Lower Body Strength Training for Upper Body Gains
The benefits of strength or resistance training are numerous including increased quality of life, reduce injury risk, and increased performance. In previous blog posts we have discussed the cross over effect where working one side of the body creates improved flexibility, strength, or balance on both sides of the body. If we view our bodies as an interconnected unit versus individual pieces we can create better strength training programs to maximize strength development.
A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning research compared two different long term lower body resistance training programs on upper body strength development (Bartolomei et al. 2016). The participants were divided up into two groups one performed a lower volume, heavy lifting (low reps, high weight) program while the second performed a higher volume, moderate load (high reps, lower weight) program. Both groups lifted weights 4 days a week for 6 weeks. The authors found the higher volume training had a stronger effect on upper body strength measurements compared to the lower volume training. This study emphasizes the importance of incorporating the lower body into any strength training program.