“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
The benefits of resistance training in both athletics and training within the general public has been well studied and documented for years. Improvements in power and performance, as well as increased muscle size are always things that come to mind when thinking about the benefits of resistance training, but resistance training also has direct correlations to reduction of injuries.
Studies have reported that the direct effect of resistance training helps physiological adaptations seen consequent to resistance training on bone, connective tissue and muscle to provide enhanced protection against injury for individuals who participate in such training programs.
Effects on Bone:
The bone is living tissue. This means it has the ability to remodel and adapt to physical stresses imposed on it.
Individuals that are physically active have been shown to have greater bone mineral density than those who are sedentary. In general those that are active reduce risk for osteoporosis, fracture, or other ailments related to bone deterioration.
Studies have found that through resistance training these effects are amplified. Resistance training provides greater osteopenia effects, increasing beneficial bone strength that will help reduce stress fractures.
Overall this means that as muscular strength improves so does bone strength.
Effects on Connective Tissue:
Connective tissue is the framework of the body. It consists of cells and fibers embedded in a gel-like material containing tissue fluids and various metabolites.
The primary fiber of connective tissue is collagen. Studies have found that resistance training has a direct effect on connective tissue adaptations, in addition to increasing both the size and strength of ligaments and tendons.
Increasing the size of the connective tissue is thought to be a result of an increase in collagen content within the connective tissues sheaths. One study comparing body builders to untrained individuals suggested that increase in collagen content is proportional to the increase in muscle.
Body builders seem to have greater absolute collagen content, but relative values are similar to untrained controls. This means that increases in muscle mass are likely met by increases in the size and strength of the connective tissue.
Effects on Muscle:
It’s no surprise that as we age, a decrease in muscle mass (sarcopenia) occurs. This means a subsequent reduction in muscle strength results in a loss of functional ability and also an increased risk for falls and fractures.
When looking at the aging adult population, resistant training programs have benefits for increase in both strength and muscle size just like athletic training programs do. The functional ability to maintain and improve the risk of injury is significantly reduced when resistance training.
Resistance training has a huge role in reducing the risk for musculoskeletal injuries related to muscle imbalances, expressed as either agonist to antagonist ratios or as bilateral comparisons. Correction of these imbalances through resistance training is pivotal in reducing risk of muscular injury.
Resistance training also has a positive effect on reducing lower back injuries by increasing strength in the lumbar extensors and lumbar vertebrae. This will shield your body from a multitude of muscular injuries that can occur with aging and sedentary lifestyles.
In conclusion, resistance training is almost like the fountain of youth.
As we age we lose the ability to produce power due to the decrease in muscle mass and bone density, which directly correlates to our connective tissue.
Any individual that is in a properly progressed resistance training program will see drastic benefits in their everyday life performing functional movement patterns and the benefits of injury prevention. This means that.