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March 15, 2011
2 Types of Strength…2 Types of Injury
There are generally 2 types of situations that cause injury, trauma and overuse. Trauma is when something sudden and unexpected occurs, such as when an athlete runs into another player or has to stop suddenly, causing some devastating bone fracture or ligament tear. Overuse injuries generally occur from…well overuse. Examples include tendonitis or compartment syndromes, like shin splints, from excessive throwing or running volumes (see Sparta Point 12/31/08). Of course these examples are oversimplified but it helps to understand the basis of resistance training’s role in injury prevention. At Sparta, we employ 2 different methods of strength stimuli, brief maximal tension and repetitive effort. These methods were described by sports scientist Mel Siff. The maximal methods involve heavier loads and shorter repetitions, while the repetitive effort involves larger amounts of repetitions, usually dictating lighter weights. The goal of both methods is to increase maximal strength to both improve performance factors, like speed, but more importantly to prevent injuries. This pursuit of strength is important because there is limited time to develop this ability, as the off-season availability of athletes continues to dwindle. After their high school season, athletes are now pursuing multiple club team opportunities, while the professional season is only lengthening in an attempt to generate more revenue. The above methods are used by Louie Simmons in the WestSide Barbell training of powerlifters, generally aimed at the movements in their competition, particularly the squat lift. Because we train athletes in a variety of dynamic sports, we choose the type of movement based off a stretch shortening cycle evaluation, a vertical jump (see Sparta Point 10/28/09). After this force plate analysis, the needed exercise, whether it is a squat or step up, that will fill their neuromuscular weakness best. So if you really need RATE, or the ability to stop your movements, we emphasis squats in your maximal tension methods and a lighter pull movement, like RDLs, for your repetition efforts. This approach should help reduce the injury from both trauma and overuse in a very athletic, individualized plan. Awkward skills, like running or jumping inefficiently, are probably the third major cause for injuries, but there is plenty of room to develop the above maximal and repetitive prescriptions for a healthier career.
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March 15, 2011
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