Often times, strength training is overlooked for its ability to prevent injury in sport. Strength training has been around for many years and is utilized for agility, speed, strength, and muscle mass. Through proper ROM (range of motion), strength training requires muscles to disburse energy and contract while using various types of resistance. Not all strength training is utilized through equipment: body weight can produce significant outcome in strength training. Proper training techniques help reduce injury to the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Athletes who do not properly train their bodies for sport performance, are increasing their risk for injuries, thus resulting in several draw backs.
“All athletes involved in competitive sports follow a yearly program intended to enable peak performance in major competition. Peak performance requires athletes to build a proper physiological foundation, and one key factor in doing so is strength training. Therefore, strength training is an essential element in a coach’s quest to produce good athletes” (Bompa & Buzzichelli, 2015, pg. 229). Strength training has obvious benefits for athletes engaged in sport and physical activity. Proper body alignment is focused on the strength of bones and joints while performing ROM. Overcompensation of areas that are used more frequently in the body leaves unused muscles, ligaments, and joints susceptible to injury. To reduce this possibility, strength and conditioning programs are designed to offset and balance the weak areas in the body. Muscle imbalance is a common factor in injury among several athletes engaged in sport. When a group of muscles become stronger than others, the weaker muscles fatigue and have the ability to become negatively impacted. This issue may also lead to muscle imbalance, which can cause the joints to improperly rotate, creating stretching of ligaments, chronic pain, and wearing of the bones.
Obviously, athletes can become injured during a strength and conditioning program. During any form of exercise, injury is possible. To avoid this negative outcome, the coach an athlete must focus on several factors. Making sure the athlete develops proper body alignment while undergoing any form (with/out weight), and slowly increasing the amount of reps/sets/weight. Overtraining can result in the muscles to not be able to repair rapidly which results in chronic injuries. Rest and recovery are important to not overlook during training. And lastly, proper warmup and stretching are crucial for blood flow and flexibility. Strength training should always be implemented in all sports, not just sports that need strength: as this will ensure the athlete will benefit in speed, strength, and agility.
Bompa, T.O., & Buzzichelli, C.A. (2015). Periodization training for sports (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.