Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in America, and is a great non-traditional form of exercise. Strength training can help you be a better gardener while improving your fitness level.
I’m sure not too many people – personal trainers included – consider gardening to be a form of exercise, but when you think about what this activity entails, gardening really is a physical endeavor. You have to lift, bend, twist, kneel and get your body into all kinds of different positions while performing work. Hard work. As hard as anything you can do with a personal trainer or in a traditional workout.
I don’t care if you’re planting flower boxes, raking leaves, spreading mulch or pruning shrubs, gardening is hard work. Strength training will allow all of you gardening enthusiasts to be more effective at your avocation. By engaging in a weight lifting regimen – either on your own or with a personal trainer – you will be stronger and more flexible, and therefore be able to get more work done in your garden.
Tasks such as pulling roots, turning over soil, transplanting shrubs and digging require strength and endurance. By any reasonable definition, these jobs are as difficult as any exercise that you can do in a gym. To engage in these activities and not strength train, is to make these already tough tasks that much more difficult.
Performing strength training exercises like the squat, lunge and dead lift will prepare your body for the rigors of gardening and minimize the likelihood of injury. These exercises will help you move better and make you stronger, especially when you have to bend, crouch and lift heavy objects.
With your increased strength and improved overall fitness level you will be able to work longer, harder and better. And if you strength train there’s a better chance that you won’t suffer from as much day-after aches and soreness that can come after a tough day in the garden.
Upper body strength training exercises like the overhead press, push-ups, rows and curls will help you to lift and hoist many of the heavier objects that you may encounter when you garden. The nature of these lifts is such that it will strengthen your hands, wrists, forearms and upper arms and allow you to better handle implements like the shovel, hoe, spade and rake.
If you engage in an exercise program that includes strength training, flexibility and cardiovascular activity you will improve your overall fitness level and make yourself more efficient in the garden.