THE IMPORTANCE OF STRENGTH TRAINING
Strength training keeps you free to live life to the fullest
After training clients for the last 14 years one thing remains true. A lack of muscle strength, especially in the main postural muscles, is the biggest reason for clients not being free to live their lives to the fullest. Whether its running a half marathon, trekking in Nepal or simply playing with the kids, your level of strength will ultimately impact the quality of your life. Strength training is not just for men wanting to bulk up, but an important part of any exercise routine, for both men and especially women of any age.
Here are three big reasons why strength is so important for your everyday life.
1. Minimising potential injury and pain.
Weight training is needed for almost everything we do - the biggest factor that causes pain and injury with most women is that their body is not strong enough to do the things they want to do in everyday life. Taking the kids out of the car, gardening, carrying groceries or just going for a regular walk requires strength and control of the major postural muscles such as core stabilisers, gluteal muscles (buttock), and the upper body stabilisers (shoulder blade muscles).
If these muscles are not strong, it puts excess load and strain on the joints and ligaments, causing pain and potential injury. It also means that just doing the simple things in life required much more effort. Strength training helps to improve postural muscle strength and ability to do everyday tasks.
2. Building bone density:
Bones need load to maintain their normal structure to remain strong and healthy. Strength training helps maintain normal loads on the bones. It allows the bones to continue to turn over a normal amount of bone replacement to maintain healthy and strong bone structure.
3. Losing unwanted weight:
Strength training assists in weight loss which is important for two main reasons:
i) Firstly, to do good quality cardio exercise, you first need good muscle strength. This means that you can perform cardio exercise for a longer period and with better quality, such as running or bike riding, instead of being limited by lack of muscle strength.
ii) Secondly, better muscle mass helps improve glucose regulation and muscle metabolism. What this means is that
more muscle requires more energy which means more fat is burnt up doing the same activities. This makes it easier in the short and long term to lose weight.
A strength program should not be complicated and involve five to six key exercises. It can be carried out two to three times a week. Ideally be guided by a qualified professional, such as an exercise physiologist, physiotherapist or good personal trainer so that you learn the current techniques to avoid injury.
Michael Dermansky is a Senior Physiotherapist and Managing Director of MD Health Pilates. Michael has over seventeen years’ experience of treating clients from all walks of life, from six-yearold children up to the age of 92. Michael can be contacted through his website.