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Five Essential Workout Tips for Strengthening Your Heart

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Five Essential Workout Tips for Strengthening Your Heart

We all know that cardiovascular fitness is essential for heart health. But when it comes to strength training, how do we train to keep a healthy heart? Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Shannon Edwards offers his top five tips when it comes to strength training for your heart. Use these tips next time you hit the weight room.

1. Dynamic Warm-Ups
Instead of the usual static stretches, practice dynamic, moving stretches before your strength training workout. For example, in the place of the typical hand-to-toe hamstring stretch that lasts 30 seconds, do walking hand-to-toe stretches. These dynamic movements increase the nervous system awareness for your upcoming workout, improve blood flow to better your heart and balance out the use of muscle groups.

2. Use Large Muscle Groups
Using larger muscle groups during strength training increases your heart rate, giving you an extra cardio boost during your workout. For example, train your thighs, hips, chest, back, biceps and triceps.

3. Circuit Training
To keep your heart rate up during strength training try circuit training. This series of exercise moves should put your heart rate in its optimal zone. For a shorter training circuit, try three to four weight exercises with 10-15 repetitions of each. Take a short 60 second break in between exercises. Remember to choose exercise moves that work total body.

4. Volume Over Intensity
While it's important to keep your heart rate up during your strength training circuit, it's also important to keep your heart in the optimal zone. Use moderate intense weights for 10-15 repetitions rather than high intense weights. By doing this your heart rate response lasts longer in a longer set, giving you a win-win workout!

5. Frequency Matters
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training at least two days a week. It has been proven that three days has resulted in slightly greater strength gains, but the additional enhancement is relatively small.

By incorporating strength training into your regular fitness routine you are reducing stress on your heart, increasing your metabolism after each workout, decreasing body fat, increasing bone density and seeing an overall increase of muscular endurance.

For more information on Cooper Fitness Center or to schedule a professional fitness training session, click here or call 972.233.4832.