Strength Training Benefits
Welcome to this second post in this blog post series all about Strength Training, exactly what it is, how it benefits you and how to workout the right way. In this post series we will cover:
- What is Strength Training
- Benefits of Strength Training
- How To Start Strength Training
- Strength Training Workouts
- Advanced Strength Training Program
This post series is designed to give you a full understanding of the ins and outs of strength training as it’s important to know how best to train your body and reach your goals. People train for many different reasons, they want to loose weight, they want to build muscle, they want to look good! Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to look good right? So it’s important to understand what workouts are best suited to what you want to achieve, suited to your goals and build a strength training workout to best suit you.
If you missed the 1st post in this series entitled “What is Strength Training” please click here.
Strength Training Benefits – What Are They?
The benefits of a good strength training routine are almost endless. In brief, less disease, bigger muscles, stronger bones, looking good, and feeling more confident. In fact a good read is this article from the NHS on how to improve your strength and flexibility. It states “Strength and flexibility exercises will help you increase muscle strength, maintain bone density, improve balance and reduce joint pain”. It goes onto say “Exercises that improve leg strength, balance and co-ordination can help people maintain and improve their muscle strength and avoid falls as they get older”.
So let’s take a deeper look into strength training benefits….
Its important to understand that Strength Training is not just for your bodybuilders and weightlifters, introducing strength training exercises into any workout routine can and will benefit lots of people of all ages, yes you have to be careful and make sure the strength training exercises you are doing are appropriate to you, but it has been known to tackle health issues such as obesity, arthritis, or a heart condition.
Having strong muscles can of course benefit sports men and women, but it can bring an array of health benefits for everyone and the amount of muscle strength that can be achieved will very much depend upon several factors, age, gender and any physical limitations.
Regular strength training will:
Help you in your day to day activities around the house and in your garden, it makes you stronger and fitter, and will keep you independent which is especially important in the older generation, it helps with ease of movement and good posture.
Helps you to develop better body mechanics. Body mechanics is simply the way you hold your body when you move around, by developing proper body mechanics you can avoid muscle fatigue and are less likely to have an injury when walking, bending over, lifting things etc, so it decreases the risk of injury.
Increases muscle mass which burns more calories throughout the day than an equal amount of fat.
With the strength training benefits you will obviously visually see a difference, you will get more muscle, a more toned body but it can also reduce depressive symptoms, it can make you feel good, have more confidence which all leads to feeling good about yourself, and when you feel good about yourself, you accomplish more.
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Even with all these benefits, many people are reluctant to start training with weights. Concerns include injury, incorrect form and for women; not wanting to grow muscles and look like a man!. There are ways to strength train without using weights which we will go through in the “How To Start Strength Training” post.
Sometimes when we think of being healthy, we think of eating and running. While these are important, strength training should never be left out. Strength training provides benefits to your health that cannot be found with any other mode of exercise and shouldn’t be forgotten, you should include some form of strength training in your workout routine, so you can gain all the advantages that a healthy workout can bring you.
More Strength Training Benefits & The Conclusion
Strength training can be beneficial for all age groups. It is a great form of exercise that can really improve quality of life and help fight off disease and injury. A lot of the health benefits you get from exercise in general can be derived through strength training. It decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and increases insulin sensitivity to name a few. Strength training can be really beneficial to mental health. It is a good stress reliever. Throwing some metal around is a great way to unwind after a hard day at the office.
It has great benefits on the musculoskeletal system and can help treat and prevent back pain, knee, ankle and shoulder problems. Strengthening the muscles around a joint can help take the strain off joints. The knee is a great example, by strengthening quadriceps and hamstring muscles you are taking some of the load off the joint.
Strength training is a great form of exercise for an elderly population. Falls are a big issue in elderly, and fractured pelvis can have a shocking effect on an elderly person’s life. Strength training is beneficial in helping to prevent falls. The stronger you are, the more easily you catch yourself if you are off balance. Strength training also increases bone density, which means if you have a fall you are less likely to break a bone.
Strength training can involve unilateral exercises. These are basically exercises done on 1 leg, such as lunges, single leg squats, standing hip extension and abduction. By standing on one leg you are challenging balance. Maintaining your balance as you age is a big part of preventing falls.
Strength Training for Athletes: Virtually all sports have some dependence on maximal strength. It underpins performance in almost every sport. Sports such as football and rugby have an obvious need for a high level of maximal strength, but all sports from tennis to baseball rely on it to help improve performance. Athletes use a variety of methods in strength training. Machine weights, free weights, dumbells, barbells, kettleballs, resistance bands are all available and useful tools in helping developing strength. Strength training can not only enhance athletic performance, it can also help prevent injury. Most sports involve large amounts of force being produced and also absorbed by the body. Strength training can prepare ligaments, muscles and tendons to cope this high level of force experienced during sport.
A good strength training program also ensures that proper balance is maintained between muscle groups. Correct balance between opposing muscle groups ensures good posture, which leads to efficient movement, as well as helping prevent injury.
I hope that this post has helped you to understand a bit more about strength training benefits. It is a good idea if you are serious about this, you get a personal trainer involved or enrol in a course where they have experts and routines designed that show you exactly how to do each exercise properly, to ensure you do not injure yourself. It is also important to remember that it is not all just about the workouts, it is also about your mind and your eating habits, you have to be eating the right stuff as well as do the right exercises, its all about a healthy lifestyle.
Thanks for reading 🙂
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