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Strength Training Myth #2 - Strength Training Will harm Your Joints

The belief that strength training destroys your joints is a pervasive myth.  This belief may deter people from incorporating strength training into their fitness routines. Contrary to this misconception, strength training can significantly benefit joint health when performed correctly and safely in a progressive manner.Myth Busting: Strength Training and Joint DamageThe idea that strength training damages joints stems from a misunderstanding of the forces involved and the body's ability to adapt. Some people believe that you will “were out” your joints and cause pain with physical demands of lifting. The fear is that the stress will accelerate wear and tear or exacerbate conditions like arthritis. However, research consistently shows that strength training, when done with proper form and appropriate resistance, does not damage joints. Instead, it promotes joint health and stability.Supporting Joint Health Through Strength TrainingStrength training enhances joint health in several ways. Firstly, it increases muscle strength around the joints, providing better support and stability.  Strength training also causes adaptation in bones, ligaments and tendons to make them thicker, stronger and more resilient as well. 

Secondly, resistance training can improve joint function by enhancing mobility and range of motion. Regularly moving joints through their full range of motion helps not only maintain but increase range of motion.  Strength training through a full range of motion is flexibility training.  It can also increase the fluid within the joint capsules, which nourishes the cartilage and reduces stiffness. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis, as it can help maintain mobility and manage pain.  This often seems counterintuitive.  People experiencing arthritis pain can feel resistance training will cause more pain and damage to the effected joint.  Research continues to show exercise in general and strength training can reduce the pain associated with arthritis.  This is of course dependent on proper form and exercise dose prescription.  This is why working with a properly trained and certified coach is helpful. Lastly, bone density improvements are another critical benefit. Weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone growth, increasing density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Stronger bones provide better structural support to joints, mitigating the risk of fractures and joint degradation over time. When approached with proper technique and appropriate loads, strength training is not only safe for aging joints but is essential for their longevity and health. It fosters stronger muscles, enhances flexibility, and supports overall joint function, debunking the myth that it is detrimental. Embracing strength training can lead to healthier, more resilient joints, underscoring its role in a balanced fitness regimen.

Nate Moe

Personal Strength Coach

Helping adults train for the most extreme sport of all, aging well. 

Become an athlete of aging today


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