Strength training can be a great way to increase your muscle mass but lifting weights isn’t for everyone. However, gaining muscle tissue and increasing your strength does have a lot of benefits. From increasing your metabolism to improving bone density, there a variety of reasons to focus on increasing your strength. If you want to optimize your health but bicep curls and squats aren’t your thing, take a look at these four ways to increase your strength without lifting weights:
It’s well-known that running is an effective way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, but many people don’t realize that it can be a great way to gain muscle too. When you undertake steady-state cardio, it causes the amount of growth hormone in your system to spike. This hormone is essential for muscle-building, which is why running can have a positive impact on strength training. Crucially, the longer you run, the higher your levels of growth hormone will be, so focus on increasing your endurance if you want to make the biggest gains.
As you might expect, running primarily builds muscle in the lower half of your body. If you’re used to skipping ‘leg day’ at the gym, a run will give you the chance to increase strength in your calves, glutes, and hamstrings.
Similarly, cycling is known for its cardiovascular benefits, but it can have a surprising impact on muscle tissue as well. Even with relatively low resistance, cycling will help you to build your glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. Of course, if you want to increase the intensity of your workout, you only need to change gears and increase the resistance to build muscle tissue more quickly.
As cycling is low impact, it’s ideal if joint pain or stiffness is preventing you from lifting weights. In addition to this, it can be a budget-friendly way to pursue a new fitness hobby. While you’ll need to have access to a functional bike, you’ll only need to invest in safety equipment to get your new fitness regime underway. However, you may want to insure bicycle from theft, particularly if you’re treating yourself to a new bike. With Velosurance, you can arrange insurance bicycle from theft that includes cover for accidental damage and liability protection, as well as roadside assistance.
3) Rock Climbing
If you love being outdoors and you prefer activity-based fitness, rock climbing could be the ultimate way to build muscle and increase your strength. After all, there’s nothing more motivating than dangling over the side of a cliff!
When you climb, you’ll need to use muscles from all the areas in your body, which makes it an effective way to condition virtually all of your muscles. However, it’s your arms, back, and core that will benefit the most.
While climbing can be a great outdoor pursuit, you don’t need to rely on good weather to keep up with your training plan. You’ll find plenty of indoor climbing walls in cities and towns all over the country, as well as beginner’s classes and one-to-one training.
Swimming is another form of low-impact exercise that can transform your cardiovascular fitness and increase your strength. When you’re swimming, you’ll use your lower back and core to pull your body out of the water as you breathe, your shoulders and upper back to increase your reach, your arm muscles to pull you forwards and your legs to propel you through the water. All in all, it’s a great way to get an all-over body workout.
By varying your swimming routine, you can even work on particular muscles and increase strength in particular areas. Breaststroke works your lats and pecs a little more than freestyle, for example. In addition to this, swimming with a kickboard ensures that your legs get a focused workout while using a pull buoy has the opposite effect and increases the intensity on your forearms, upper arms, and shoulders.
Should You Focus on Increasing Strength?
Many people assume that it’s only worth increasing your strength or lifting weights if you want to get a bodybuilder’s physique. In fact, some people actively avoid strength training because they don’t want to look ‘too ripped’. If this is a concern, then there’s really no need to worry. Bodybuilders spend years perfecting their physique, so there’s no danger of building mega muscles overnight!
However, increasing your strength can do more than simply tone your body. It can reduce your risk of injury and protect your bones, speed up weight loss and boost your energy levels. With so many benefits associated with increasing your strength, this should be an important part of your fitness regime. Whether you want to lift weights in the gym, try new sports or use a combination of activities, it’s well worth making muscle gains one of your fitness goals.