Strength and conditioning: Prepping your body to prevent injury and increase sports performance

Mar 5, 2013 -  You want your children to participate in team sports, but you’re worried they could get injured and maybe carry around a “bum knee” for life. Or maybe you’re the one who loves being active, but you’re haunted by a previous ankle injury that took months of care and orthopedic surgery to recover. What can you do to minimize the risk of injury in the future and minimize your need for orthopedic rehabilitation?

Many sports injuries occur because of improper training and body preparation—especially in young athletes. Something the professionals at the Eastern Connecticut Health Network Strength and Conditioning program know all too well. It’s the basis for many of the programs we’ve developed.

Licensed and certified health care professionals will provide athletes of any age with a structured, progressive, and sport-specific training program in a safe, clean and professional environment. These programs are designed to help prevent sports-related injuries and enhance athletic performance.

Before starting a conditioning program, our strength and conditioning staff will analyze your movements and will perform baseline tests. With the results of these tests in hand, we can develop a training program suited for your or your child’s specific needs. ECHN’s Strength & Conditioning program focuses on helping athletes of any age reach their top sports performance, using safe, age-specific, evidence-based training principles.

Developing a customized program for you
There is no one-size-fits-all program; we look at the sport you or your child play, determine what injuries an athlete is most at risk for based on the demands of that sport, and use exercises and techniques to strengthen those particular areas of the body that are more likely to develop these injuries.

Then the team determines the right setting. They can work with you or your child on a 1-on-1 basis, in small groups, with an entire sports team, or in a clinic format. No matter what your personal style is when it comes to getting fit, ECHN has an option that will work for you.

Methods for strength and conditioning treatment
ECHN uses several methods for strength and conditioning training:
  • Resistance training
  • Speed and agility training
  • Plyometric training
Resistance training is a specialized method of conditioning that uses progressively heavier resistance to help increase or maintain health, fitness and sports performance. Different styles of training are used to provide resistance for different muscle groups. This will help to develop the base strength of various muscle groups, especially those important to your sport.

Speed and agility development training is used to help you improve running speed, increase reaction time and ability to quickly change directions, and increase your ability to exert as much force as you can, even when you’re moving fast.

Plyometric training conditions the body to increase speed of movement and improve power production through exercises that involve using the maximum muscle force possible in the shortest time possible. This trains the body to be able to deliver “explosive” power.

When to seek care
The best time to start a strength and conditioning program is right at the onset of any sports program. If you or a family member is considering a heavy sports program and you believe they are at risk for injury or they have history of past injuries, a customized strength and conditioning program might be the right choice.

But the best way to be sure if the program is right is to seek out a team and get evaluated. ECHN’s Strength & Conditioning program is designed to help you achieve optimal sports performance and prevent injuries before they happen. We offer flexible scheduling, Monday-Friday, with appointments available early in the morning and in the evening.



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