Severe sports injuries can lead to putting an athlete or sports person’s career and lives on hold. This makes injury prevention extremely crucial for them. One proven way to lower the risk of sports injury is known as resistance training. In this article, we would understand what exactly resistance training is, and how does it help a sportsperson.
What is strength training and how does it work?
Simply put, resistance training is exercising your muscles using an opposing force. Also known as weight training, resistance training and muscular training and strength training, it is a workout programme in which one uses equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands or your own body weight to build muscle mass, strength and endurance. During resistance training, muscle fibres are broken down. Your body then repairs them, resulting in your muscles growing stronger. Toning and sculpting of the body are the other key results of weight training.
Types of weight training
Muscular hypertrophy: Strength training using moderate-to-heavy weights.
Muscular endurance: Building muscles’ ability to sustain exercise for a period of time though high reps using light weights or body weight.
Circuit training: Switching from one to another exercise with no rest in-between with full-body conditioning.
Maximum muscular strength: Low reps and heavy weights to improve your overall strength
Explosive power: Meant for trained athletes to improve their ability to perform explosive movements
How does resistance training help a sportsperson?
A study conducted by Jeppe Bo Lauersen, Ditte Marie Bertelsen, Lars Bo Andersen in 2020 including 7,738 athletes showed strength training could reduce sports injuries to less than 1/3 and overuse injuries could be almost halved by this workout regime.
It is medically proven that strength training not only improves your strength and range of motion but also supports better mobility of your muscles along with ligaments and tendons. That way all the major joints in the body ─ knees, hips and ankles ─ are in a better position to withstand a variety of motions, providing additional protection against injury.
Muscle training also acts as a protection against back injuries by correcting muscular imbalances. Since resistance training makes your core, hamstrings and glutes powerful enough to share the burden, you are not taking all the load on your back, letting it carry only the rightful share of the burden.
Contrary to the common misconception, resistance training also enables better bodily flexibility. This is because muscular strength and stability is required to actively manipulate the body joints. What happens is that when you perform static stretches using body weight, limb support or external equipment, you’re basically working on muscular flexibility. Good flexibility leads to better mobility in your various body joints, lessening the scope for sports injuries.
Bone development and strength are also directly linked to resistance training. Since weight-lifting exercises cause pressure on bones, the natural body mechanism works towards strengthening and rebuilding of the bone structure. As a result of this, a sportsperson with greater exposure to resistance training has lower risk of developing bone conditions like osteoporosis, fractures, and falls, especially in their mature years.