Best Ways for Strengthening and Building Muscle
Different types of resistance training exist for strengthening and building muscle, also known as hypertrophy. Examples include static cable machines, bodyweight, free weight, and dynamic/variable weight.
Static cable machines are great for isolating large muscle groups in a low risk manner. This is ideal for novices, people exercising after long sedentary periods, or those recovering/suffering from an injury. Although they’re the easiest and safest form of resistance training, the exercises don’t transfer well to daily activities. Most machines require movement of one joint at a time with minimal use of the core and stabilizer muscles, which can lead to major joint deficits.
Body weight exercise focuses on using stabilizers and core muscles. Most movements are multiple joint exercises that require an individual to control their body through space. Body weight exercise is the primary way to improve balance and work on your abdominals. However, there’s little control over how much weight you are moving, causing these exercises to be too hard or too easy for many people.
Free weight exercise involving dumbbells, kettle bells, and barbells is one of the most functional forms of exercise because it strengthens multiple muscle groups at once. When proper technique is used, it has the highest yield for muscle growth and strengthening. Although, without proper training, technique, or safety measures (like having a spotter), there is a high risk of injury.
Dynamic or variable resistance is similar to free weights, but it uses functional, changing weight with variation. This includes lifting/exercising with chains or bands, doing exercises on an unbalanced or moving surface, or lifting of “awkward weight,” famous for appearing in Strongman, Highland Games, and Crossfit. Although dynamic resistance has the same positive attributes as free weight, a lot of the equipment can’t fit nor is found in most commercial gyms and if done incorrectly, has a high probability of risk/injury.
All forms of resistance training can result in increases of strength and muscle mass. However, the training programs that have the best results incorporate a combination of these kinds of resistance equipment, starting with the most challenging movements in the beginning of the work out and ending with the easiest movements after the muscles have become fatigued.