Enhance Sports Performance with Resistance Training
For example, marathon runners train by running, while cyclists – you guessed it – train by riding their bikes. But whether you play soccer or basketball, you’re big on Parkour, or your idea of a good time includes a kayak and white-water rapids, you may find, at some point that your training sessions are not delivering the results that they used to. Or perhaps you’ve found that you can’t seem to get over a personal plateau with a pure cardio routine.
Whatever the case, you may eventually come to the realization that adding weight training to your efforts could be beneficial to your overall health and fitness, taking you to the next level with whatever form of athletics you prefer. And here are just a few benefits that should help convince you to take the leap and lift some weights.
Five Weight Training Benefits for Athletes
- Strengthen your core.
You may not know this, but your core muscles activate almost every time you move your body. And if you are athletic, the relative strength of your core could play a major role in your level of performance. Perhaps you’re already doing crunches or planks as part of your cardio and strength routine, but when you add weights to the mix and start a balanced training program that includes both your abdominal and latissimus dorsi muscles (abs and lats, for the uninitiated) you stand to increase the output from the powerhouse that is your core, which could significantly improve performance in nearly any field of athletics.
- Tone muscle.
Some people fear that lifting weights will give them bulging muscles that they don’t really want, but this is a common misconception. Bulking requires a very specific type of training that includes a combination of dietary conditions and a graduated schedule of weight lifting. If you are an athlete that is merely looking to turn fat into muscle in order to transform yourself into a more efficient machine, the right type of weight training can help you to reach your goals.
While some people want to tone their muscles, others are, in fact, looking to bulk up in order to significantly increase strength and improve athletic performance. Weight training can make this possible, but you’ll have to follow a system that increases the amount of weight you lift regularly and in most cases, adds quite a lot of specific caloric intake to your diet (lots of protein, in particular). Even then it can be difficult to bulk, especially if you tend to have a lean build naturally.
- Protect against injury.
It’s a myth that weight lifters are injured more frequently than other athletes; in truth, using the proper technique and being aware of the signals your body sends should help you to avoid injury during weight training (spotters are a good idea, as well). But you should also know that strengthening your muscles could actually help to rehabilitate old injuries and prevent new ones. Of course, there is never a guarantee, but when your body is strong and conditioned you’ll actually face less risk of injury (all things considered).
- Improve overall health.
Your body is a machine, and when you tune it properly you can give it commands and expect it to comply. Run faster, jump higher, throw farther; your body can do what you tell it to if you make sure it is properly prepared.
You might have to create a balanced diet and add a gummy vitamin to your daily routine to optimize your health, but when you practice an exercise regimen that includes frequent cardio and targeted weight training you’re sure to find yourself in the best shape of your life, a condition that can only help to keep you healthy, happy, and performing at peak levels in your choice of athletic pursuits.