Muscle strength refers to the ability of muscles to create force, this is determined by how large your muscles are as well as how coordinated your brain and nervous system are at using your musculature for certain tasks. Muscle strength is associated with increased lifespan as well as an increased quality of life through increased health and functional ability.

Commonly strength training is thought of as something that only gym junkies and athletes participate in and can sometimes have an associated stigma or perceived barrier to participation. Anyone can participate in strength and resistance training as it is safe for all age groups as long as appropriately guided for those at higher risks (e.g. those with osteoporosis or developmental diseases). Our Muscles respond to the demands we place on them so regular strength or resitance exercise is important to stimulate muslces and prevent weakening. The Australian guidelines typically suggest strength exercises between 2-3 times a week.

There are many ways to perform strength training, but the most common ways are through weight training or calisthenics (using your own bodyweight). Both are highly effective however calisthenics has less requirements for equipment. There are endless ways to effectively structure an exercise program to incorporate strength and resistance training and it may be surprising how little you can do and still get results.

If you are currently not incorporating strength training into your lifestyle and are concerned about how you might go about it, consult your health professional to determine your needs and goals as well as ensuring safe and sustainable practice.