How to Improve Your Strength: The Guide to Get Stronger

If you’re looking for ways to improve your strength, increase your performance, or build more muscle, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, you will understand the best ways to improve your strength, how it relates to muscle building, hypertrophy, strength training for beginners, and much more.

As always, we would like to remind you that this article is not intended to replace any professional or medical advice. We want to share more information to motivate you to exercise and improve your quality of life. If you are a beginner or come from a long period of a sedentary lifestyle, look for your doctor or a specialized professional who can guide you along your fitness journey.

Muscle Building – Does Stronger Means More Muscle?

One of the main goals many people want to increase their strength is building more muscle. Briefly, muscle development happens for three reasons:

  • By an increase in muscle cell numbers;
  • By an increase in muscle fibre diameter;
  • By an increase in fibre length.

Considering that the growth in cell numbers only happens during the prenatal and postnatal periods, your body can only build more muscle in two ways: increasing length or hypertrophying existing muscle fibres.

In this sense, exercise is the perfect tool to trigger these stimuli and promote muscle growth – either by increasing the load or increasing the duration of an exercise. In other words, strength, hypertrophy and resistance training are directly related to increasing muscle mass – although hypertrophy training may be the most suitable for muscle growth.

Hypertrophy vs Strength Training

This study, published by PubMed, sought to compare changes in strength and hypertrophy between low- vs high-load resistance training protocols. Each group worked with one method for at least six weeks, with all sets in the training protocol being performed until momentary muscle failure.

None of the participants had known medical conditions or injuries that impaired training ability, so all could deliver 100% in both training programs. The results indicate that maximum strength benefits are obtained with heavier loads, while muscle hypertrophy can be achieved with different loads.

Regardless of your goal – increasing strength or muscle mass – one thing is sure: your workout must be consistent and intense. You don’t have to go to the gym every day to train like crazy, but you do need to establish a routine – just like studying. It is also necessary that you challenge yourself with each workout since it has to be intense!

If you can do a set while talking to your friend and don’t gasp after finishing the last rep, you’re probably not pushing your body to the limit. Remember that it is the quality of the stimulus that will define your results!

How to Build Muscle Strength

Physical jobs allow you to build muscle strength – like bricklayers – for one simple reason: weight overload and constant repetition. If you use your body strength repeatedly during your day, your body will inevitably adapt (and get stronger) to respond and withstand that stimulus.

The same logic applies to lifting weights, resistance bands workouts, and general exercise. To increase your strength, you will need to progressively increase the load and ensure consistent stimulation for that muscle group.

The rule determining how fast you should progress with a load is simple: from the moment you master a movement with a load, you increase the weight. Remember: you should always prioritize movement quality. If you are progressing with the load and you notice that you can no longer do that exercise with a full range of motion or that your muscles are failing on the first few repetitions, you are not ready yet.

It’s not just about increasing your strength. It’s about avoiding injury and learning to perform each exercise the right way!

Benefits of Strength Training

In addition to making you stronger and with more toned muscles, strength training is an excellent strategy to maintain good overall health. Some of the benefits of this practice are:

  • Lose weight: As with any physical activity, strength training will help with weight loss. Exercise causes your metabolism to increase, which can help you burn extra calories.
  • Manage chronic conditions: Strength training can reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, depression, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Always consult your doctor before engaging in any exercise routine!
  • Develop strong bones: Strength exercises can help increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improve your overall quality of life: Strength exercises help you improve your ability to perform everyday activities and ensure that your body stays active as you age. Exercising regularly ensures that your body maintains muscle mass, improves balance, and strengthens and protects your joints from injury.

Strength Training for Beginners

If you’re beginning your fitness journey and don’t want to start going to the gym, we’ve put together a list of great full-body exercises for building strength. Most of these exercises can be done at home or anywhere you prefer and do not require any investment/spending on equipment.

If you want to learn more about other types of workouts, exercise variations, or the benefits of exercise in general, I strongly recommend that you read our other fitness articles. We have a series of interesting posts on this subject!

1) Push-Ups

Push-ups are – or should be – the foundation of any exercise routine. It is a compound exercise that engages different muscle groups simultaneously, so it is an excellent ally for developing strength in the upper body.

There are several variations of push-ups, with different inclines and grips, which will emphasize other muscle groups. It’s one of the complete exercises you can do for the upper body, simultaneously working your chest, core, arms and shoulders.

2) Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are still incredibly underrated in many fitness routines out there. I understand that there are many options for working out your back, but pull-ups are one of the best options for building strength. We’re talking about another compound exercise that engages different muscle groups simultaneously and will help you take your strength to the next level. Pull-ups work your back, shoulder (moderately), core and arms.

3) Shoulder Tap

Tne shoulder tap is an excellent bodyweight exercise that will help you to develop strength in your core, glutes, arms and shoulders. In addition, this exercise can also help improve the stability of your trunk, reduce lower back pain, and improve your posture.

4) Triceps Dips

As the name suggests, the triceps dips are an excellent exercise for stimulating the triceps. It’s a great option for any fitness routine – whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced. It is an exercise that activates the triceps as few activities do.

4) Plank or Abs Exercises

Any exercise that works on developing core strength will be essential to your routine. A strengthened core helps in many everyday activities, improving your posture and reducing back pain. In addition, core strength is often required for upper and lower body exercises, so you should never stop doing activities that engage these muscle groups.

5) Squats

The squat is the mainstay of lower body exercises. It is an excellent compound exercise that engages different muscle groups simultaneously. By doing squats, you will exercise glutes, quads and hamstrings simultaneously. There are many benefits to squatting and many variations you can use to put more emphasis on different muscle groups.

You will develop the foundation for any lower body strength exercise by improving your squat.

6) Single Leg Deadlift

Another excellent compound exercise for lower body strength development. While this exercise works virtually every muscle in the lower body, it places a little more emphasis on the back of the body. It’s an excellent ally for working glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, and core.

7) Calf Raises

As its name suggests, this exercise focuses on developing calf strength. The calves are often overlooked in exercise routines, so you must work these muscles to have a good distribution of strength in the lower body.

Squats, deadlifts and many other leg exercises don’t give a good boost to your calves, so don’t forget to include this exercise in your routine!

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