Chiswick-Physio BLOG

 

The Benefits Of Strength Training
Back Pain

Read Time 10-Minutes

The aim of strength training is to increase muscle strength and power.

Simply put, improving strength refers to lifting a load, that is intense enough to challenge you for around 3-6 repetitions and completed 3-5 times.

Its best to keep things simple, no fancy bells and whistles, just training to get stronger.

So, what are the benefits of strength training?

Stronger bones, muscles, and connective tissue, as well as a more efficient nervous system that helps you develop greater forces in shorter times. All of which, crosses over into everyday life e.g., carry shopping bags, gardening, picking up children or grandchildren, walking up a hill, standing from kneeling etc….

The list is endless. So, let’s have a closer look at some of these benefits that strength training has on different parts of the body.

The Foundation

Connective Tissue:

The connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, fascia) undergoes structural changes with strength training. This in turn increases the strength of connective tissue and its ability to absorb load, building a strong foundation for the rest of the body.

Bone:

Strength training helps to keep bones strong and healthy throughout life. Adding an external weight to the body is a great way to improve bone density, which is something we rarely talk about, but something that is extremely important as we are growing and ageing.

The Mover

Muscles:

Strength training helps to increase the cross-sectional area of whole muscles, individual muscle fibres, and the overall size of the muscle. The increase in the size of the muscle is commonly referred to as hypertrophy. This is beneficial as it means that the greater the area of the muscle the greater the potential to develop force i.e., get stronger. Strength training also elicits change in the muscle’s architecture, which helps to create a more mechanically efficient muscle.

Furthermore, strength training can also induce changes which mean that the muscles can produce a greater force in a short period of time i.e., increasing power. Along with this, muscle fibres increase their density to enable them to be become more resilient.

The musculature and connective tissue changes help to optimise the body to produce and withstand greater loads. This has profound effects on life and normal daily activities such as walking speed, ability to lift heavier objects, increased resilience to unaccustomed movements and an injury prevention measure during the ageing process.

The Command Centre

The Nervous System:

Strength training enhances the nervous system by creating a more effective and efficient delivery system.

Strength training helps to develop motor neuron pathways which increases the brain-body coordination during movement. The neural changes undergone after strength training refers to the brains ability to recruit muscles to contract and produce movement.

Firing Frequency

Strength training increases the firing frequency of the motor unit, meaning the electrical impulses to the muscle can be sent at a rate that is more frequent. This results in an increase in muscle fibre contraction.

Neural Drive

Neural drive being the speed and activation of an electrical impulse from the nerve to the muscle fibre is also enhanced after strength training. Increasing neural drive increases force development in a shorter duration of time, meaning a heavier object can be accelerated more rapidly and more efficiently.

Conclusion

Overall strength training is a fantastic way to keep strong and healthy throughout the lifespan. It is safe and effective for young and growing children, adolescents, adults, the ageing adult, and the older person.

For specific benefits to different age groups have a look at our previous blogs.

Throughout life, you cannot go wrong, by getting strong.

Physiotherapy is not all about pain, it is about helping people live life to their fullest potential. If you want to understand more about strength training and how it can benefit you or a loved one, please get in contact with us, We have an abundance of experience in helping people get stronger and more confident with everyday life.

     

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