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November 20, 2015 3 min read

Okay, so strength training should never actually feel like a cinch. As soon as the movement becomes easy, it is time to add more weight. That is the only way you will ever get results. BUT, that doesn't mean you can't make it feel easier than it is! Here are 5 strategies you should consider the next time you hit the weight room:

1. Hyperventilate

While you may not want to do this one in a crowded gym, breathing heavily -- like you're having a panic attack -- can actually help your workout. "This brings oxygen into your muscles so you have fuel to bang out the next rep or two," says Holly Perkins, certified strength and conditioning specialist and founder of Women's Strength Nation. If you feel fatigued during a set, pause, inhale and exhale quickly for 5-6 breaths then finish the set. Perkins suggests you only try this when you have one or two reps remaining.

2. Make Some Noise

"Merely making the sound of a grunt helps to activate your deep core," says Perkins. Actually, researchers at Drexel University found that subjects who grunted or screamed were able to use more force when squeezing a hand grip. While they don't know for certain why this is, researchers theorize that it may have to do with activating the fight or flight response which helps the muscles to contract more strongly. If you'd rather not draw that type of attention to yourself, simply exhale forcefully. This can activate the core in a similar fashion.

3. Make A Funny Face

"I demonstrate my effort level with my facial expressions," says Perkins. "This legitimately helps you to put in more effort. When you really dig in and abandon what you look like, inevitably you won't look camera ready." While Perkins doesn't know why this works, she suspects it is because you are not wasting energy trying to make the move look easy. Instead of trying to make your face look nice, you are actually putting effort into making your body work. "Just dig in, don't worry about what you look like and do what you gotta do to get extra effort in," Perkins says. [bctt tweet="5 Odd Strategies To Make Strength Training Feel Like A Cinch"]

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4. Heel Yourself

When you are doing leg exercises, like on the leg press, really focus on your heels and digging them into the platform or ground. "This helps to better activate your glutes and hamstrings, large muscles in the back of the body, so the move feels easier," Perkins explains. Also, there are lots of women with weak glutes and hamstrings. This tip will target those muscles while making the work feel easier. Win-win.

5. Use Your Tongue

Like grunting, your tongue can also fire up your abs for a lift. It can also help to prevent injury by keeping your neck aligned with your body. Push your tongue against the roof of your mouth while doing the "work" part of the movement. See, odd but simple suggestions. Do you practice any of these strategies at the gym? Might you? Why not give these strategies a try while you're busting out an amazing workout that you found on SweatFlix℠? With over 150 hours of workouts to pick from -- and more content added all the time, you'll always be able to find something that challenges you! Source: Shape

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