injury prevention

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Prioritize For Program Success

weights

Prioritize for Program Success   Today a strength and conditioning coach has way to many things that they have to develop. The internet and equipment companies don’t make this any easier because both things muddy the waters and distort what our athletes need. Today a strength and conditioning coach is expected to increase strength, improve power, develop speed and agility, work on core strength/endurance, develop mobility, increase muscle size (if necessary), educate athletes on nutrition, warm the athlete up for...

Squats: Form Matters

weightlifter

The squat is one of the most widely used exercises in athletic strength and conditioning. It’s also one of the most controversial. Over the years there’s been a standard in terms of squatting technique; heels on the ground, push the hips back (as opposed to the knees forward), knees aligned with the toes, etc. However, not everyone agrees with this.   The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has an interesting little study examining the impact of squatting form on...

Hamstring Training: Sometimes Old Favorites are Better

Hamstring injuries are an issue with athletes that have to sprint, which is most of them. With that in mind, strength and conditioning professionals are always searching for better ways to train these muscles in order to help prevent these injuries.   In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Rey et al conducted a study looking at the effectiveness of two bodyweight hamstring exercises on hamstring fitness. The authors studied three junior elite soccer teams (average age around 17...

Hamstring Training Results In Stronger Hamstrings: Is That Enough?

sprint

Hamstring injuries are the bane of sprinting athletes. This is true in almost every sport that requires athletes to sprint. Not only are these injuries disabling, but once you suffer them you are more susceptible to suffering them again. There have been a lot of theories of what causes these injuries; everything from running mechanics, to flexibility, to strength imbalances, to strength levels.   Today the thinking is that it has to due with the eccentric strength of the hamstrings....

Hamstring Training: More Than Leg Curls

sprinting

The hamstrings, glutes, and lower back are an important chain of muscles for athletic performance. Not only are they important for performing movements that involve hip extension and knee flexion, but they are also important for preventing hamstring and non-contact ACL injuries.   Having said that, not all hamstring exercises are created equal. Athletes that are trying to improve performance or prevent injuries need hamstrings that are strong in the lengthened position. This means largely avoiding leg curl variations and...