What is Resistance Training?

Resistance training involves performing physical exercise where the muscle is under load using resistance. The resistance can be your own body weight, resistance bands, free weights or cable equipment at the gym. Activities such as yoga, pilates and circuit training also have elements of resistance training.

Not all of us want to have superman strength, or biceps like Arnie, however we should all strive for muscle health by including general strength training in our weekly routine.  

Functional exercises using your own body weight such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats and lunges are super practical ways that almost everyone can include resistance training into their lives. 

What are the benefits? 

Physical activities that improve endurance, power, strength of the skeletal muscles have many positive health benefits and are equally as important as completing aerobic exercise. 

Long term health benefits 

  • According to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, undertaking 2 sessions of resistance training per week may reduce cancer related mortality by up to 34%, and premature death by as much as 21% 
  • Muscle strengthening activities may also reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength) and osteoporosis by preserving our bone density
  • Protecting our bones and muscles is crucial to living an active & longer life where we can complete daily tasks without trouble as we age

Effective for weight loss

Our metabolism can be sped up by increasing the proportion of muscle we have, allowing our body to burn more calories. Therefore, adding resistance training to your current cardio routine can result in losing weight faster than cardio alone. 

Mood Boosting 

The mental health benefits of resistance training can be truly uplifting. Aside from the natural release of endorphins that we get from exercise, the feeling of achieving new levels of strength and seeing positive physical changes in your own body can provide a massive sense of accomplishment while boosting happiness. 

Performing daily activities 

Most of our daily activities require us to use our muscle strength, whether this be moving objects around the house, lifting at work, climbing upstairs or doing work in the garden. 

Increasing our muscular endurance and strength is going to improve our ability to perform these movements safer for longer.

How often should I be training with resistance? 

Australia’s current physical activity guidelines for adults recommends performing muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week. You don’t need to dedicate your life to resistance training to reap the rewards – doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently aren’t doing any exercise, start small, and over time build up to the recommended amount.

Here is an example of a squat – from beginner level to a more advanced level using a barbell. 

Squat technique with progressions

The bottom line is, including muscle strengthening activities in your exercise routine just twice per week can improve your quality of life (physically & mentally) and reduce the risk for developing certain chronic conditions & diseases. 

Whether you are looking for an exercise rehabilitation program post injury, or have a health and fitness goal in mind, your osteopath will help to guide you with your exercise selection and frequency. Visit our website to book online or give us a call on 5941 4157.