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A Strengthening Program’s Role in Preventing Injuries

For athletes, being stronger and strengthening properly will help them to experience a significant decrease in potential for injury, and experience an overall greater ease of activity and movement with everything they do. This all starts with knowing what muscles to work and how to work them correctly.’

Typically, there will be no immediate effect to having weakness in a particular muscle in your body. The effects are usually more long term in the sense that “weakness” or lack of proper strength in an area, results in excess friction on the bones in the joint, excessive wear and tear on tendons and cartilage around a joint, and more. 

Setting up a Strengthening Program

First and foremost, you need to know what the strength of the smaller supporting muscles are, in the area you wish to begin to strengthen. Most soft tissue problems such as tendonitis, tears or pain are due to a lack of strength in the supporting, smaller muscles around the area. 

Strengthening the Supporting Muscles

Once you know that status of what needs to be strengthened, you can start figuring out what to do about these deficits. The most effective way to strengthen a muscle so it can perform all its necessary functions is to:

  1. Make sure to increase the muscles’ ability to move weight or work against resistance. This would be your typical weight lifting, resistance training, etc.
  2. As soon as the muscle starts to show an increase in its ability to move the weight or work against greater resistance, immediately start to train the muscle through functional movement patterns. 
  3. Finally, once you can go through a movement pattern with good mechanics and no pain, you want to begin to work on the conditioning aspect. This would mean gradually increasing repetitions of good mechanics. When you’re able to do the movement pattern for 20 or more repetitions, then it’s time to increase the resistance or the weight that you are using to go through the movement.

If you follow this process, having first established good strength of the smaller supporting muscles, you will undoubtedly see an increase in strength of the large muscles of your body that do the movement.

Who Can Help?

An expert physical therapist is the only medical profession trained in evaluating how a person moves and comparing that to how the movement should occur. Physical Therapists at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center are here to get you properly started on a strengthening program that is right for you; one that will allow you to live life pain free and without the potential for injury both as you get started and as you progress. 

By: Mike Bills, MS PT

If you are having any kind of pain or difficulty moving, or if you want to just start an exercise program, we are here to help you get the results you desire and do it without risk of injury. Call TODAY at 703-450-4300.

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