“Starting strength is the first push of movement without any momentum,” says Cifelli. “This can be anything from a runner on a track right before the gun shot starts the race, or you standing up from your chair—there was nothing that came prior to that first movement from a momentum.”  Working your starting strength, says Cabral, can improve the ability of muscle and connective tissue to increase the rate of force production (and allow you to lift heavier weights), improve your ability to accelerate in any movement, and enhance your ability to transition from seated to standing. Outside of your workouts, this type of training is important for making your bones, muscles, and joints stronger, and improving your overall health.

How to work starting strength: 

Since starting strength is literally the strength you start a move with, think of these exercises as those that require you to go from zero to 60 almost immediately. Pros suggest dead-start kettlebell swings, sprinter jumps, and sit-down squats as great ways to work it.