The popularity of strength training really grew when it was realized that great strength was an advantage in many types of sports. Many coaches in the collegiate and high school levels began to systematically incorporate weightlifting and other resistance exercises in their training programs when the benefits of strength training became apparent. It became obvious that greater strength allowed athletes to perform better.
For example, one of the benefits of strength training is that it allows baseball hitters to strike the ball harder with their bats, and this made more home runs possible. Greater strength also lessens the possibility of injuries, which is a crucial consideration in contact sports such as football, hockey, and basketball.
And obviously, it is also important in a lot of martial sports; being stronger is a definite advantage in boxing, wrestling, and judo. You probably won’t find any athlete in Mixed Martial Arts who doesn’t do any strength training.
In the military, strengthening exercises are mandatory. Pushups aren’t just meant for punishment among servicemen; they also function to make them stronger. Among military personnel, police officers, and firefighters, strength is important because part of their duties is to carry others to safety during emergencies.
But strengthening exercises aren’t just for athletes and emergency personnel. The benefits of strength training are for everyone. They’re for both men and women of all ages, and this includes those who aren’t in the most perfect of health. Actually, those with serious ailments such as arthritis and heart disease get the most benefits from these types of workouts.
Strengthening exercises prevent, minimize, or alleviate these health conditions:
- Arthritis. A study by Tufts University revealed that these exercises, when performed by older people with arthritis, increased their strength and overall physical performance, lessened their disability, and improved the symptoms of the ailment. The exercises were even shown to be at least just as effective in easing the pain as medications.
- Poor balance and lack of flexibility. In older people, these issues lead to falls that cause broken bones. Strengthening exercises can help restore some balance and flexibility. A study in New Zealand revealed that simple forms strengthening exercises for women considerably lessened the frequency and severity of falls.
- Loss of bone density. Every year, post-menopausal women lose about a percentage or two of their bone mass. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a report in 1994 which showed that strengthening exercises boost bone density and lessened the risk of bone fractures for older women.
- Obesity. Strengthening exercises can help you lose weight. Developing greater muscle mass is a common side effect of strength training, and muscle is essentially a group of tissues that consumes calories. It’s been shown that these exercises can actually boost your metabolic rate by 15%.
- Heart diseases. The American Heart Association recommends strengthening workouts to reduce the risk of heart disease, and also as therapy for patients rehabilitating from certain heart ailments.
- Diabetes. One study showed that strengthening workouts result in improvements in glucose control that are similar to taking diabetes medication.
- Anxiety and insomnia. It is also widely known that strengthening workouts fight depression and induce healthier sleep.
Here’s a little bonus: Strength training also makes you look attractive!
You can start getting the benefits of strength training very quickly using a workout program such as the ones found in our Dumbbell section http://myfitnessnut.com/dumbbells/ and in our Kettlebell section at http://myfitnessnut.com/kettlebell. Go pickup one or both of these excellent methods for building muscle and get started enjoying the benefits of strength training today.