The Benefits of Strength Training
The benefits of strength training will be obvious to you because your
will respond to strength conditioning by:
- Increases in muscle fibre size
- Increased muscle contractile strength
- Increased tendon tensile strength
- increased ligament strength
- increased bone strength
- and as a result, this will lead to changes in your physical
appearance, your physical capacity and your metabolic function.
Its important to remember that the
type of conditioning
you are doing will determine which
of the 5 benefits of strength training are most emphasized.
What does this mean to us as surfers?
Increased work capacity:
Well, greater maximal muscle
allows us to push against our boards with more
force, and to put more force into each paddle-stroke, allowing us to
Greater strength endurance
allows us to paddle for longer period of time at a moderate pace.
Greater postural strength allows us to maintain a stable position for
longer periods of time - also against other forces acting on the body -
allowing other muscles and limbs to function more effectively.
Because muscle tissue is metabolically active, the more you
have, the higher your metabolism (the amount of calories your body
burns) will be - and this is a great benefit for those
wanting to lose body fat (less non-functional mass to weigh you down in
Decreases the risk of injury:
Greater tendon, ligament, connective tissue and joint-stabilizing
muscle strength - helps to brace our joints and act as shock absorbers.
Strong, balanced ,supple muscles help keep your posture aligned - a
reason why flexibility training should be part of your
overall conditioning process.
A balanced physique will help prevent injury - if certain muscles are
very weak and tight, they become the "weakest point in a muscle chain"
and can cause injury to the joints they support.
Strength training is possibly the most reliable "elixir of youth".
Obviously, the type of injuries often seen in older people due to
decrease of mechanical function are minimized when strength is
maintained or increased.
Because of the 5 benefits of strength training, as
mentioned above, the functional capacity of anyone will increase,
regardless of their age, when they maintain a good strength training
Strength training decreases the risk of osteoporosis
and its associated
injuries, by increasing bone strength.
For more on training, see Training Principles