When it comes to exercise and keeping fit there are many options. The most common being: walking, cycling, running and doing gym classes. The one that is often missed, especially in females, is strength training. When I say strength training, I don’t mean lifting those 5kg weights up and down 60 times in a row, I’m talking about true strength training, lifting as much weight as possible, safely.
Muscular strength or, strength, is the ability to produce force. The best way to improve strength is to lift heavier weights over time. It is the baseline of well-rounded fitness. When we undertake strength training we are asking our nervous system to produce more force in our muscles through the optimal use of our skeletal system.
The main purpose of strength training is to enhance our ability to move more weight over time. When training for general fitness, strength training should take priority because it is the foundation by which all other training becomes productive – even if your goal is not performance-based, and you couldn’t care less about how much weight you moved. To exercise well and get the full benefits from exercise, getting stronger is necessary.
The main benefits of muscular strength are:
Increasing your capability – by improving our strength, we make it easier for ourselves to do things around the house such as gardening and playing with the kids. For older adults, this could mean living longer without the need of assistance care or walking frames.
Improving sports performance- increasing our strength levels will make our sporting tasks such as running, jumping and throwing all that easier. All sports require some sort of muscular movement, therefore strength. As mentioned above, since strength is the ability to produce force, the more strength we have the greater the force we can produce. This equates to jumping higher, running faster and throwing further.
Preventing pain and injury- Strong, capable muscles are less likely to suffer injury or cause you pain. If we have stronger muscles, the joints surrounding them are put under less stress, resulting in a decreased risk of injury to those joints. We are less likely to develop osteoarthritis if we can limit the stress applied to the joint.
All strength training should be undertaken under the guidance of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) or Strength coach. For more information on what an AEP is and how we can help you, visit www.tuckerstrengthperforomance.com.au or call 0419 159 903 today.