The Importance of Resistance Training for Athletes

If you were looking for one thing to take away from this article I think we can sum it up in one sentence: Resistance training is the most important mode of training to improve sports performance.  Resistance training (can be referred to as strength training) is the use of weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or even body weight in order to improve one’s strength.  There are numerous benefits to strength training such as improving:

  • Bone, muscle, and cardiovascular health
  • Coordination
  • Body composition
  • Sport preparation and performance
  • Psychological well-being
  • Social interaction

There are a number of “parts” that make up a great athlete.  These parts include endurance, balance, agility, power, and speed.  Strength is the driving gear for all of these parts, so if you resistance train, you will improve all of the parts.  In order to train for peak or optimal performance, you will need to focus on all of these parts specifically.  However, if an athlete only has time to focus on one thing it should be resistance training because if improves all of the parts such as:

  • Movement Skills
  • Balance
  • Strength
  • Power
  • Speed and Agility
  • Endurance

There are a lot things to consider before starting a resistance or strength training program:

  • What sports the athlete plays and what part of the season is it?
  • What are the demands of the sport?
  • Have they performed resistance training before?
  • Do they have any injuries or conditions to take into account?
  • What equipment do they have available to train with?
  • How much time does the athlete have to train?
  • Will they be able to train safely with supervision

If you need help with setting up a resistance training program the Institute for Athletic Medicine has a number of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) that would be happy to help.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions at (**phone number**)

John Corbo, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS

Faigenbaum AD, Westcott WL. Youth Strength Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2000

Faigenbaum AD, Lloyd RS, MacDonald J, Myer GD. Citius, Altius, Fortius: beneficial effects of resistance training for young athletes: Narrative review. BJSM. 2016; 50:3-7