21 Thu

Make your nerves work better. Strength Train!

Make your nerves work better. Strength Train!

Written by:  Michelle Millner, PT, DPT, OCS

“Strength training is boring.” “I don’t want to look like Arnold.” “How is this going to help me with my running (or golf, or tennis)?”  Those are some of the hesitations I often hear about strength training. But recent evidence is telling us what we already knew. Strength training is important and leads to some surprising physiological benefits.

Strength training, however, is not synonymous with weight lifting.  Weight lifting is a sport that requires the participant to lift as much weight as they can.  Strength training works of developing musculoskeletal function, so that you can meet the demands you put on your body.

The act of using your muscles makes your nerves send signals to them, which in turn sends sensory information (weight, direction, resistance and other information) to your brain.  Repeatedly asking muscles to perform activities in strength training actually improves the connection between your muscles and your nerves.  Muscles become stronger not because they bulk up, but because the signals they receive increase in frequency and specificity.  Muscles and nerves learn to work together better improving your overall strength and ultimately your function.

Take home message:  No matter what your sport or activity, a well rounded strengthening program will help you improve your functional level.  This is true across all age spans and activity levels.  If you have questions about strength training or how to implement a program right for you consider consulting a physiotherapist.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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