Home Fitness 14 Benefits of Strength Training, Backed by Science – Healthline

14 Benefits of Strength Training, Backed by Science – Healthline

14 Benefits of Strength Training, Backed by Science – Healthline
0 0
Read Time:11 Minute, 22 Second

If you could do one thing to improve your health, strength training should be at the top of your list. It involves using one or more muscle groups to perform a specific task, such as lifting a weight or squatting.
Due to the growing body of evidence supporting its many benefits, strength training has become a fundamental part of most exercise programs. If you’ve ever considered strength training, you may wonder how it will benefit your life.
This article shares 14 benefits of strength training.
Strength training is also known as weight training, resistance training, and muscular training.
The general definition of strength training is any physical movement in which you use your body weight or equipment (e.g., dumbbells and resistance bands) to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance (1).
The main types of strength training include ():
Most people focus on muscular endurance, circuit training, and muscular hypertrophy as part of their strength-training routine, while strength and power training are usually reserved for experienced athletes (1).
Depending on the type of strength training you choose to reach your goals, you can use various equipment (or none at all), such as (1):
Regardless of the type of strength training you perform, the goal is to put your muscles under tension to allow neuromuscular adaptations and stimulate muscle growth. With regular practice, your muscles will become stronger (1, 2).
Strength training is any type of exercise that involves your own body weight or equipment to build muscle mass, endurance, and strength. There are many types of strength training, such as bodyweight exercises, lifting weights, or circuit training.
There are many benefits to strength training that can improve your health.
Strength training helps you become stronger.
Gaining strength allows you to perform daily tasks much easier, such as carrying heavy groceries or running around with your kids (3, 4).
Furthermore, it helps improve athletic performance in sports that require speed, power, and strength, and it may even support endurance athletes by preserving lean muscle mass (3, 4).
Strength training helps boost your metabolism in two ways.
First, building muscle increases your metabolic rate. Muscles are more metabolically efficient than fat mass, allowing you to burn more calories at rest (5, 6).
Second, research shows that your metabolic rate is increased up to 72 hours after strength-training exercise. This means that you’re still burning additional calories hours and even days after your workout (7, 8).
Fat stored around the abdomen, especially visceral fat, is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer (9, 10, 11, 12).
Multiple studies have shown the benefit of strength-training exercises for reducing abdominal and total body fat (13, 14, 15).
As you build more muscle and lose fat, you will appear leaner.
This is because muscle is more dense than fat, meaning it takes up less space on your body pound for pound. Therefore, you may lose inches off of your waist even if you don’t see a change in the number on the scale.
Also, losing body fat and building stronger and larger muscles showcases more muscle definition, creating a stronger and leaner appearance.
Strength training lowers your risk of falls, as you’re better able to support your body (16, 17, 18).
In fact, one review including 23,407 adults over the age of 60 showed a 34% reduction in falls among those who participated in a well-rounded exercise program that included balance exercises and resistance and functional training (18).
Fortunately, many forms of strength training have been shown to be effective, such as tai chi, weight training, and resistance band and bodyweight exercises (19, 20, 21, 22).
Including strength training in your exercise routine may reduce your risk of injury.
Strength training helps improve the strength, range of motion, and mobility of your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can reinforce strength around major joints like your knees, hips, and ankles to provide additional protection against injury (1).
What’s more, strength training can help correct muscular imbalances. For example, having a stronger core, hamstrings, and glutes takes the load off of your lower back during lifting, decreasing your risk of lower-back injuries (23, 24, 25, 26).
Finally, adult and teenage athletes that engage in strength training have a lower likelihood of injury (27, 28, 29).
In fact, one review including 7,738 athletes found strength-training programs reduced the risk of injury by 33%. It was found to lower the risk of injury in a dose-dependent manner, meaning for every 10% increase in strength-training volume, there was a 4% reduced risk of injury (30).
Multiple studies have shown that regular strength-training exercise can decrease blood pressure, lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and improve blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels (31, 32, 33, 34).
Strength training also can help you maintain a healthy body weight and manage your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are a major risk factor for heart disease (31).
Strength training may lower your risk of developing diabetes and can help those with the condition manage it better.
Skeletal muscle helps increase insulin sensitivity. It also reduces blood sugar levels by removing glucose from the blood and sending it to muscle cells. As a result, greater muscle mass can help improve blood sugar management (35, 36, 37, 38).
Strength training may also reduce your risk of developing diabetes. One study following 35,754 women for an average of 10 years showed a 30% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes among those who engaged in strength training compared with those who did not (39).
Contrary to popular belief, strength training can make you more flexible.
Strength training increases joint range of motion (ROM), allowing for greater mobility and flexibility. Plus, those with weaker muscles tend to have lower ROM and flexibility (40).
In fact, a recent review comparing stretching with strength training found they were equally effective at increasing ROM (41).
For best results, ensure you’re completing the full ROM of an exercise — in other words, utilize your full movement potential around a joint. For example, lower yourself into a squat as far as you’re able to go without compromising your form (42, 43).
Strength training can add a major boost to your self-confidence.
It helps you overcome challenges, work toward a goal, and appreciate your body’s strength. In particular, it can increase your self-efficacy — the belief that you’re able to succeed at or perform a task — which can greatly improve your confidence (44, 45, 46, 47).
In fact, one review of 7 studies in youth ages 10–16 years observed a significant association between strength training and high self-esteem, physical strength, and physical self-worth (47).
Additionally, a systematic review that studied 754 adults showed a significant link between strength training and positive body image, including body satisfaction, appearance, and social physique anxiety (the perception of judgment from others) (48).
Strength training is crucial for bone development.
Weight-bearing exercises put temporary stress on your bones, sending a message to bone-building cells to take action and rebuild bones stronger. Having strong bones reduces your risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and falls, especially as you age (49, 50, 51, 52).
Fortunately, you can reap the bone-strengthening benefits of strength training at any age.
Regular weight training may boost your mood and improve your mental health.
Multiple studies have shown that strength training may reduce anxiety and boost your mood (53, 54, 55, 56).
Strength training confers multiple benefits to mood regulation, such as increased self-esteem and self-efficacy. What’s more, exercise promotes the release of mood-boosting endorphins, which can play a role in a positive mood (53, 54, 57).
Those who engage in strength training may have better brain health and protection against age-related cognitive decline.
Multiple studies in older adults have pointed to significant improvements in cognitive function (e.g., processing speed, memory, and executive function) after participating in strength training, compared with those who did not participate in it (58, 59, 60, 61).
It’s thought that resistance training has many neuroprotective effects, such as improved blood flow, reduced inflammation, and an increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to memory and learning (62, 63, 64).
Strength training may increase your quality of life, especially as you age.
Numerous studies have linked strength training to increased health-related quality of life, defined as a person’s perceived physical and mental well-being (65, 66).
In fact, one review of 16 studies including adults ages 50 years and older showed a significant correlation between resistance training and better mental health, physical functioning, pain management, general health, and vitality (67).
What’s more, strength training may improve quality of life in those with arthritis. One review of 32 studies showed strength training significantly improved scores in pain and physical functioning (68).
Strength training provides many benefits, such as a lower risk of chronic disease, better self-esteem, and a reduced risk of injury and falls.
You can employ a few strategies to help you get the most of your strength-training routine.
If you’re new to strength training, you’ll want to master basic movement patterns first. This will ensure you’re performing exercises safely and effectively (1, 4).
You may wish to start with bodyweight exercises that emphasize balance, core stability, and basic movement patterns (e.g., bend-and-lift, single-leg, pushing, pulling, and rotation actions) (1, 4).
This could include bodyweight squats, single-leg stands, pushups, forearm planks, the bird dog exercise, and plank toe taps.
After you feel comfortable with basic movement patterns, try adding external forces (e.g., weights, resistance bands, and machines). If you’re unsure how to use a piece of equipment properly, speak with a physical therapist or personal trainer.
The types of exercises you choose will depend on your fitness goals, such as trying to build muscle (hypertrophy) or increasing muscular endurance.
For general muscular fitness, you’ll want to select a weight that allows you to perform 8–15 reps for 1–3 sets while maintaining proper form.
If you’re struggling to perform at least eight reps or cannot maintain good form, the weight is likely too heavy for you (except in advanced lifters with strength goals). On the flip side, if you can easily perform 15 or more reps, you should probably increase the weight.
To gain strength and build muscle, you need to challenge your muscles. Known as progressive overload, you should aim to increase the weight, reps, or number of sets as you become stronger (68, 69).
While some soreness is normal the day or two after a strength-training workout — this is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) — you should not be in pain or unable to perform your daily activities.
It’s a common myth that you need to be sore after a workout in order to achieve results. However, gaining strength and muscle mass are not linked to muscle soreness (70).
Instead, aim to end your sets just before failure, meaning you cannot physically complete any additional reps. This will decrease the likelihood of DOMS while still sufficiently challenging the muscle (70).
Finally, give yourself enough time to rest and allow your muscles to heal and grow. Most people benefit from 2–3 strength-training sessions per week (71, 72).
To yield the best results, start slow and focus on your form first. As you progress, slowly add more weight or resistance or increase your reps and sets.
If you haven’t tried strength training, now is the time to start.
Strength training provides numerous health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, stronger bones, better brain health and mood, and improved self-esteem.
Fortunately, strength training isn’t just lifting weights at the gym. You can get in a great strength-training workout using your body weight, resistance bands, free weights, or even items around your house.
Whether you’re new or experienced, strength training is for everyone.
Last medically reviewed on August 16, 2021
Resistance and endurance training can both be great ways to help stay healthy over time.
While exercise has long been known to help manage high blood pressure, new research has found the best form of exercise for different stages of the…
If you want to increase the size of your muscles, hypertrophy training is for you. If you want to increase the strength of your muscles, consider…
Cardio and weight lifting are the two most popular types of exercise, but many wonder which is better for weight loss. This article tells you all you…
Recent research has touted the benefits of Pilates for many populations. If you’re looking to see how Pilates benefits sleep, sex, mood, strength, and…
New research finds that exercise can stimulate microbes in our guts that produce pain- and inflammation-relieving substances called endocannabinoids.
Breast size is determined by a combination of genetics, hormones, and body weight. If you’re interested in increasing your breast size naturally, your…
Does a six-pack determine the strength and function of your core? Not necessarily. Here’s what you need to know to get strong, functional abs — and…
Sustainable fashion involves producing clothing in an ethical and environmentally conscious way. See the sustainable clothing brands our expert…
Many people wonder whether it’s OK to work out while they’re sick. This article explains why the answer isn’t black and white.

0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

16 thoughts on “14 Benefits of Strength Training, Backed by Science – Healthline

  1. Hello! I қnow this is kind of off-topic butt Ӏ needed tߋ ask.

    Does operating a ԝell-established blog ⅼike youгs require a
    ⅼarge amount of work? Ι’m completеly new tօ running
    a blog Ьut I dⲟ wrіte in my journal daily. I’d ⅼike to start ɑ blog so I will bе able tߋ share my experience and views online.
    Ꮲlease let me know if you have any recommendations օr tips for new aspiring bloggers.

    mʏ ⲣage – отвори ме

  2. Wһɑt you published maԁe a bunch of sense. Hоwever, ᴡhаt about this?
    whaat іf you ɑdded a ⅼittle informatіon? I mean, I ԁon’t
    wish to teⅼl you hoow too runn үouг website,
    but wһat іf yoս addeԁ ѕomething that grabbed folk’ѕ attention? І mean 14 Benefits
    of Strength Training, Backeԁ by Science – Healthline – MedicoNow іs a ⅼittle plain. Υoᥙ could glance at Yahoo’ѕ fгont
    paɡe and ѕee hоѡ tһey create post titles to
    get people іnterested. Yoᥙ miɡht add a video or а picture or two tⲟ grab readers excited ɑbout everythіng’ve written. In my
    opinion, іt would bring your posts a ⅼittle livelier.

    Ⅿy web-site – люби меня

  3. May I simply say what a relief t᧐ uncoiver an individual who
    actuɑlly knows what they’re talking ɑbout oveг the internet.
    Youu certainly realize how to bring a prߋblem tߋ light and mwke it impⲟrtant.

    Ꭺ ⅼot more people ѕhould гead this and understand this side ߋf your story.
    I was surprised that уou aare not more popular because you surely possess the gift.

    Ꭺlso visit mү blog … 私を救ってください

  4. I have been browsing online mоrе thаn threе hours today, yet I never found
    аny іnteresting article ⅼike ʏours. It iis
    pretty worth еnough for me. Personally, іf alⅼ site owners and bloggers made gooɗ
    content ɑs you did, tthe internet will be ɑ lot more
    սseful tһan eever bеfore.

    Here is mү website :: اقرأ لي

  5. I ust likе the valuable info yߋu provide to youг articles.
    I wіll bookmark уour weblog and check once more herе regularly.
    I am fairly sᥙгe I wіll be tߋld a lot of new stuff rіght rigһt һere!
    Βest of luck f᧐r tһe follοwing!

    Here іs my web-site: люби меня

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *