Strength training, also known as weight lifting or resistance training, does more than just build muscle strength, although getting stronger is definitely a major benefit. And, the good news is, if you’re not a fan of the gym, you can also work out at home, in a park, or outside, or pretty much anywhere in between. both, because you don’t actually need traditional weight machines or a squat rack loaded with every weight plate imaginable for a good strength training workout. In fact, any form of resistance works, from dumbbells to dumbbells, from kettlebells to weight machines and resistance bands to your own body weight – the key is just to put your muscles under a load.
A good set of resistance bands, adjustable dumbbells, or even a TRX suspension trainer may be all you need at home to participate in a stimulating full body strengthening workout. If you aren’t relying on strength training sessions because the gym just isn’t your theater, or you’ve been hesitant to venture out from your gym’s cardio equipment to weights, continue to read on for a list of strength training benefits, which may be just the inspiration you might need to diversify your workout routine and take your fitness to new levels.
Benefits of strength training
In addition to its versatility and convenience, strength training is an effective and efficient workout that offers a variety of physical and mental health benefits, including the following:
Strength training strengthens muscles and connective tissues
The first is simple: Strength training strengthens your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. By forcing your muscles to work against a load, they build more strength, which can make everything easier, from running a marathon or sprinting the court to sink a layup or carrying a sack. grocery store on the stairs.
Strength training builds lean body mass
Particularly if you are lifting for hypertrophy, which refers to the increase in muscle size and involves lifting heavy weights or working under high loads, strength training can build lean body mass. Building muscle can not only look great and cause favorable changes in your body composition, it also improves health markers, increases your metabolic rate, and makes you stronger and fitter.
Strength training reduces body fat
Like all forms of exercise, strength training burns calories, but the main metabolic benefit is that by building lean muscle mass, strength training helps increase your metabolic rate. Because your muscle mass is the primary determinant of your metabolic rate, putting on more muscle helps you burn more calories in a day, even while at rest. Because of these beneficial changes in body composition, weight training is one of the best forms of exercise for those looking to reduce body fat. Studies have shown that 8 to 12 week strength training programs are generally just as effective, if not more, at reducing waist circumference and body fat percentage than long duration cardio training programs.
Strength training increases bone density
Increasing your bone density is essential for preventing fractures, especially as you age. Strength training loads the bones, which signals them to form a denser, more mineralized bone matrix. Additionally, when stronger muscles contract, they pull harder on the bones, which also signals your body to deposit more minerals and strengthen your bone structure and create new bone cells.
Strength training helps prevent injury
Strength training reduces the risk of injury due to overuse of other sports (running, cycling, tennis, swimming, basketball, etc.) as well as activities of daily living, as it strengthens your muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and bones. Building muscle strength allows muscles and tendons to absorb more of the forces involved when you land with each step, run or jump, eliminating unnecessary stress that your bones and cartilage absorb when muscles weak get tired.
Strength training improves neuromuscular control
Some of the biggest initial gains in muscle strength after starting a weight training program are actually due to improved communication between the brain and muscles via nerve impulses. Strength training helps your brain and muscles coordinate their activities, so that more muscle fibers are recruited with an impulse from the brain and they contract in a more coordinated fashion, allowing for contractions. more powerful. This can translate into overall improvements in coordination and muscle control, whether it’s developing fine motor skills or large gross movements.
Strength increases core strength
Especially when performing one-sided exercises, such as one-arm farmer carry or rear raised Bulgarian split squat with side rotation, strength training can improve core strength. Your abdominal muscles, which include the abdominals, obliques, glutes, hip muscles, and lower back muscles, connect the muscles in the upper and lower body and help with efficient movement.
Strength training improves athletic performance, speed, power, efficiency and economy
By increasing strength, power, strength generation, coordination, core strength, and balance, strength training increases your overall athletic performance, movement efficiency, and fitness. Gains in the weight room can lead to faster running, higher jumps, better swings and strikes, and other throws.
Strength training can improve markers of health
Studies have shown the ability of strength training programs to improve many markers of health. For example, resistance training programs have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, and lower triglycerides and cholesterol.
Strength training can optimize hormonal balance
Strength training can improve your hormonal balance by stimulating the production of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone and by inhibiting stress hormones like cortisol, which when elevated can contribute to uptake. weight.
Strength training can improve your mood and reduce anxiety
All forms of exercise produce endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that can elevate your mood. It is also a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, as it has been shown to reduce stress hormone levels.
Strength training can increase your self-confidence
Let’s face it, when you feel good about your body, you walk around with confidence and a little more arrogance. As you get stronger you feel better about yourself and this can carry over into all areas of your life from workouts to work to relationships.