Sculpted shoulders and toned arms are often craved. (Especially when we unveil our winter arms and exchange our long-sleeved wardrobe for sleeveless tops. Right?) Although this is an excellent confidence booster, there are several more benefits to having a strong upper body.
Taking the time to strengthen all aspects of your shoulders, especially the muscles surrounding your shoulder blades, helps your body maintain better alignment. Improving your posture can reduce pain, prevent injury and even help you breathe better.
Boosting your metabolism is often cited as a benefit of lifting weights. This boost is termed an “afterburn effect,” or EPOC (Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption). This increase in metabolic rate can last for several hours (and even days).
Although this is true, it is complicated, different for everyone, and requires consistent hard effort. To maximize your EPOC, perform compound movements (overhead press, bent-over rows in a lunge position, deadlifts, etc.) and lift heavy weights.
Burn More Calories
Muscle tissue burns three times more calories than fat. With more muscle, you can lift more and work harder. This will lead to more challenging workouts and a more significant calorie burn.
Perform Daily Tasks Easier
Lifting weights will ultimately make you stronger. This increased strength will eventually make it much easier to do everyday chores such as lifting little ones to opening a pickle jar. Not having to rely on others for these tasks is not only more efficient but rewarding.
Weak and imbalanced muscles can lead to shoulder pain without any specific injury. This shoulder pain is referred to as a non-traumatic or chronic degenerative injury. Injuries can occur over time from repetitive use or overload to tissues that don’t have the mobility or capacity to withstand the demands imposed on them.
The shoulder is a complex orchestra of about nine muscles required to work in harmony with one another. In addition to these muscles, your shoulder joint also contains several ligaments, bursas, cartilage structures, and bones. Understanding your anatomy is a good way to formulate a balanced strength routine.
Unfortunately, even with a solid knowledge base, it is common to suffer from a shoulder injury from improper weight training. Choosing the best exercises for you and utilizing proper techniques is imperative. Working with a knowledgeable trainer or physical therapist is one of the best ways to build strength and confidence while avoiding injury.
If you are interested in specific exercise ideas, follow me on Instagram @doclizpt, where I share exercise tips and other information related to mobility, strength, pain relief, and more.