Friday, September 16, 2016

Strength vs. Power Training

Exactly what are strength and power training? Is there a difference? Which one is better for me?

Strength training is the popular term for exercises that build muscle by harnessing resistance - that is, an opposing force that muscles must strain against. Strength training is sometimes called resistance training or weight training. Resistance can be supplied by your body weight, free weights such as dumbbells, elasticized bands, or specialized machines. No matter what kind of resistance you use, putting more than the usual amount of load on your muscles makes them stronger.

Examples of strength exercises are weighted squats, dead-lifts and chest presses. Each of these exercises are done with consistent, slow exertion focusing on the contraction of the muscle and the extension of the muscle as the weight is lowered. The goal is larger muscle mass and the ability to lift more weight.

Power training is aimed at increasing power, which is the product of both strength and speed. Power reflects how quickly you can exert force to produce the desired movement. Power can help you react swiftly if you trip or lose your balance, helping you avoid a fall. Power moves are very practical for many sports and activities and create control over your strength.  Most power exercises are performed repetitively over a period of time to improve speed, quick reflexes and stamina.

Some power moves are just strength training moves done at a faster speed. Other power routines rely on the use of a weighted vest.  Plyometrics are power moves such as jumping and throwing that involve a rapid loading and stretching of the target muscles before a powerful counter contraction. Examples include depth jumps, hurdle jumps, lateral hops and clap pushups.

When you go to the gym, you have a limited amount of time to spend. Training for power is much more of a balanced approach to physical fitness. Not only will your muscles get stronger, but they will be better coordinated for quick, precise motions. You will gain strength and power while being efficient with your time.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

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