FITNESS: Don’t be afraid to include weights in your work out

February 25th, 2022 8:00 PM

Don’t be intimidated by gym equipment; they’re easy and effective to use once you know how. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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THE best way to build strength in your body is by adding a weighted resistance to the movement. 

Last year about I wrote about doing gym work in the comfort of your own home, but for many, now is the time get back out to your local complex where you have all the machines, the racks and selection of weights at your disposal. 

Building strength while using barbells and dumbbells has to be included in everyone’s exercise routine. So over the next 10 weeks I’m going to pick 10 exercises out of literally hundreds which I feel should be part of your gym programme. If it’s been years since you used the gym I’d advise an introduction. Sometimes all the cables and contraptions can be pretty daunting. After learning, don’t be afraid to try them all out.

Hamstring curl

Find a seated leg curl machine in the gym and sit onto it. Sometimes this machine could have you face down. More than likely there are diagrams to show you how to do the exercise. If not, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a personal trainer or someone else using the gym. The starting position is with your legs straight out and the action is to pull your heels back to your bum. It’s your hamstring that creates the movement. You should feel this muscle group working after five to six reps. Choose the correct weight and attempt 10 repetitions. Try to breath out on effort while doing the movement. 

Top tip: fiddle around with seat and grip adjustment. The movement has to be comfortable and you should not be overreaching. Start slow and do not overdo it. If you do you won’t be able to walk tomorrow.

Paudie O’Donovan is a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility. He runs a Sports Injury Clinic in Skibbereen Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him on 086-2339618.

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