When it comes to exercise and training, we all have different goals for what we want to achieve. Because there are various ways we can exercise, it is sometimes difficult to find the right type of training that aligns with your goals and needs. Here are the most common types of training modes and their benefits, as understanding these can help you determine which mode of exercise works for you.
Resistance (Strength) Training:
This type of training involves moving our muscles through their range of motion against a resistance (i.e. body weight, dumbbells, power bands) for a specific number of sets and repetitions. This type of training is designed to improve muscle mass, strength and endurance. Resistance training is one of the most common forms of exercise training as it provides several benefits. This includes improving muscle strength and tone, reducing chronic or acute injury risk and increasing energy expenditure and function in everyday life.
This is also a common mode of training that often includes a continuous work for extended periods of time such as jogging for ten minutes on a treadmill. Other ways we can do cardiovascular training is through interval training. This training involves alternating periods of high and low intensity activity (e.g. rowing for one minute then resting for a minute, or boxing for thirty seconds and rest for thirty). These types of training serve to improve cardiac function and improving blood flow to the active muscle and surrounding areas. Not only does this improve aerobic endurance and assist with weight loss but it helps in reducing blood pressure, total cholesterol and fasting glucose which can lead to an improvement in quality of life for those with underlying health conditions.
Another way of training is flexibility or mobility, which can be stretches or exercises that assist our joints to achieve their full range of motion, for example doing leg swings to improve hip mobility. By increasing blood flow to the joint and increasing range of motion, this reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and can assist with muscle tightness and pain.
Balance and Proprioception Training:
Balance training is utilised for those who have a chronic condition where balance is impacted or for those who have an acute joint injury and joint stability is affected. Exercises such as a single leg calf raise, or a heel to toe walk are designed to challenge the body’s proprioception (our awareness of our body parts in space). From this, the neural connections between the brain and the musculoskeletal system are stimulated and our ability to correct our body in an unstable environment improves, thus reducing falls risk.