Published: January 09, 2015
Muscular strength is just one component of physical fitness. Along with cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition, muscular strength can provide several health benefits.
Muscular strength refers to the amount of force a muscle can produce and is usually measured by the maximum amount of force a muscle can produce in a single effort (maximal effort). The amount of muscle strength which can be achieved depends on gender, age, and inherited physical attributes. While strong muscles are essential for any athletic endeavour, strong muscles can benefit everyone in some way.
Strong muscles can have direct and indirect benefits on health and include:
- Ease of movement
- Good posture
- Easier performance of work, everyday activities and exercise
- Easier performance of recreational activities
- Stronger tendons and ligaments, and bones
- Decreased risk of injury
- Decreased risk of falls
Muscles support the skeleton and enable movement. Strong muscles in the legs, buttocks, back, abdomen, chest, and shoulder provide a person with the strength to stand up straight and maintain good posture.
Strong muscles enable functional movements associated with everyday living. Many recreational activities such as skiing and kayaking require strength in particular muscle groups such as legs or upper body.
When muscles are strong the associated tendons which attach muscles to bone, and ligaments, which attach bone to bone are usually also strong. Exercises which strengthen muscles are associated with strengthening bones. Strong muscle, tendons, ligaments and bones decrease the risk of injury as the body is better able to respond to falls or extra loads which the body experiences.
Back pain can be prevented or reduce by strengthening back muscles, arthritis can be alleviated by strengthening the muscles around the joints that are affected, and strength training may be therapeutic for people with chronic pain.
Good muscle strength can also increase work capacity so that an individual does not tire easily and can improve athletic performance. During an emergency, strong muscles enable an individual to work beyond their normal capacity.
Daily tasks, such as lifting heavy items and placing them on shelves can be made easier if an individual has good muscular strength. Parents and grandparents need strong muscles to life infants and young children. For example: Lifting a heavy box, or piece of equipment and placing it on a self at shoulder height is an action....follow the link to the full article to learn more.
Corbin, C.B. & Lindsey, R. (1994). Concepts of Physical Fitness. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications Inc.
CSEP (2003).The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness & Appraisal. Health Canada