Training for Strength and Endurance”
Injuries and the Female Athlete”
Injuries: Facts & Rehabilitation”
– SIMULTANEOUS TRAINING FOR STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE
Research suggests that concurrent strength & endurance
training will interfere with strength gains. This may be due
to overtraining (an excessive frequency or volume of training)
or it may be due to the contrasting physiological adaptations
that occur at the level of the muscle fibers (specifically,
the contractile proteins).
The research designs of supporting studies are typical
of an extreme athletic training regimen and may not reflect
the average training routine (i.e. these studies sometimes
trained legs > 3x’s per week in addition to aerobic training
> 3x’s per week). The excessive volume of training alone
may account for the impaired strength gains, although upper
body strength has also been shown to be impaired in individuals
training for both strength and endurance simultaneously.
Surprisingly, concurrent training does not appear to
impair endurance performance. Heavy resistance training performed
in addition to high-intensity endurance training does not
appear to impair improvements in aerobic power, in fact, it
is recommended that all endurance athletes include some resistance
training (1-2 total body workouts per week) in their programs
to increase muscle strength and to prevent injury. It is a
great form of cross training!
individuals seeking improvements in both strength & endurance,
it is recommended that the training program concentrate on
one adaptation at a time. For example, design a program to
attain a desired level of strength and maintain the current
levels of endurance. Once the strength is attained, the volume
of strength training can decrease, but be sure to keep the
intensity of training very high in order to maintain strength
2 – ACL INJURIES: A HURDLE IN WOMEN’S SPORT
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the most important
ligaments in the knee and runs from the posterior tibia (shin)
to the femur (bone of the thigh). Its role is to prevent the
femur from moving forward over the knee (such as in knee hyperextension).
example, when landing off-balance from a slam-dunk, a basketball
player might have momentum attempt to force the femur forwards,
but the ACL prevents this. A torn ACL occurs when a stress
occurs to the knee causing hyperextension at the knee joint
(i.e. rapid cuts, stops, or landing).
incidence of ACL injuries is much higher in females and a
1999 report broadcast on CNN claimed that there were 2 gender
differences that may account for this phenomenon. First, females
appear to land in a more vulnerable position while males tend
to land in what is referred to as the “athletic” OR “ready”
position. The “athletic” position is characterized by a significant
bend at the knee joint (“quarter-squat position”), thus reducing
the impact forces and torque at the knee joint.
females appear to have insufficient strength in the hamstrings
needed to stabilize the knee upon landing. However, these
differences may not be the only reasons for a greater incidence
of ACL injuries and in fact, may not account for the differences
at all! Since an ACL injury is likely multi-factorial, all
aspects of anatomy and biomechanics must be considered as
issues, and should be addressed in training and coaching programs.
order to remedy the gender difference in ACL injury reported
by CNN females need to increase the strength of the hamstrings
and to improve balance and landing technique. Team coaches
and strength coaches should integrate exercises such as knee-flexion
jumps, landing with a “toe-to-heel” pattern, and 180-degree
jumps (single-leg plyometrics).
training exercises should include deadlifts, forward and reverse
lunges, and squatting. Not only will these strength exercises
strengthen the muscles specific to the landing movement but
they will also increase the athlete’s sense of balance due
to the neuromuscular demands of proper exercise technique.
(and male) athletes may further reduce their risk of ACL injury
by learning how to move more “athletically”. This includes
bending the knees more when running (the “athletic position”)
and as mentioned earlier, landing with bent knees. Women have
been reported as have the tendency to run with an erect posture
placing greater force on the quadriceps and less on the hamstrings
(hamstring protects the joint by bringing the tibia back).
athletic injuries occur due to a misstep, rather than collision,
so the incorporation of speed-agility-quickness and plyometric
drills are warranted for all athletes in preparation for competition.
All in all, total athletic development requires hard work
in the weight room, in sport-specific pre-season drills, and
on the practice field!
3 – GENERAL INFORMATION ON KNEE INJURIES
the quadriceps and hamstrings with exercises such as squats,
deadlifts, and lunges should help prevent injury. Never hyperextend
or lock-out the knee joint during any leg exercise as this
places unnecessary stress on the joints and removes the stimulus
from the muscle. After developing a base level of strength
with these exercises, and provided the athletes is injury-free,
athletes should then begin jump or “plyometric” training to
prepare and strengthen the knee joint for more sport-specific
up prior to activity is essential and is rarely done in excess.
Begin the warm-up with a light intensity of the planned activity
(i.e. light jogging prior to basketball). A specific warm-up
will lubricate the joints specific to exercise, loosens the
active muscles, and raises the muscle temperature. All warm-up
activities should be as specific as possible to the planned
workout exercise (i.e. include side-shuffles for basketball).
stretching should be included to further prepare the tissue
and joints. After the workout or game, stretching should be
performed to help increase the flexibility of the exercised
muscles. As well, schedule appropriate rest days to allow
joint recovery and muscle repair, otherwise chronic overuse
could lead to cumulative muscle damage and an acute injury
in the future.
an injury should occur, it is essential to apply the basic
RICE treatment immediately. Rest the muscle or joint and avoid
any irritating movement. Ice the injured area, compress the
tissue, and elevate the injury as well. The entire RICE protocol
is recommended during the very acute stages of injury (24-48
hours) in order to reduce swelling, inflammation, and tissue
necrosis (i.e. death to muscle fibers).
necrosis leads to scar tissue, therefore it is very important
to minimize this process after any acute injury or any time
a chronic injury is aggravated. During rehabilitation, it
is very helpful to determine a limit for activity. Know when
to stop (i.e. at a point where proper exercise or running
form is lost) and if pain continues to persist after exercise
has been stopped, it may require medical examination.
exercises should be the emphasis of any post-injury strength
training (regardless of the seriousness of the injury). “Bilateral
movements” (i.e. squat, leg press, & deadlift) train both
legs simultaneously and are beneficial but have limitations.
For example, if a strength imbalance exists after the injury,
there will be a tendency to "shift" the load to
the strong side during the performance of these “bilateral
exercises”, thus furthering the strength imbalance.
plan to use unilateral movements (i.e. single-leg exercises)
and apply these tips:
Do the weak or injured side first.
Then, MAYBE do the strong side,
BUT/ use the same load and perform only the same number
of repetitions as were performed by the injured side.
If the imbalance is greater than
10%, do a lower ratio of reps on the strong side to the
weak side. If the weak side can only do 10 reps, do only
5 reps on the strong side (OR 2 sets on the weak side
to 1 set on the strong side).
If the strength imbalance is greater
than 50%, consider doing no work on the strong side at
not do any exercise if it causes pain or discomfort to the
joint. Modify a painful
exercise using the following tips:
Reduce the load OR the ROM.
Slow the speed of movement down.
Use both legs to lift the weight,
then lower only with the injured side.
Delete the exercise and select
an appropriate alternative.
this will help you rehabilitate any present knee injuries
OR prevent the occurrence of any injuries in the future.
CB Athletic Consulting, Inc.