Types of Strength and Strength Training 101. Hutton Health

Types of Strength and Strength Training 101

5th August 2022

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Table of contents:

  1. Types of strength

  2. Types of strength training


Strength training is often viewed as something that only body builders do, but we use strength every day in multiple ways. Functional strength is important in day-to-day activities such as carrying groceries up a flight of stairs, pulling stubborn weeds while gardening or doing household chores.


As we age, body fat increases and lean muscle mass decreases which leads to a lower metabolism, a decrease in strength and a softer appearance (even if you are at a healthy weight). To counter this, an exercise programme for mid-age should include cardio, strength, stretching and rest. A well-balanced exercise programme can strengthen bones, improve balance, improve functional movement, improve muscle tone and increase insulin sensitivity.


There are numerous health benefits to strength training. A common misconception is that you need to go to a commercial gym in order to use the resistance machines to have an effective strength training session. There are a number of ways to build strength and tone muscles and various equipment that can be used (or none at all)!

There are 7 different types of strength:


1. Agile Strength


Agile strength refers to your ability to control your strength and manoeuvre based on your environment. It involves moving and changing directions quickly, with precision and in control.


Examples of agile strength: Picking up a child or carrying food shopping


Benefits of agile strength: Increasing your agile strength will help to decrease your risk of injury while increasing your functional strength for performing day to day activities. Agile strength helps to keep you safe by allowing you to react quickly to your environment.


2. Strength Endurance


Strength endurance refers to exercise that requires continuous or repetitive muscle movement, such as running, for a period of time. Increased strength endurance means your body is able to transport oxygen and nutrients to muscles while eliminating metabolic waste.


Examples of strength endurance: An endurance event such as a 10km, half marathon or marathon running race or a triathlon


Benefits of strength endurance: Improves posture, increases the aerobic capacity of working muscles, allows you to exercise longer without experiencing fatigue. This means that you are able to carry on with effective technique without your form breaking for longer periods of time.


3. Explosive Strength


Explosive strength involves sudden bursts of movement. It relies on the rapid expansion and contraction of your muscles in order to move through the desire range of motion. Explosive strength is being able to exert maximum force in the shortest time possible.


Examples of explosive strength: jumping, lifting a heavy item off the ground or throwing a ball


Benefits of explosive strength: Improves your reaction time and improves the resiliency of your muscles


4. Maximum Strength


Maximum strength involves the highest level of force that muscles can produce. It is the most weight you can move for a single repetition of an exercise.


Examples of maximum strength: squatting or deadlifting


Benefits of maximum strength: improves bone density and facilitates the release of muscle building hormones.


5. Starting Strength


Starting strength is your body’s ability to generate strength or force at a given moment without momentum. It is how much power you can generate from a stationary position.

Examples of starting strength: the start of a sprint, getting up from a seated position

Benefits of starting strength: The instant reaction time can be beneficial in dangerous situations, enhance the ability to transition from a seated to a standing position.


6. Speed Strength


Speed strength is the maximum force able to be produced during a high-speed movement. It is essentially how fast you are.


Examples of speed strength: hitting a tennis ball, throwing a ball, swinging a golf club


Benefits of speed strength: Minimise reaction time, enhance athletic performance


7. Relative Strength


Relative strength relates to your body weight-to-force (strength to weight) ratio. It is the amount of force generated per unit of bodyweight; how strong you are for your size. As your relative strength increases, you will get stronger, but your bodyweight won’t necessarily change.



Types of strength training:


Body Weight

Strength training that uses your own body weight and the force of gravity to perform specific movements.

Examples of body weight exercises:

· Push ups/Press ups

· Squats

· Planks

· Lunges

· Abdominal Crunches

strength training using body weight

Free Weights


Increasing fitness with free weights involves strength training using equipment that is not fixed to the floor or a machine

Examples of free weights:

· Dumbbells

· Barbells

· Kettlebells

· Medicine Balls

· Objects around the house (filled water bottles, tinned food)


Decathlon offers a huge range of affordable equipment for home workouts!

Strength training using free weights

Resistance Bands 


Resistance bands are stretchy bands that provide resistance when they are stretched


Check out these great resistance bands!

Strength training with resistance bands

Weight Machines 


Strength training using machines with adjustable weights or hydraulics attached that provide resistance and stress to the muscles

strength training using weights machines

Suspension Equipment

Strength training using ropes or straps that are anchored to a sturdy point. Various exercises are performed using a person’s body weight and gravity.


Determining the type of strength training that is right for you depends on a number of factors such as the equipment you have access to, your current fitness levels and goals, any health conditions you need to take into consideration.


Working with a coach can provide the structure of a programme to help integrate strength training effectively. Hutton Health offers flexible online coaching, delivering programmes through a bespoke app that can be accessed anytime, anywhere in the world.

Need help with nutrition, mindset and fitness? Hutton Health's monthly membership can help you feel better in your body and mind


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