injury prevention

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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...

Thinking Outside The Box For The Throwing Shoulder

Throwing athletes spend a lot of time on shoulder training. Usually this is done with something like resistance bands. The idea being that the loer stress work of the bands allows for the development of the scapular stabilizers and the rotator cuff muscles to prevent injuries related to throwing.   While many of use traditionally use these exercises, it’s unclear if they are the best way to approach this type of training. In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,...