The truth? Neither an aerobics work out or weight training is better. It’s kind of a trick question and the answer may surprise you, but it’s true. Some people prefer one over the other but the fact of the matter is, both are very important if you want a good work out and if you want to be in top shape.
An aerobics work out accomplishes different things than weight training, but we really need the benefits of both. Focusing on just one type of exercise and ignoring the other cheats yourself out of the benefits you need to be a successful basketball player.
Benefits of Cardio Exercise
The benefits of cardio exercise, like aerobics, are many. It increases your lung capacity, delivering more oxygen to your body. This gives you greater speed and strength on the basketball court and helps prevent fatigue. It increases your heart capacity as well and even helps your body build more blood vessels. In addition to delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs, it allows toxins and other waste products to leave your body more rapidly, improving your overall health, reducing fatigue and helping to prevent painful muscle cramps caused by a buildup of lactic acid. An aerobics work out also burns lots of fat, if you are interesting in losing weight.
Benefits of Weight Training
Perhaps the most well known benefit of weight training is an increase in lean muscle mass, which of course improves strength on the basketball court. Stronger muscles increase the stability of your joints, reducing the risk of injury. It even helps prevent osteoporosis, a condition that often occurs as we grow older that causes brittle bones that can break easily. Even children can benefit from a reduction in their risk for developing osteoporosis later in life. While weight training does not burn as much fat as cardio exercises, muscle does burn more calories so developing more lean muscle mass will help you burn calories in the long run.
You do not need a lot of special equipment to engage in an aerobics work out or weight training. Or course you need some weight to practice weight training, and there are plenty of exercise machines you can use for weight training, but a basic set of free weights will do the trick if you can’t afford a lot of expensive equipment right now. In fact, some fitness experts actually believe free weights provide a more effective weight training work out than all those costly machines. Using free weights works out more muscles at one time and helps develop balance and stability more than weight training machinery does, and those are both important skills to have when playing an intense, competitive game of basketball.
On the other hand, many fitness experts believe that cardio exercises are often more effective when done on exercise equipment. While you can simply attend a dance class or go for brisk jog, those exercises can put a lot of stress on your joints, which actually increases your risk of injury. Working out on a stationary bike or elliptical machine, on the other hand, protects your joints while still providing all the benefits of a good cardio work out.
To save money on cardio equipment, you can purchase just a few pieces for all team members to share. Hold a fundraiser if needed to raise the money. Just explain to team members and other participants the importance of a good aerobic work out and the benefits of working out on machines instead of trying it without equipment. Then encourage team members to alternate cardio work outs with weight training.