146 STRENGTH TRAINING CRUCIAL FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE

Strength training not only improves the strength but also the general and specific sports performance. Athletes jump higher, they sprint faster and they can provide a better endurance performance when they do strength training. It also appears that this training form reduces the risk of injuries.

Strength training is together with endurance training, probably the best known form of training. It is of course not surprising that athletes who have to deliver a lot of strength during their exercise regularly do strength training.

Nevertheless, there is increasing attention to the role strength training can play in less obvious performances such as the duration performance. Also read the series of articles about strength training that has been published recently: Articles 093 to 100. American and Australian researchers have now investigated the role strength training plays in sport. This they did by examining the past decades and analyze the results.

STRENGTH TRAINING PAYS OFF

From this literature review which examined 125 studies it shows that strength training should be a standard part of the training schedule. The assertion that strength training improves strength is obviously kicking down an open door. However, this increased muscle strength also has a positive influence on all kinds of other performance measures. There are clear links found between more muscular strength and jumping higher and sprinting faster. But also coordination increases as athletes increase their muscle strength. Finally, it seems also to improve endurance performance if endurance athletes do strength training several times week.

Strength training not only has a positive effect on performance, but this training will also have a preventive function. So athletes who do strength get less injured than athletes who do not include strength training in their training.

The researchers do make an important nuance. Not every random strength training will have a positive effect on the above-mentioned performance. Strength training should, logically, be sport specific. Therefore, the joint angles and the speed in which an athlete moves during the races have also to come back in the training.

ADVICE

Strength training should practically be in the training program for all athletes. Not only the performance will improve, even this training form reduces the risk of injuries. The strength training must be sport specific and based on individual capacity. So expert guidance is a necessity.

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