Importance of Strength Training

 

Bring It Home Personal Training teaches all clients the importance of the 11 components of physical fitness. Muscular strength and muscular endurance are two health-related components of fitness that are important in everyone’s daily life.

Jeff Angel

This standard ball push-up is a great way to improve muscular strength, muscular endurance, and balance.

Muscular strength is defined as the maximum amount of force that can be exerted by a muscle. Muscular endurance is defined as the ability of a muscle to exert a force repeatedly over a period of time. Muscular strength and muscular endurance are related; an increase in one of these components of fitness usually results in some degree of improvement in the other.  Having a reasonable amount of strength and endurance can help individuals to be more efficient in performing daily tasks.

Bring It Home Personal Training believes that a strong core is most important for total body strength. Strengthening of the core (abdominal muscles, obliques, and low- back) will improve posture, help to prevent low-back pain, and make your entire body stronger. Your body’s core generally consists of the rectus abdominis (abs), internal and external obliques, transverses abdominis (deep reinforcing layer), and erector spinae (low back). The core is the center of all your strength. Having a weak core will certainly cause low back pain, poor posture, and poor balance. Strengthening and stretching this area of the body should be done with focus and consistency.

All muscle groups should be stimulated regularly through some type of resistance training. Resistance training, also known as strength training, not only makes muscles strong, firm, and shapely, but also benefits the body in other ways. Please be sure to check out our gallery for free images of exercises that help to improve muscle strength and endurance and all other components of physical fitness.

Benefits Of Strength Training:

  1. Increased muscular strength and endurance
  2. Decrease in body fat
  3. Stronger tendons and ligaments
  4. Decrease in blood pressure
  5. Improves glucose tolerance
  6. Increases HDLs (the good cholesterol)
  7. Decreases LDLs (the bad cholesterol) and triglycerides
  8. Decreases risk of osteoporosis
  9. Reduced insulin needs
  10. Improved health related quality of life
  11. Enhances feeling of well-being
  12. Enhances performance of work and recreational activities
  13. Lower mortality rates at all ages from all causes
  14. Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety
  15. Improves self-esteem

In general, strength training should be done at least two days a week, with a minimum of two exercises per muscle group. Some people will have totally different fitness programs depending on what goals have been set. Individuals are unique with different strengths and weaknesses. Finding a weak point is something to work on, not to neglect. Having the proper mix of exercises is most important in developing a fitness program that will help you to improve upon your weaknesses and to reach your goals.

Developing the body you want and reaching optimal physical fitness levels takes time. Do not expect changes to occur over night. You must be patient and consistent with all aspects of your fitness program. Consistency is the key. If you find yourself putting your strength training days off, you will not see the changes you want to make. Also, be sure to incorporate all 11 components of phyiscal fitness into your daily exercise program. Having a well-rounded exercise program will help you to stay motivated and focused. You will see increased muscular strength and muscular endurance, toned muscles, increased energy, and better self-image.

 

Core Strengthening Improves Balance and Posture

 

Core strengthening should be an integral part of everyone’s training regimen. Your core consists of several muscles coming together to support your spine and midsection. Those muscle groups include the rectus abdominis (abs), erector spinae (low back), internal and external obliques (on your sides), and transverse abdominis (the deepest muscle layer of the abdominals). Some experts also include the gluteus maximus/minimus (your rear end) pelvic floor muscles, and subscapcular stabilizers in the group of core muscles. All of the mentioned muscles come together to help you to do trunk rotations, lean forward and backward, and to maintain good posture. Your core is hard at work all day long, every day. Therefore, it is important to do weekly strengthening and stretching of these muscle groups.

Your core is directly related to your balance, strength, and power. So, you should be performing exercises that challenge these 3 components of physical fitness.  Strengthening your core will lead to better balance, posture, and stability. Having a strong core can lower your risk of injury and may help to reduce low back pain. Strong core muscles can help to improve athletic performance such as swinging a golf club, getting up on water skis, or keeping good balance while in-line skating. Core strengthening also helps to improve daily activities such as picking up your child, carrying groceries, or doing yard work.

In order to strengthen your core, you must do exercises that use the trunk of your body without support. Perform exercises seated on a fitness ball, standing or kneeling on a BOSU, standing on a balance disk, and standing on one leg. Performing a variety of planks and bridges will also help to improve your overall core strength.

I recommend two days a week of core strengthening exercises. You should also try to do your resistance training using a fitness ball and BOSU. For example, instead of using a bench for chest presses, lay down on a fitness ball and do dumbbell chest presses. Laying down on a bench does not engage your core. However, laying down on a ball makes you off balance which then requires your body to automatically engage your core in order to maintain balance. Another example is standing on one leg or standing on a balance disk while performing a basic biceps curl. You are required to maintain balance and strengthen your core while strengthening your biceps. Any exercise performed off balance will help to directly strengthen your core.

Do yourself a favor and work your core. Over time, with consistent training, you will see improvements in posture, balance, power, and overall strength. Remember, the core is the center of all you do so be sure not to neglect these muscles when you hit the gym.