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Chapter 4: Preventing Injuries Through Fitness Training. Fitness is critical for performance and injury prevention Improper conditioning is a major cause in sports related injuries Areas of concern: Flexibility Muscular strength, endurance, power Cardiorespiratory endurance

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Fitness is critical for performance and injury prevention
  • Improper conditioning is a major cause in sports related injuries
  • Areas of concern:
    • Flexibility
    • Muscular strength, endurance, power
    • Cardiorespiratory endurance
  • Coaches need to develop program that focuses on injury prevention and performance enhancement
periodization in training and conditioning
Periodization in Training and Conditioning
  • Traditional seasons no longer exist for serious athletes
  • Periodization
    • Achieve peak performance
    • Decrease injuries and overtraining
    • Program that spans various seasons
    • Modify program relative to athlete’s needs
year round training cycle
Year Round Training Cycle
  • Complete training cycle
  • Seasonal approach based on preseason, in-season, and off-season
  • Changes in intensity, volume, specificity of training occur in order to achieve peak levels of fitness for competition
  • Broken into periods or phases (lasting weeks or months)
periods or phases
Periods or Phases
  • Transition period:
    • Follows last competition (early off-season)
    • Unstructured (escape rigors of training)
  • Preparatory period:
    • Off-season
    • Hypertropy/endurance phase (Low intensity with high volume)
      • Allows for development of endurance base
      • Lasts several weeks to 2 months
    • Strength Phase
    • Power Phase (High intensity/ pre-season)
Preparatory period (continued)
    • Strength Phase
      • Intensity and volume increase to moderate levels
    • Power Phase (High intensity/ pre-season)
      • Volume is decreased to allow adequate recovery
  • Competition period:
    • May last a < week or several months for seasonal sports
    • High intensity, low volume, skill training sessions
    • May incorporate weekly training cycles (1-7 days)
      • Designed to ensure peak on days of competition
cross training
Cross Training
  • Training for a sport with substitutions of alternative activities (carryover value)
  • Useful in transition and preparatory periods
  • Variety to training regimen
  • Should be discontinued prior to preseason as it is not sport-specific
foundations of conditioning and training


Overload and SAID principle






Relaxation/Minimize Stress


Foundations of Conditioning and Training
warm up
  • Precaution against unnecessary musculoskeletal injury and soreness
  • May enhance certain aspects of performance
  • Prepares body physiologically for physical work
  • Stimulates cardiorespiratory system, enhancing circulation and blood flow to muscles
  • Increases metabolic processes, core temperature, and muscle elasticity
  • Activities which bring a general warming to the body(break a sweat)
  • Not related to sport


  • Specific to sport
  • Stretching, jogging, running, throwing, catching

Should last 10-15 minutes resulting in effects that will last 45 minutes

cool down
  • Essential component of workout
  • Bring body back to resting state
  • 5-10 minutes in duration
  • Often ignored
  • Decreased muscle soreness following training if time used to stretch after workout
why is it important to have good flexibility
Why is it important to have good flexibility?
  • Flexibility
    • Ability to move a joint(s) smoothly through a full range of motion (ROM)
  • Originally believed that decreased ROM results in:
    • Decreased performance capabilities
    • Uncoordinated/awkward movements
    • Predisposes athlete to injury
New evidence indicates that it may be more important for participation in more dynamic activities
    • Activities that require jumping, bounding
    • High intensity stretch-shortening cycles (where muscle tendon unit requires storage of more elastic energy
    • Without necessary flexibility the tendon may exceed capacity
    • Stretching can influence viscosity of tendons making it more compliant = injury reduction
  • No scientifically based evidence to support relationship between stretching and occurrence of injury
factors that limit flexibility
Factors That Limit Flexibility
  • Bony structures
  • Tissue approximation
  • Excessive fat
  • Muscle and tendon lengths
  • Connective tissue
  • Scarring and contractures
  • Skin
range of motion rom
Range of Motion(ROM)

Active range of motion = dynamic flexibility

    • Ability to move a joint with little resistance
  • Passive range of motion = static flexibility
    • Motion of joint to end points without muscle contraction
  • Must be able to move through unrestricted range
  • Must have elasticity for additional stretch encountered during activity
agonist vs antagonist muscles
Agonist vs. Antagonist Muscles
  • Joints are capable of multiple movements
  • Example:
    • Quadriceps will extend knee with contraction
    • Hamstrings will stretch during extension
    • Quads (muscle producing movement) referred to as agonist
    • Muscle undergoing stretch referred to as antagonist
    • Agonist and antagonist work together to produce smooth coordinated movements
stretching techniques
Stretching Techniques


  • Bouncing movement in which repetitive contractions of agonist work to stretch antagonist muscle
  • While effective in improving flexibility, caution should be exercised
    • Increased motion is achieved through a series of jerks on resistant tissue
  • Possible soreness may result if jerks are greater than tissue extensibility
  • Stretching technique of choice in athletic populations
  • Related to types of activity an athlete will engage in
  • Tend to be more functional in nature
  • Recommended prior to beginning an activity
  • Stretches that mimic components of athletic activity
Static stretching
  • Passively stretching
  • 20-30 second hold = optimal
  • Go to point of pain and back off and hold for 30 seconds (3 to 4 times)
  • Controlled, less chance of injury
  • Not dynamic
  • Should precede ballistic stretching
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
  • Physical therapy for neuromuscular paralysis
  • Slow-reversal-hold-relax
  • Contract-relax
  • Hold-relax
    • Ten second push, ten second relax
  • Best technique to improve flexibility
  • Technique that involves combination of alternating contractions and relaxation of both agonist and antagonists
stretching exercises
Stretching Exercises

Shoulder Towel Stretch Exercise


Anterior Abdominal Stretch

William’s Flexion Exercises

assessment of flexibility
Assessment of Flexibility
  • Various devices have been designed to accommodate joint sizes and complexities of movement
  • Goniometer most widely used device
  • Can also utilize the following tests:
    • Trunk hip flexion test
    • Trunk extension test
    • Shoulder extension test
flexibility assessments
Flexibility Assessments

Trunk & Hip Flexion Test

Trunk Extension Test

Shoulder Lift Test

is there a relationship between strength and flexibility
Is there a relationship between strength and flexibility?
  • Co-exist
  • Muscle bound = zero flexibility
  • Strength training will provide individual with ability to develop dynamic flexibility through full range of motion
  • Develop more powerful and coordinated movements
muscle strength power and endurance
Muscle Strength, Power, and Endurance

Strength: ability to generate force against resistance

Muscular endurance: repetitive muscular contractions (increase strength = increase endurance

Power: is the relationship between strength and time

types of skeletal muscle contractions
Types of Skeletal Muscle Contractions
  • Isometric contraction
    • No length change occurs during contraction
  • Isotonic contraction
    • Concentric- shortening of muscle with contraction in an effort to overcome more resistance
    • Eccentric - lengthening of muscle with contraction because load is greater than force being produced
    • Both are considered dynamic movements
factors that determine levels of muscular strength
Factors that Determine Levels of Muscular Strength
  • Size of muscle:
    • Function of diameter and of muscle fibers
    • Hypertrophy vs. Atrophy
  • Number of muscle fibers
  • Neuromuscular efficiency
    • Initial gains are due to increased efficiency
      • More effectively engage specific motor units
  • Biomechanical factors
    • Bones and muscles = Levers and pulleys
Fast-Twitch vs. Slow-Twitch Muscle Fibers
    • Motor units with distinct metabolic and contractile capability

Individual make-up

    • Muscles contain both types of fibers
    • Muscle functioning impacts ratios (postural vs. powerful movement)
    • Genetically determined
  • Slow twitch (Type I):
    • Generally major constituent of postural muscles
  • Fast twitch (Type II)
    • High force in short amount of time
    • Produce powerful movements
Levels of Physical Activity
    • Will influence increase/decrease in muscle strength
    • Also impacts cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility and increases in body fat
  • Overtraining
    • Psychological and physiological breakdown
    • Signs
      • Apathy, loss of appetite, staleness, declines in performance, weight loss, inability to sleep
    • Prevent through appropriate training protocol, proper diet and rest
what physiological changes occur to cause increased strength
What physiological changes occur to cause increased strength?
  • Multiple theories of muscle hypertrophy
  • Primary explanation of muscle hypertrophy:
    • Increase in protein myofilament number and size
  • Continued need for additional research
core stabilization training
Core Stabilization Training
  • Core refers to the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex
    • 29 muscles in the lumbar spine, hip, abdomen and around the hip and pelvis
  • Will help to improve:
    • Postural control and muscular balance
    • Allow for expression of dynamic functional strength and dynamic stabilization of kinetic chain
    • Improve neuromuscular efficiency throughout the body
Often a focus on functional strength, neuromuscular control and power relative to activity
    • Core training spinal stabilization is often neglected
  • Optimal stabilization of the spine allows for effective utilization of strength, power and control of the prime movers
    • If core is weak, movement efficiency declines
    • Could lead to injury
Core training is designed to help develop strength, neuromuscular control, power and endurance within the lumbo-pelvic complex
    • Exercises must elicit maximal training response
    • Should be safe, challenging, stress multiple planes, and incorporate a variety of resistance equipment
    • Begin with activities where you are able to maintain stability and optimal neuromuscular control
techniques of resistance training
Techniques of Resistance Training
  • Progressive resistance exercise
  • Overload principle must be applied
  • Must work muscle at increasingly higher intensities to enhance strength over time
  • If intensity of training does not increase, but training continues, muscle strength will be sustained
isometric exercise
Isometric Exercise
  • Contraction where muscle length remains unchanged
  • Muscle contraction that lasts 10 seconds and should be performed 5-10 times/daily
  • Pro: quick, effective, cheap, good for rehab
  • Con: only works at one point in ROM, produces spiking of blood pressure due to Valsalva maneuver
progressive resistance exercises isotonic training
Progressive Resistance Exercises (Isotonic training)
  • Shortening/lengthening contractions against fixed resistance
  • Concentric vs. Eccentric
  • Various types of equipment can be utilized
    • (Free weights, machine weight)
  • Spotter is necessary for free weight training to prevent injury, motivate partner and instruct on technique
Concentric and eccentric training should be incorporated for greatest strength improvement
  • Concentric phase of lift should last 1-2 seconds, eccentric phase 2-4 seconds
  • Variations exist between free and machine weight lifting
    • Motion restrictions, levels of muscular control required, amount of weight that can be lifted
    • Equipment design, varying resistances
progressive resistance exercise techniques
Progressive Resistance Exercise Techniques
  • Terminology associated with weight training
    • Repetitions
    • Repetition maximum
    • One repetition maximum
    • Set
    • Intensity
    • Recovery period
    • Frequency
When training should be able to perform 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions
  • Increases should occur in increments of 10%
  • 1 RM can be utilized to measure maximum amount of weight that can be lifted - must be very careful
  • Training of a particular muscle group should occur 3-4 times per week (not on successive days)
muscular endurance vs strength
Muscular Endurance vs. Strength
  • Training for endurance enhances strength and vice versa
  • Training for strength should involve lower repetitions at heavier weight
  • Training for endurance requires lower weight at 12-15 repetitions
strengthening exercises
Strengthening Exercises

Bench Press

Shoulder Rotation

open vs closed kinetic chain exercises
Open vs. Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Anatomical functional relationship for upper and lower extremities
  • OKC
    • When foot or hand are not in contact with the ground or supporting surface
  • CKC
    • Foot or hand are weight bearing
    • Widely used = more functional
isokinetic training
Isokinetic Training
  • Muscle contraction at a constant velocity
  • Maximal and constant resistance throughout the full range of motion
  • Maximal effort = Maximal strength gains
  • Rehab
  • Never widely used in strength training
  • Losing popularity in rehabilitation settings
circuit training
Circuit Training
  • Combination of exercise stations
  • 8 - 12 stations, 3 times through
  • Design for different training goals
    • Flexibility
    • Calisthenics
    • Aerobic exercise
plyometric exercise
Plyometric Exercise
  • Rapid stretch, eccentric contraction followed by a rapid concentric contraction to create a forceful explosive movement
  • Rate of stretch vs. magnitude
  • Jumps, bounds, medicine ball throws
  • Very technical training - skills must be learned with appropriate technique
  • Often develop muscle soreness as a result of extensive eccentric loading
calisthenic strengthening exercises
Calisthenic Strengthening Exercises
  • Free exercise
  • Isotonic training
  • Gravity’s involvement determines level of intensity
  • Full range of motion, may incorporate holding phase
  • Pull-ups, push-ups, back extensions, leg extensions
functional training
Functional Training
  • Newer technique used to improve strength and neuromuscular control
  • Involves tri-planar activities designed to challenge the whole body
    • Requires central nervous system to integrate proprioceptive information from multiple muscles to produce a specific movement pattern
  • Involves concentric, eccentric and isometric muscle contractions
Allows not only for development of strength and control but also high levels of core strength and flexibility
training for the female athlete
Training for the Female Athlete
  • Critical for female athlete
  • Significant hypertrophy is related to testosterone present within body
  • Remarkable gains are experienced initially due to enhanced nervous system and muscle interaction (efficiency-not muscle bulk)
  • Following initial gains, plateau occurs, with females
Males tend to continue to increase strength with training
  • Critical difference is the ratio of strength to body fat
    • Females have reduced strength to body weight ratio due to higher percentage of body fat
    • Ratio can be enhanced through weight training
      • Results in a decrease in body fat percentage or an increase in lean weight
cardiorespiratory endurance
Cardiorespiratory Endurance
  • Perform whole body activities for extended period of time
  • Performance vs. fatigue vs. injury
  • Aerobic exercise
    • Low intensity exercise that can be sustained for a long period of time
  • Anaerobic exercise
    • Activity where intensity is so high that demand for oxygen is greater than body’s ability to deliver
System’s four components
    • Heart
    • Lungs
    • Blood vessels
    • Blood
  • Improvements in endurance are the results of improvements in these 4 components
impact on heart
Impact on Heart
  • Main pumping mechanism
  • Increase exercise = increased oxygen requirement=increase heart pumping
  • Heart able to adapt through increases in heart rate and stroke volume which will enhance overall cardiac output
  • Oxygenation of blood
what determines how efficiently the body is using oxygen
What determines how efficiently the body is using oxygen?
  • Aerobic capacity = VO2max
  • More active = higher capacity
  • Average value = 45-60 ml O2/min/kg
  • Increases in intensity require higher levels of oxygen consumption
  • Inherit certain range of maximum aerobic capacity (genetics)
    • Dependent on activity levels
    • Also impacted by muscle fiber types
maximum aerobic capacity
Maximum Aerobic Capacity
  • Most accurate techniques must be performed in a laboratory setting
    • Treadmill, bicycle ergometer
    • Monitor heart rate and gas exchange at particular workload
  • Generally utilize heart rate to estimate percentage of maximum aerobic capacity
    • Indirect method
    • Heart rate and aerobic capacity have linear relationship
types of training for cardiorespiratory endurance
Types of Training for Cardiorespiratory Endurance
  • Continuous
    • Mode (type of exercise) - must be aerobic in nature
    • Frequency (at least 3 times/week)
    • Duration(at least 20 minutes)
    • Intensity (monitor intensity as % of heart rate or perceived exertion)
      • Training heart rate – target heart rate

Maximum HR = 220 - Age

      • Karvonen formula
        • Target HR=Resting HR+(.6 [Max HR – Resting HR])
Interval training
    • Intermittent activities involving periods of intense work and active recovery
    • Must occur at 60-80% of maximal heart rate
    • Allows for higher intensity training at short intervals over an extended period of time
    • Most anaerobic sports require short burst which can be mimicked through interval training
Fartlek training
    • Cross-country running that originated in Sweden
    • Speed play
    • Similar to interval training in the fact activity occurs over a specific period of time but pace and speed are not specified
    • Consists of varied terrain which incorporates varying degrees of hills
    • Dynamic form of training
    • Must elevate heart rate to minimal levels to be effective
    • Popular form of training in off-season