Muscular strength is the amount of force that your muscles can exert against resistance. This is similar to a one-repetition maximum bench press test.
- When you use your muscles regularly, they become strong. They help you lift, push, pull, jump, twist, turn and bend.
- Having muscular strength can keep you from becoming easily fatigued and can keep your muscles from becoming sore or injured when you do things such as mowing the lawn.
- Strong muscles help you stand, sit and walk easily. When you have strong abdominal and back muscles, you are less likely to have lower back pain and more likely to have correct posture.
- Muscular strength will improve your performance in sports and help to prevent injuries. You are able to bowl a cricket ball farther and hit a tennis ball harder and with more control when your muscles are strong.
- Muscular strength will lead to an increase in lean muscle, and a lower amount of body fat. This increase in lean muscle leads to a higher metabolism, creating a higher kilojoule burn during rest as well as during exercise. The benefit of less body fat as a result of good muscular strength can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How men and women differ
There is a difference in muscles size in men and women. Even if size, weight and activity were equal, women would not develop as much muscle mass as men. The endocrine system, not physical activity, helps determine muscle size. In addition, women lose more strength than men do as they become inactive or as they age, especially from the upper body. Fortunately, this loss is reversible.
How to improve muscular strength
Barbell exercises are the easiest way to build muscle, but squats and push-ups are also beneficial; you also need to have a balanced diet that includes protein with every meal.
During your training sessions, train your upper and lower body about two to three times per week. For each exercise, use the appropriate amount of weight to successfully perform three to five repetitions. Perform two to four sets per exercise, and rest one to three minutes in between each exercise.
Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day. If you want to know more about muscular strength, call us on the EWP number or email us at
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