsafe and best left in the rehab realm (but, not squatting on an exercise ball!). It reduces the load you can use and the amount of force you’re able to produce. Full-body coordination takes precedence, which reduces the training effect for increasing strength. For the best strength and power training results, stand on stable ground.
10. No Static Stretching
Traditionally, we were told to static stretch prior to working out to increase our flexibility, which was thought to reduce our injury risk. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, warmups consisting of dynamic exercises are now recommended to prepare you for your exercise session or competition. Static stretching has been shown to negatively influence strength and power production, speed, jump performance, and agility. To better prepare you for your strength- and plyometric training-type workouts, save your static stretching for after the session.