Types of body strength

> You need to build on to­tal phys­i­cal stamina and body fit­ness to stay healthy even in your old age

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE - JONATHAN TAN

OUR PHYS­I­CAL fit­ness is cru­cial to our health and well­ness. You may look the part – bulging bi­ceps, built calves, six-pack, the works – but can you ac­tu­ally use your strength ef­fec­tively if the sit­u­a­tion calls for it?

Strength is not de­fined by a six-pack; there are many dif­fer­ent ways our body uses our hard-earned mus­cles.

The ma­jor­ity of us will never be Olympians, but here are seven types of strength we can de­velop:

Agility It is the abil­ity to con­trol and ma­noeu­vre your body. In nor­mal ex­er­cise con­di­tions, this type of strength is rarely trained, un­less it’s sports re­lated.

Most of the moves you do in a gym in­volve a sin­gu­lar back and forth mo­tion. But in real life, you may need to move in more than just one di­rec­tion.

How to train: Start by per­form­ing mul­ti­fac­eted move­ments in var­i­ous planes of move­ments.

En­durance En­durance means you can keep up with heart-pump­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time. This type of strength comes in handy when you’re run­ning, work­ing on house­hold chores for hours, or per­form­ing any kind of work­out that stretches over a longer pe­riod of time. Plus, more strength en­durance means bet­ter pos­ture and en­hanced per­for­mance dur­ing any work­out. How to train: Car­dio ex­er­cises are the best en­durance tools. Aim to im­prove en­durance by length­en­ing the du­ra­tion and in­ten­sity over time.

Ex­plo­sive dex­ter­ity Dex­ter­ity is the re­ac­tion and ac­tion to­wards a move­ment change. This is the key for­mula that de­fines ex­plo­sive strength.

This type of strength has to do with your mus­cles length­en­ing, fol­lowed by a rapid short­en­ing, as well as how quickly you can move through a range of mo­tions.

By work­ing to im­prove dex­ter­ity, you’ll reap the ben­e­fits of re­duced re­ac­tion time and im­proved re­siliency of mus­cle and con­nec­tive tis­sues.

How to train: Dex­ter­ity works best when mus­cles, con­nec­tive tis­sue and the ner­vous sys­tem work be­fore the brain can re­act. List down five task-based ex­er­cises. In ran­dom or­der, get a part­ner to bark out the tasks to be per­formed. In­crease the list over time.

Ab­so­lute strength De­fined by body­builders and strong­men, max­i­mum strength is the op­ti­mum level of mus­cle force that the body can pro­duce. It in­volves a spe­cific mus­cle, or group of mus­cles, us­ing all of their mo­tor units in or­der to cre­ate a max­i­mum ef­fect.

This type of strength comes into play when­ever you’re power lift­ing, squat­ting, dead lift­ing, or bench press­ing.

How to train: Go heavy. For ev­ery ex­er­cise per­formed, work to heavy weights tar­get­ing six to eight reps max.

In­ner power This strength has to do with your body­weight-to-force ra­tio. When mus­cu­lar ef­fi­ciency and mus­cu­lar force in­crease while your body stays at a con­sis­tent mass, your rel­a­tive strength will rise. So ba­si­cally, rel­a­tive strength equals ef­fi­cient strength.

How to train: There isn’t a spe­cific work­out for build­ing rel­a­tive strength, be­cause it has to do with mul­ti­ple abil­i­ties. So in­stead of dwelling on a spe­cific work­out, try a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing to build this type of ef­fi­cient strength.

Bal­ance The abil­ity to bal­ance and have good sta­bil­ity skills may not seem im­por­tant. But ev­ery­thing we do re­lies heav­ily on our abil­ity to bal­ance, yet main­tain­ing bal­anc­ing skills is one of the most un­der­rated as­pects of well-be­ing.

As we age, we grad­u­ally start to lose our mus­cle strength, vi­sion and sen­sory per­cep­tion – all things that con­trib­ute to our abil­ity to bal­ance. As a re­sult, our mo­bil­ity can be com­pro­mised and lead to fall­ing.

How to train: Soft ex­er­cise pro­grammes like yoga help.

Flex­i­bil­ity Be­ing flex­i­ble will im­prove your per­for­mance in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties, and de­crease your risk of in­juries by help­ing your joints move through their full range of mo­tion. It also en­ables your mus­cles to work most ef­fec­tively.

Th­ese in­clude the abil­ity to walk up three steps at a time (ham­string flex­i­bil­ity), or wash­ing your en­tire back with both hands (shoul­der flex­i­bil­ity).

How to train: Stretch­ing, of course, and some yoga helps too.

Let’s be fit!

Jonathan Tan is the club man­ager of the Sports Toto Fit­ness Cen­tre at Ber­jaya Times Square. He can be con­tacted at life­style.jonathan@the­sundaily.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.