Everyone from chess and violin players to dancers and professional athletes can benefit from training to become stronger. Lifting weights to develop large strong muscles can improve coordination, make you faster and more flexible as well as stronger. It will not interfere with the coordination that you need for such fine muscle movements as playing the piano or shooting a basketball.

Muscles are made up of two different types of fibers. The red, slow-twitch fibers are used for endurance and the white, fast-twitch fibers are used for strength and speed. When you strengthen a muscle, you train the same fibers that also make you faster, so strength training helps you to move faster. Coordination is controlled by the ability of your brain to direct the more than 500 muscles in your body. Strengthening a muscle does not hinder brain control of muscles. Stronger muscles use fewer fibers for the same task and therefore are easier to control.

Full length, range-of-motion strength training can also improve flexibility. To make a muscle more flexible, you need to stretch it. When you lift a heavy weight, your muscles stretch before the weight starts to move. In addition to making you a better athlete, strength training will also help you in everyday activities, such as opening stuck doors, jars and faucets, and doing your household chores.

Checked 6/19/15

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