When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits, improvement in overall health, well-being, including increased bone, muscle, tendon, ligament strength, toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density, increased metabolism, improved cardiac function, and elevated HDL (good) cholesterol. Training commonly uses the technique of progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental weight increases and uses a variety of exercises and types of equipment to target specific muscle groups. Strength training is primarily an anaerobic activity, although some proponents have adapted it to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training.
Sports where strength training is central are bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, Highland games, shotput, discus throw, and javelin throw. Many other sports use strength training as part of their training regimen, notably football, wrestling, rugby, track and field, rowing, lacrosse, basketball, hockey. Strength training for other sports and physical activities is becoming increasingly popular.