St. John’s Hospital Rehab South 3631 S. Sixth Street • Springfield, Illinois 62703 Fax: (217) 529-0988 (217) 744-PLAY (217) 744-FAST
Weight training is more than developing a sculpted body. Strong and healthy muscles are important for all activities performed throughout the day. Weight training helps with mundane tasks such as housecleaning, mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. It also aids in the body’s efficient use of oxygen, placing less strain on the heart. Good posture is the result of strong muscles being able to support the rest of the body’s mass 24 hours a day. In addition, weight training is useful in injury rehabilitation, thus returning people to pain-free activity. Weight training increases power, speed, muscular endurance, and flexibility for many types of activities.
Strength vs. Endurance
The two aspects of muscle development to consider are strength and endurance. Muscular strength refers to “power” or amount of force that is exerted by a muscle group against a resistance. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle group to perform an activity against resistance over an extended period of time. Individuals interested in increasing their aerobic (long distance or duration) fitness level will focus on muscular endurance training. For those who want to improve their anaerobic (sprint-like) performance, muscular strength training will be their priority. Most people benefit from both types of muscular training.
Candidates for Weight Training
Weight training is not just for athletes. It is true that athletes who wish to jump farther, run faster, swim longer or climb farther can accomplish these goals with the help of weight training. It is important to remember, however, that people of all ages, shapes and sizes can benefit from weight training. Adolescents wanting to maintain the strength and endurance that their youth has provided them can do so with weight training. Adults trying to manage or reduce