Parents always ask us:
“What is the number one way to prevent injury in student-athletes?”
The answer is simple: get in the weight room.
And that goes for preventing injury in all types of people, young or old, athletic or not.
Everyone knows strength training can increase speed and agility, help maintain a healthy weight and also boost energy. But did you know it is the most effective way to prevent orthopedic injury?
A balanced weight-training program strengthens the muscles, tendons, ligaments and even the bones themselves. Sudden or excessive use of a weak muscle or muscle group can have disastrous consequences. Strength training helps eliminated weak spots and improves an athlete’s alignment and form and prepares him for whatever activity he chooses.
MOST COMMON INJURIES
The most common injuries we treat are non-contact and related to muscle imbalances. If the injury was not directly caused by a muscle imbalance, it most likely contributed to it and could have been prevented by better strength training.
As an example, let’s look at the all-too-common ACL injury. If an athlete’s quads are much stronger than her hamstrings, a big imbalance exists and the overall mechanics of her leg aren’t able to function as they are supposed to. When she sprints toward the finish line at a track meet, she puts too much pressure on the misaligned, unstable knee and something pops. If this runner had incorporated a balanced, comprehensive strengthening program that addressed her quads, hamstrings and calves, she would have been stronger and more prepared for that explosive sprint.
If your athlete is complaining about stiffness, soreness or pain in a particular joint, the most likely solution is targeted strength training exercises.
See Amanda Windon, Mount de Sales Academy’s official athletic trainer, or one of the trainers at Piedmont Orthopaedic’s 10,000-sq foot Rehabilitation Center to get a customized strengthening program.
By Piedmont Orthopaedic Complex, www.piedmontorthocomplex.com
Piedmont Ortho is Mount de Sales Academy’s official sports medicine provider.