Strength Training: the Missing Link
Can you knock off eight miles on the track or an hour on the bike, but struggle through a few pull-ups? Despite your commitment to fitness, your workout is likely missing something. You know what I'm talking about. Runners and cyclists enjoy cardiovascular workouts so much that we tend to neglect an essential part of total fitness—strength training.
You need not spend hours in the gym getting pumped up to enjoy the benefits of weight training. You can make gains in strength, power, and fitness in as little as two sessions as week.
Regular weight training makes you stronger, and we're not just talking about bulging biceps. Weight training strengthens bones, ligaments, and tendons as well as muscles, all of which translate into improved balance, greater power, quicker recovery, and a reduced risk for injury.
In fact, performing only aerobic exercise, could result in an overuse injury. Running, for example, works your calves and hamstrings, but ignores the upper body. By strengthening all the major muscle groups, you can avoid an imbalance and reduce your risk for injury.
Last reviewedNovember 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.