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Resistance training and injury prevention

“Strength training is moving the joints through a range of motion against resistance, requiring the muscles to expend energy and contract forcefully to move the bones” – The Better Body Group investigate.

The benefits of resistance training has been well documented in the past couple years and has been an integral part of any sport athlete’s development program. It’s vital for improving strength, speed, endurance, agility and overall muscle mass. These elements will undoubtedly improve the abilities of athletes of all sport types and level, however there exists another benefit that has commonly been overlooked; injury prevention.

Strength training is a major component of any injury prevention or injury management program. In this article we will dig deeper into understanding why this is the case and why all sports athletes should be incorporating some sort of strength and conditioning into their training.

What is strength training?
Strength training is moving the joints through a range of motion against resistance, requiring the muscles to expend energy and contract forcefully to move the bones.

It is an effective training protocol used to strengthen the muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments of the individual while performing exercises with various types of resistance. The benefits of strength training go beyond just improving strength and power output, and this is why it should be implemented in conditioning programs for all sports, not just strength sports.

There are three types of strength training formats; Machine weights, Free weights and Body weights. Each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but all should be implemented for a robust S&C program.

Injury prevention
The benefits of strength training are clear and is normally implemented in off season training, but how does this help prevent injuries?

  1. Strength training improves the power of the muscles, tendons, and bones. Stronger muscles and tendons help hold the body in proper alignment and protect the bones and joints when moving, or under impact. The bones become more resilient due to the overload placed on them during training. The ligaments become more flexible and better at absorbing the shock applied to them during dynamic movements.
  2. When an area of the body is used less during an activity it may become weaker compared to the other areas. This can become a problem when that area, whether it’s the muscle, ligament, joint or bone is called into play suddenly during activity. When that specific area cannot handle the sudden load and stress placed on it, this is when injuries occur. A rigorous and balanced strength program will eliminate these weak areas and balance the body so it can withstand any sudden load placed on them when performing the athletes sport activity.
  3. Muscle imbalances are one of the most common causes of injuries in athletes. When one muscle, or muscle group become stronger than the opposing group, the weaker muscle become fatigued quicker and are more susceptible to injuries. A strong contraction, near maximal output from the stronger muscle can also cause damage to the weaker opposing muscle due to that muscles inability to counter the force.
  4. Muscle imbalances also affect the joints and bones due to the abnormal pull causing the joint to move in an unnatural pattern. The stronger muscles will cause the joint to pull in a direction it’s not used to, causing a stretch in the opposing ligaments and tighten the supporting ones. This can lead to chronic pain and unnatural wearing of the bones. This however can be countered with a balanced strength program which addresses these imbalances and help strengthen the weak areas in the body.

About the author – Moe Metwally
Graduating from London South Bank University with a BSc(hons) degree in Sports & Exercise Science as well as being a certified Nutrition Coach, Moe Metwally has the passion and knowledge to help you reach your goals.

Moe has always had a passion for sports, and after graduating his passion then turned to boxing in which Moe competed in a few White-collar events, then not long after getting into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in which he currently competes in on a regular basis.

Since a young age Moe has been involved in sports and fitness training and has now turned that passion and love into a career with Better Body Group. If you’re looking to improve your sports performance or get in the best shape of your life, Moe can get you on your way!

For more information or to book an appointment please call them on 01732 451979 or email enquiries@betterbodygroup.co.uk.

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