Introduction to Strength Training

Introduction to Strength Training
May 21 10:53 2020 Print This Article

Most people realize the benefits of proper exercise but don’t quite have a clear understanding what approach to take. Running, stretching, and strength training are probably the three most popular activities for the fitness enthusiast. However, as our participation in exercise has increased, so has the number of injuries.

The injury rate for participants who run at least 5 miles per week is estimated at 90% per year. Stretching can be beneficial; however, an increase in muscle length without a subsequent increase in strength can actually increase the chance of injury.

Strength training doesn’t fair any better. Does this mean exercise is counterproductive? Yes, if one exercises in the traditional manner. But it is certainly possible to exercise in a way to prevent injury rather than cause it and proper strength training is the key.

For years, people viewed strength training as an inferior means of exercise. Myths about slow, muscle-bound weight lifters saturated the health communities. We now know this is completely opposite of the truth.

A complete physical fitness program should address muscular strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and body composition (commonly referred to as body fat percentage). Strength training can address all four areas if performed properly.

By utilizing a high level of intensity one can increase muscle mass, strength, and bone density. A full range of motion will contribute to flexibility and joint stability.

By incorporating brief rest periods, one can obtain a cardiovascular effect. And any exercise coupled with sensible nutrition will lead to body fat loss.

To obtain these benefits without causing injury, one should use a slow, controlled speed when lifting. Consequently, an explosive style of lifting will almost certainly lead to injury given enough time. Adequate recovery between workouts is also essential to health and avoidance of joint inflammation.

Following these guidelines will reduce the chance of injury to virtually zero while at the same time enhancing your performance in most other activities.

It should be clear now that everyone can and should add strength training to his/her exercise arsenal, as it will compliment all other activities.

Additional stretching can contribute greatly to joint health and should be incorporated by most individuals. Running is of benefit to some and should be avoided by others.

Overweight individuals will impose far too much strain on the knees and low back to justify participation. For individuals with of resolution of weight loss, one must strive for gradual and permanent lifestyle changes in nutrition and activity.

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Carol Gilmore
Carol Gilmore

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