Strength: More Than Just Lifting Weights

Traditionally, when someone discusses strength images of Arnold Schwarzenegger, 300 pound bench presses, and big biceps immediately come to mind. Although those images are reflective of strength, they are also limiting the importance of strength and those who choose to participate.

Viewing strength from an athletes perspective, the benefits of strength are vast and easy to understand. Strength needs are based on the individual athlete, the sport, and the goal. Strength needs can range from:

  • Absolute Strength: Maximum amount of force production (football lineman)
  • Optimal Strength: The greatest amount needed for specific sport (no further strength will improve performance)
  • Strength Endurance: Time dependent strength (swimming, rowing, cycling)
  • Speed Strength: Greatest amount of force produced in the shortest time. (change of direction sports)

There are various types of movement training that are associated with the above needs. It is important for any athlete to seek the guidance of a movement specialist or strength and conditioning specialist to ensure proper program design.

When looking at why strength training is needed for “active aging”, we must look at functional needs. There are three basic needs that exist for those of all ages:

  1. The ability to go from a ground to a standing position.  Individuals  must possess the upper body strength to push away from the ground, the “mostability” in their hips to assume a half kneeling position, and the leg strength to stand upright.
  2. The ability to bend over and pick an object up of the ground.  Individuals must possess integrated total body strength in order to avoid compensatory methods that could lead to discomfort or injury.
  3. The ability to lift objects from different starting positions to different angles and heights away from their body. Think of times in the garage when your moving objects from one place to another. Once again, individuals must possess integrated total body strength.

As with the above sports conditioning there are specific conditioning programs to enhance one or all of the above strength needs. The DHF Team offers live or remote coaching on any of the above strength needs. For more information contact us here.

References:

2017, Institute of Motion Anatomy Live

Resistance Training Specialist, Tom Purvis

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