Monday, July 20, 2009
For a quick anatomy lesson, it is understood that everything in the body is connected, meaning muscles connect to bones where other muscles are also connected from head to toe. Given this knowledge, the above statement would seem pretty logical. When muscles increase in size and tightness, they have an increased ability to pull force. This force being pulled against the bone can cause imbalances within the overall system and directly influence injury.
When designing programs, we need to take into account this balance and work muscle groups equally to decrease the risk of injury. I think this concept is pretty self-explanatory, but I still see programs that are actually promoting injury in my opinion. Too many similar movements are increasing the risk for injury and can be problematic. In my opinion, a variety of different movements and training different muscle groups simultaneously during a workout will give you the best results while also contributing to the balance of your musculoskeletal system.
The one exception in athletics is when playing a sport directly contributes to muscle imbalance. For example, baseball players throwing arms are obviously more likely to become injured, because of the extreme repetition through the course of a season or career. In a case like this, I would write a program that specifically targets the opposite muscles involved in throwing to create a more balanced arm and hopefully reduce the risk for injury. On paper, this program would look unbalanced, but that would be very deliberate. As coaches, lets work to building balanced athletes for better performance and reduced risk of injury.