The importance of strength training to soft tissue injury prevention
You can’t go wrong getting strong.
Training has always been considered important to injury prevention in athletes. The best example is a pre-season, where is two-fold; performance enhancement is the most obvious reason, but also to build a robust and stress-tolerant body as well. Through exposing the body to gradually increasing physical stresses across time, the body can adapt to better tolerate this stress. Then when game day rolls around the body has built a high tolerance to stress that will (ideally) prevent break down.
But how about strength training. How important is it? It has been shown that strength training programs can reduce the likelihood of suffering an injury by up to 66%. This was with exercise programs of an average duration of 8 months, and with shorter programs, this reduction is less.
This reduction directly lowers the risk of injury to the soft tissue injury including the hamstring, ACL injuries, and more general knee pain, and importantly also has an effect on the time missed due to an injury – that is, even if you experience an injury you will be back on the field/park/court/course earlier! Another key take-away point is that irrespective of your age or sport, if you are undertaking strengthening exercise it will reduce your injury risk!
But you already have an injury? Or have a history of repeated injuries to a site? Fortunately strengthening exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of injury reoccurrence.
The team at Peninsula Sports Medicine Group are experts in exercise prescription and programming and can assist you in injury prevention through developing an individualised program to suit your activity levels and goals.
Written by Patrick Vallance
PH: 03 9789 1233