Written by Akesha Smith
Maintain Muscular Strength
Strength and conditioning training is a type of training that is designed to improve a person’s sports performance and reduce the risk of injury. Becoming active and getting your heart pumping is all good and well, however, if you do not do exercises that strengthen your body and bones, you’ll be forever dealing with little injuries and annoying pains that can be avoidable if you strengthen your body correctly.
Strengthening the body can be easily obtained and there is no need to join a gym as you can strengthen your body and bones through daily exercises that can be done at home or in your local park.
By keeping your muscular strength with resistance or weight training exercises you can even reduce the chances of some diseases. For example, those who suffer from diabetes experience better blood glucose control by enduring in regular resistance training.
People that suffer from arthritis, resistance training can reduce fatigue muscle weakness and reduce any pain they may be feeling. Other benefits such as weight control and increase metabolic rate are all bonuses from strength and conditioning exercises. It can even aid in how the person feels about themselves, making them more confident which in turn aids in their well-being.
Strength training is an effort to use resistance or weights to work for a muscle group. Many people wrongly believe that being active by doing things like standing and moving during at work or doing housework, is enough to keep your muscles and bones strong. Being active is important and beneficial to the body. It takes a focused mind to continuously work muscles by either using weights or your own bodyweight.
Biomechanics strength and conditioning coach Sean Maloney expresses deeply how important strength and conditioning exercises are “Stronger can produce more force, therefore, in turn, help you to run, jump, throw faster, higher and longer”. Daily strengthening exercises can and will improve your performance in your daily activity whether it is a competitive sport or just for recreational purposes.
One of the main reasons strength and conditioning exercise is being so widely adopted by those who compete competitively especially in events like athletics and rugby, is the effect that it decreases your chances of getting injured by strengthening weak areas of your body “Stronger muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones can withstand greater forces and are more robust against injury”.
Weak muscles make a person more prone to injury, for example, having a weak core or back can lead to lower back pains and could then lead to chronic pain. “We can never eliminate injuries but we can reduce how often they occur with good training. This means athletes can train and compete with less interruption and increases their likelihood of success”. Having weaker bones increases the chances of breakages and further injuries from minor falls especially those who are older.
However, with regular strength and conditioning exercises, you can somewhat reverse these changes that occur due to your age. Strengthening exercises are key to everyone, not just those in sport and it can be especially beneficial for those who are older and may find it harder to work their muscles. “The principles apply to everyone…for example, resistance training in elderly populations reduces the risk of falls and minimises the impact of osteoporosis”. By participating in strengthening exercises the elderly can strengthen their muscles and bones and regain more function over them.
Most people know the benefits of cardiovascular training and getting on a bike or running on a treadmill is good for maintaining good health, however, in comparison to strength training, it is not highlighted as much cardiovascular training. On the other hand, over the years, more and more people are recognising the importance of strengthening the body. One cannot always overexert the body and do multiple exercises without proper strengthening.
Without inner strength, it is almost impossible to achieve your targets and goals as your body would continuously break down due to the intensity and the lack of power and strength. “…much less now, some sports are better than others, for example, football has yet to fully embrace strength and conditioning training, whereas sports such as athletics and rugby have developed a culture of physical training which goes back a number of decades”.
There are many different ways to strengthen the body, finding something that you enjoy is key as you will be more motivated to stick with that certain exercise. Popular strengthening training or exercises that people take part in are yoga and weightlifting. Both techniques have been proven to give your body the full workout by strengthening your inner self. “…yoga is great for mobility and downregulating the body and heavy weight training is great for improving force production and bone mineral density”.
For beginners there is no need to jump straight into these exercises if it is not what you are used to, by just starting simple but effective exercises that you enjoy is always a good start.
Strength and conditioning training have many things to offer the body from physical appearances to our well-being and health. Our bodies do great things every day the best thing we can do for our bodies is in return to keep it strong and healthy. Sean Maloney emphasis on the top three benefits that the general population would gain from strength and conditioning training “First is building and maintaining muscle, secondly is increasing and maintaining bone mineral density throughout your life and lastly it improves the general quality of life”.
The influence of strength training is too important to dismiss when beginning a healthier lifestyle, and many of these benefits would not be accomplished with just cardiovascular training. A well-designed strength training programme with a good coach will lead you down the right path “Find a coach or trainer to help guide you through the process…this is always a good start”.