Updated: Mar 17
When I was a High School Athlete I was constantly fighting injuries. My injuries kept me off the field and from playing at full speed.
I was a sprinter and slot receiver in football so 100% of my job was to be fast and explosive. Over time, I began to realize that my speed made me more susceptible to injury.
See, most athletes get injured while performing explosive movements. Athletes who have natural speed, without balanced strength, are at a greater risk due to their increased ability to be explosive. Even athletes that don’t pride themselves in quickness or speed, still primarily suffer injuries during quick-burst movement.
Why does a sports injury typically take place during explosive movements? Greater acceleration means greater force distributed throughout the body. Without adequate strength to counter this force, athlete-specific weaknesses become susceptible and injuries occur.
So… What’s the fix? Postural Strength.
Let’s take the knee. The knee is a joint that connects the thigh and lower leg. Multiple muscles cross this joint to create movement. During every movement, muscles perform different tasks. Though one muscle is typically moving the joint, like the quadriceps with knee extension, the rest work together to create stability throughout that movement. Our stability strength, or what I like to call postural strength, is crucial for maintaining optimal knee mechanics for protection during movement.
Just like sitting upright in a chair, every part of the body has an optimal posture. And just like your back, there are specific muscles that need adequate strength to maintain the desired posture. As we move, postural muscles continue to work by optimizing the mechanics of the movement. Explosive movements demand greater postural strength to prevent injury. This is why it is more common to get hurt performing a max effort deadlift than a warm-up set. Postural Strength is crucial for protecting the body through movement.
So… Can I do any Strength Training I want?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. In fact, strength training implemented incorrectly can lead to even more injuries. This is the reason why many high school and collegiate athletes suffer a sports injury in the weight room when they don’t receive proper training.
Incorrect training comes in many faces...
1. Overtraining- Too much training, too little recovery. (How to properly recover coming soon)
2. Weight Over Form- Caring more about how much the athlete lifts, over mechanics and proper muscle recruitment.
3. Looks over Performance- Training for physical appearance, over improved performance.
Lastly, and most importantly…
4. Neglecting Athlete-Specific Weaknesses and Postural Strength- Training power muscles like the pecs and quadriceps, while neglecting joint-specific postural strength to protect the athlete through powerful movement.
Strength training needs to be programmed individually to the athlete’s specific weaknesses in order to not drive even greater muscular imbalances. Strength training aimed simply at getting stronger and faster, many times, neglects the training of postural muscles to protect the body through powerful movement.
Let’s take jumping. Jumping is one of our most powerful human movements. A volleyball player can train jumping over time. As they get more explosive, they will jump higher. However, as they get more explosive, a greater force is now loading the knee. If they do not simultaneously train postural muscles, their joint imbalance becomes larger and larger and the athlete becomes more susceptible to a future knee injury. I have worked with multiple athletes with this exact presentation.
The stronger and faster the athlete gets, the more important postural strength becomes. Neglecting muscles like the hamstrings, serratus anterior, deep neck flexors, and intrinsic foot muscles can result in injuries over time.
If you would like to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have. For more information, please visit our website at, arraystrength.com.
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We look forward to hearing from you soon!
~ Robert Corvino DC, MSACN
“...As a student athlete, I was having issues with my knee (jumper's knee) and with Dr. Corvino’s help and expertise I literally have no issues.” ~ Ethan (HS Basketball)
"From the immense amount of training as an athlete I began having knee pains that interfered with my performance. Running and squatting became very painful and I had constant aching in my knees. Dr. Corvino was extremely helpful and provided the best rehab that was custom- fit specifically to my sport and lifestyle. After only 6 sessions with Dr. Corvino the aching in my knees had ceased and I felt better than ever before." ~ Lauren (College Volleyball)