As you continue to slim down throughout your weight-loss journey, it’s important that you do strength training along with your cardio routine. While cardio exercise will help you drop pounds, it won’t tone all your muscle groups, which could result in saggy, loose skin. However, combining strength training with cardio exercise will help tone and tighten your skin, and allow you to look your best as you continue to lose weight.
If you’re already doing strength training exercises but are failing to see major improvements in muscle tone and definition, it’s possible you need to switch up your routine and work new, different muscle groups. Or, you may need to increase your resistance level and lift heavier weights.
No matter what your obstacles may be, try practicing these three steps that will help you improve your muscle definition.
1. Start a new routine with a new instructor
In most cases, a new strength-training routine is all you need to kick-start your muscles into building more effectively. For example, if you’re using elastic resistance bands, switch to doing body-weight exercises. If you’re already doing body-weight exercises, switch to using free weights. Doing new types of exercises will often wake up certain muscles you never knew you had!
If you don’t already work with a fitness instructor, it’s possible that you could be practicing incorrect form, which would explain why your muscles aren’t getting stronger. Make an appointment with a fitness instructor, or watch instructional DVDs or online videos that will show you how to do certain strength-training exercises while using the proper form.
2. Mentally focus on your muscles during workouts
If your mind isn’t on your workout, then you won’t see stellar progress, and that goes for any type of workout you do. Instead of rushing to the gym and rushing through your workout just to get it over with, mentally prepare yourself for your workout and focus on working as hard as you can while you’re doing it. Be in the moment so you can truly focus on practicing proper form and on converting fat into muscle. If you’re distracted or thinking about other things while you’re exercising, chances are your breathing patterns and energy expenditure won’t be where they need to be.
In the hour or two before your workout, think about the exercises you’re going to do and about how long you’re going to do them. Take time to update your workout music playlist, and do whatever it takes to get your head into your workout.
3. Be more positive about your workouts
Your mind plays a larger role in weight loss than you think. If you’re feeling skeptical or cynical about the effect your workouts will have on your body, then you’re not going to be very successful at losing weight. Be more positive about your strength-training routine, and think about how each rep will contribute to a stronger, more healthier you. If you find yourself dreading your workouts, find a new routine that will keep you happy and excited about exercise. The more positive you are, the more successful you’ll be at weight loss.
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