With the rise in popularity of tough love reality TV shows like The Biggest Loser, a lot of people who are interested in weight loss surgery have the mantra ‘no pain, no gain’ stuck in their head. There are a number of misperceptions that are stuck in a lot of peoples’ heads when it comes to working out, and this is especially true for women.
One of those misperceptions is that you need to lift heavy weights to get the benefits of strength training, but there is no magic number concerning how much weight you should be lifting for weight loss. Instead, it all depends on you.
There are a lot of questions that you need to answer before you start working out:
- How much weight are you comfortable lifting?
- How many times are you able to repeat exercises with that weight before you become tired?
- Are your joints hurting, or are you just feeling sore in your muscles?
These questions will take some time to figure out, and as you begin working out and lose weight the answers are going to change over time. That is why starting with small weights isoften a beneficial choice.
Benefits of Small Weights
Using small weights regularly can increase muscle mass and enhance weight loss. Small weights will take a longer time to produce results when compared to heavier weights, but for those who have made a lifelong commitment to weight loss and are new to working out regularly, using small weights can help reduce your risk of injury.
After weight loss surgery, it is a good idea to take things slow. Once your weight loss surgeon has cleared you to start exercising with hand weights, the first thing that you will want to do is focus on correct form. Using small weights is a better way to learn proper form. When you are just starting out, find a pair of three or five pound weights and focus on learning the basics. You should find a weight that you can lift without discomfort, and that does not cause any pain to your joints. If you don’t have weights, try using household items like water bottles, canned soup or books to start out.
Here are a few basic hand weight exercises that you can try while either standing or sitting:
- Bicep Curl: With your elbows held at your waist and your palms facing outwards, slowly curl your forearm up until your hand reaches your shoulder. Alternate hands and repeat as much as is comfortable for you.
- Shoulder lift: With a weight in each hand, lift your hands so that they are even with your shoulders—as if you are about to push a roof up over your head. Slowly extend your arms upwards, keeping your arms straight and the weights shoulder width apart. Gradually return your arms back to the starting position and then repeat.
- Triceps extension: With your arms bent so that your hands are resting on your shoulder, lift your arms upwards until your elbow is pointing straight into the air—as far back as is comfortable for you. With your hand now behind your head, slowly extend your arm before gradually returning your hand to the starting position. Alternate hands and repeat as many times as is comfortable.
Getting started with weight training doesn’t need to be difficult. By starting out with small weights you can learn proper form and prevent yourself from becoming injured. In addition to taking part in cardiovascular exercises like walking regularly, it is a good idea to try these weight lifting exercises every day.