What is Strenght training and how can it benefit my sport?
What is strength training?
Strength training can also be known as weight training, resistance training, and muscular training.
Strength training increases muscle mass, strength, and endurance by making muscles work against a weight or force (e.g., dumbbells and resistance bands).
Why is strength training in the best interest when performing in sports?
The main benefits of strength training can be summarised into two main goals:
- Preventing injuries
- Improving performance
There is two types of Injuries - Acute and Chronic
⇒ Acute injuries are injuries that happen due to a single traumatic event, like sprains, strains, dislocations, etc. These incidences are part of the sport and can’t be changed, we have very little influence on this type of injury.
⇒ Chronic injuries are damages to the body due to overloads and imbalances. This type of injury, we can influence, and this is where the Strength & Conditioning training can help with preventing these types of injuries.
In very simple words, a stronger muscle is a more resilient muscle, the stronger the muscle groups surrounding a joint, the more the joint is protected, the stronger the active movement, the less load on the passive movement - preventing injury.
Anterior vs. Posterior Chain Exercises
- Anterior chain muscles include all the muscles on the front of the body – such as pectoral and quadricep muscles. These muscles are often used in pushing movements – such as the bench press or squat.
- Posterior chain muscles are along the back of the body such as scapular, rotator cuff muscles, and hamstrings. These are most often used in pulling movements – such as the leg curl.
Understanding the difference between strengthening the anterior vs. posterior muscle chains and the necessary balance between them is crucial when applying strength-training. No matter which set of muscles is most used, it is imperative to keep them balanced and not allow one to have excessive development. Muscle imbalances are the fastest road to injury.
The majority of sports are Anterior Chain dominated.
Taking tennis as an example, every swing is a forward motion. Not one movement is a posterior movement. Anterior chain strength is vital to the performance of a tennis player.
However, if tennis players don’t train the lesser-used posterior chain, they are putting themselves at risk for numerous injuries as muscle groups work in pairs to carry out the movement.
The use of Proper strength and conditioning allows us to:
- strengthen supporting muscles,
- even out muscle imbalances,
- increase mobility,
- correct posture,
- stabilize joints,
- learn new movement patterns,
- enhance coordination and peripheral skills,
- and so much more.