Strength Training: Health Benefits, How to Get Started, and How to Get Better (Everyday Health)

Posted: Apr 04, 2023 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Everyday Health on April 4, 2023.


Strength Training: Health Benefits, How to Get Started, and How to Get Better

By Lauren Bedosky

The days of strength training being a pursuit of body builders and gym rats has passed.

Strength training has been linked with benefits from healthier bones to stronger muscles to a better mood and longer lifespan. These are just a few reasons resistance exercise is included in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) physical activity guidelines and recommended for all adults.

So, what makes strength training so important (and beneficial)? And how much do you have to do for health perks?

What Is a Strength Training Workout?

Strength training (or resistance training) is a type of exercise that causes your muscles to resist an external force, according to the definition from Penn State College of Medicine. The force can be applied by your body weight, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, resistance bands, exercise machines, or several other tools.

Types of Strength Training

According to the Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, there are two primary types of resistance training:

  • Isometric Resistance This type involves static muscle contractions, so your muscles contract without changing length (or without movement). Examples include holding a plank (the top of a push-up) or performing a wall sit (holding your body in a seated position with your back against a wall).
  • Isotonic Strength training This type involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion. Examples include bodyweight squats and push-ups.

Isotonic strength training can be divided even further into two phases of muscle contraction: concentric and eccentric. The concentric part is the portion of the exercise in which the muscle shortens, whereas the eccentric is the portion in which the muscle lengthens, according to research.


Resources We Love: Strength Training


American Council on Exercise

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization that certifies health coaches and exercise professionals. It also offers plenty of free resources on its website, including a robust blog, calculators (for body mass index, target heart rate zone, blood pressure), and an extensive exercise database and library with detailed descriptions and photos.


Read the full article here.

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