The importance of resistance training – by Osteopath Dr Shehan Kariyakaranage
Running and walking are popular forms of exercise that we all enjoy and use to help us improve our overall health and well-being! However a form of exercise that is often neglected and avoided, but that’s just as important, is resistance training. Resistance training comes in many forms; whether that’d be normal weights, body-weighted exercises or even in other forms such as bands and medicine balls. Resistance training is defined as any exercise that that forces the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the purpose of improving muscular strength, mass and/or endurance.
There are many benefits of resistance training for all age groups. Despite previous concerns regarding safety, resistance training in children has been proven beneficial and is now endorsed by governing bodies. Benefits in children include:
· Improving body/limb control
· Improving joint stability
· Improving strength endurance
· Improving the integrity of bone structure/decrease risk of fractures in growing children
· Improving fitness levels
· Improving mood & self esteem
· Improving muscular adaption to prevent future injuries
· Laying foundations for maximal strength, power and sporting performance in the future
Resistance training is not be confused with bodybuilding and powerlifting. Children are in fact encouraged to participate in supervised resistance training at least 3 times per week in accordance to ‘Australia physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines’ . Many injuries that occur in children are due to accidental weight contact injuries (e.g. plate falling onto a toe). However resistance training is very much safe, as long as the program is well designed (based on age, size, and existing strength levels) and is supervised.
Children are initially recommended to begin resistance training with bodyweight exercises. Once they display control of over their body weight and limbs, they can progress onto soft resistances (e.g. bands, sand tubes, medicine balls). After this is accomplished to an advanced level, children will then be allowed to commence harder/heavier barbell training.
In adults/elderly the benefits are similar. However programs are designed to focus on:
· Increasing muscle mass, strength and endurance (beneficial in elderly)
· Improving cardiovascular health & preventing chronic conditions (e.g. diabetes, arthritis)
· Improving posture
· Decreasing stress levels
· Increasing bone density and strength and reduce risk of osteoporosis
· Improving mobility, balance and motor control
To maintain general health, adults are encouraged to partake in resistance training at least 2 times per week, in accordance with the ‘Australia physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines’ .
Programs should involve all major muscle groups and a combination of single joint and multi-joint exercises is encouraged.
Dr Shehan Kariyakaranage (Osteopath)
Shehan Kariyakaranage is a registered osteopath and a level 1 accredited strength and conditioning coach. He is able to provide specific exercise prescription and develop programs to rehabilitate and prevent injuries.
Where can you find me?
Alexandra Hills: 1 Bluebell St, Alexandra Hills QLD, 4161 (Mon, Thurs, Sat)
New Farm: 11/65 James St, Brisbane QLD, 4005 (Wed, Fri)
 Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines [Internet]. Physiopedia. [Cited 1 March 2019]. Available from: https://www.physiopedia.com/Australia%27s_Physical_Activity_and_Sedentary_Behaviour_Guidelines