In the last video and article we discussed Why Strength Training is important, considering the role of strength is in human movements and what the beneficial long-term effects of strength training are?
In this video and article we discuss why strength training is important for athletes and
- how strength training can help improve performance
- how strength training can help prevent injuries
Strength training can help improve force and power production, the expression and development of speed and / or speed & agility, as well as enduring efforts. Strength training can reduce muscle imbalances and promote a more proportionate muscular development.
A stronger immune system, a healthy hormonal environment and a faster metabolism are health related benefits, that can help regeneration and recovery.
Why Strength Training is Important for Athletes?
In my work as a practitioner and strength coach, I basically have two objectives:
- to improve performance
- to prevent injuries
Here you can immediately see the inter-connection between the two points, because only a healthy athlete can perform optimally.
The idea behind preventing injuries is, to keep athletes on the competitive field as long as possible so that they can bring the best results and compete to the best of their ability.
How does Strength Training Help to Improve Performance?
Strength training improves force application, which means the more force
- you can apply in a running stride, the faster you ultimately run
- you can apply in a in a take-off in a hump, the higher you ultimately jump
- you can apply in a stroke, the harder you ultimately hit
These examples can be extended to various other sporting activities, such as throwing, changing direction, etc
Bottom-line is to show the inter-connection between strength and force application and sporting actions
Strength and force application is also important for power production, as power is the combination of speed and strength combined. For more details on the difference on strength and power, have a look at the article Power Training vs Strength Training – what is the difference?
And in most sports, athletes have a limited time to apply force and therefore it’s important to apply the highest amount of force in the shortest period of time or within the time-frame given.
I have outlined a few examples in the article The 101 of Power Training for Beginners
Strength training has a lot of benefits, from force application and power production; which consequently improves speed development, agility and changing directions and it also can improve endurance and endurance performances.
Important to note is, that strength training lays the foundation for becoming faster, more agile and endure longer.
It does not mean just by engaging in strength training you will automatically faster, more agile or endure longer. It simple provides a very god base to build on.
A Healthy Athlete is a well-performing Athlete
As I have discussed in Why Strength Training is Important strength training and the resulting adaptations to strength training offer various health benefits.
As Strength training promotes
- a positive hormonal environment, including a higher secretion of testosterone and growth hormones it will allow the athlete to recover faster and the magnitude of adaptations to strength training (or better any kind of training) will be greater.
- And strengthens the immune system, athletes are less sick and will not lose valuable training time.
- Stronger muscles, and as we have discussed before, every joint is surrounded by a muscle or a muscle group, the stronger the muscle, the more protected the joints.
- A balanced muscular development, as most sports are uni-lateral, you kick with one foot, you throw with one arm, you jump of one leg, etc, just by performing your sport, the dominant side develops more than your non-dominant side. A well-designed strength training program can lead to a more equally balanced development.
Concluding Why Strength Training is Important for Athletes?
Strength training has two benefits that are important for athletes, it improves performance and lets you ultimately run faster, jump higher, throw and kick harder and endure longer, but it also reduces injuries and promotes health which allows the athletes to not lose valuable training and competition time and perform to the best of his abilities.