Why is weight training important? Is body weight exercises enough?

As a chiropractor, my main job is to help people achieve peak health and well-being. Specifically, I help my clients achieve good physical health without chiropractic adjustments.

Because of my focus as in physical well-being, all of my clients will have to lift weights. This is because weight training is a great way for you to build strength, and muscle strengthening is absolutely essential to good health.

Why is muscle strengthening important?

who physical activity guideline
150 minutes of aerobic exercise alone may not be good enough for you! The World Health Organisation (WHO) clearly recommends at least 2 days of “muscle strengthening activity”.

Muscle strengthening exercises are important for us to maintain good joint health and muscle strength. Without strengthening activities, you start to lose muscle mass (i.e., muscle atrophy).

In fact, strengthening exercises is so important that World Health Organisation recommends that all adults do at least two days of strengthening exercises per week. This is on top of the 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (or 75 minutes of high intensity) to keep healthy.

Your joints love weights! Trust me.

international space station gym
Specialised gym equipment are installed in the International Space Station so astronauts can lift weights in a zero gravity environment. This is to prevent RAPID loss of bone density and muscle mass.

For your bones and muscles to be strong and health, you need to move them under load. In 2015, NASA sent astronaut Scott Kelly to live in the International Space Station for a year while his identical twin brother, Mark, remained on earth. Scientists wanted to know what would living in a microgravity environment do to a living human body.

The results were clear. Scott returned a year later with rapid bone density loss and also loss of muscle tissue.

You need load (and gravity) to maintain a healthy bone density and muscle mass!

What about “wear and tear”?

knee xray wear and tear
You may think this is a hopeless case since there is no space left between the bones. The patient on the wait list for a total knee replacement but she later opted out of it because she started exercising. With exercise (under professional supervision), her pain went from 9/10 to 1/10!

Pain sufferers often worry about the damage exercise can do to their knees. You are not alone in thinking that exercises such as running and squatting are bad for your joints. However, this is not true.

In 2018, Rheumatology — one of the most prestigious journals in the world — published that the wear and tear narrative is “archaic, pejorative, and inaccurate.”

This is because your joints need to move under weight to keep the cartilages and joint spaces healthy! This is the reason why the patient’s knee pain could go from 9/10 to 1/10 with exercise without needing surgery to “fix” the space!

Can I strengthen my muscle without weights?

The short answer is yes!

You can absolutely strengthen your muscles and even put on muscle mass without weight training. With gyms closed during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), you may be limited in the exercise options available.

Public fitness workout corners scattered throughout our island city are great places to engage in strength exercises. Examples of strength building exercises include pull ups and push ups. For lower body, weight squats and lunges (think rice bags) are excellent choices.

I am in pain. Are you sure exercise is good for me?

100% yes. This is because pain doesn’t equal damage.

There is a lot of research to show that exercise can help with your pain. Remember the knee x-ray before?

In fact, studies have also shown that painful exercises can be more beneficial than pain-free ones during recovery!

All said, it is absolutely important that you exercise under professional supervision if you have an injury. While exercise is good for you, it is absolutely possible that it can may your condition worse.

If you are living in chronic pain and just sick and tired of not living life to your fullest, book in an appointment with us to find out how we can help you find true freedom from pain.


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.