Tomorrow we’ll start week four of the SELF Better Together Challenge. Can you even believe?! To finish out week three strong, we’ll be completing a five-move strength building workout, no pun intended. Let’s get this started, Team SELF!
For today’s workout, we’re getting funky with some moves that will have you twisting and dipping, using your bodyweight to build strength and work up resistance. But before we begin, let’s get one thing straight if we haven’t already: Being strong is good for you. Sure, a strength building workout can help you do more strength building workouts more easily. If that’s your goal, awesome! But strength training has a bunch of other great benefits too. First of all, it’s one of the best ways to help your body stay functional and healthy in the long run, as SELF previously explained. Having strong hips, for example, might help someone stop themselves from falling (and thus preventing an injury), which becomes increasingly important as you age. And then there are the more obvious benefits of being strong: Everyday activities, like carrying groceries, chasing after kids, or squatting down to grab something can feel easier too.
Something else to note: We talk about strength building quite often, but many people don’t realize that building strength is actually different from building muscle. To build strength, trainers generally suggest doing a low number of reps of a certain exercise, as SELF previously reported. To build muscle, on the other hand, you’ll want to do more reps of a certain move (think 8 to 12 instead of 1 to 5). Doing even more reps than that will build muscle, strength, and also muscular endurance.
One of the benefits of keeping your rep counts low is that it enables you to pay better attention to your form. Often, when you push yourself too hard to get in a certain number of reps in a given set, or when you’re trying to speed up your reps depending on the type of circuit you’re doing, your form will take the hit. For example, it’s hard to focus on keeping your knees directly above your ankles or tightening your core and tucking in your tailbone when you’re fatigued or rushed.
Not only can sacrificing form during a strength building workout lead to injury, but it also makes the moves themselves less effective. Form is integral to getting the most you can out of any given exercise. So today, let’s think strong and slow. Lower your reps or take a deep breath, and slow down if you feel your form slipping. Your body will thank you for it!
The strength building workout below is for Day 21 of the SELF Better Together Challenge. Check out the full month of workouts right here. Or go to the workout calendar here. If you haven’t signed up to receive daily emails, do that here.
Do each move below for your selected interval of work and rest. At the end of all the moves, rest for 60 seconds. That’s 1 circuit. Do the circuit 3–5 times. Then try the EMOM…