October 1, 2013

Sports injuries

All athletes need to be evaluated thoroughly to rule out injuries that may be career ending if not addressed and treated properly. Injuries are a part of the game and sometimes can not be avoided. Injury prevention is as important as practicing and developing your skills. Proper warm ups are necessary to circulate blood flow to the tissue that is going to be trained. Whether you are an avid golfer or a trained cage fighter, warming up reduces the possibility of injuries.

Sports specific training is also an important aspect for athletes who are on a competitive level and want to separate themselves from the rest of the playing field. All athletes are not created equal with respect to body type. Swimmers and wrestlers look differently and train differently using different muscle fibers for their respective sport.

Different types of muscle fibers are found throughout the body, broken into slow-twitch (ST or type I), fast-twitch (FT or type II), or a mixture of fast twitch fibers (FT-A and FT-B) in which they share qualities of both slow and fast twitch fibers. Contraction time dictates these muscle fiber categories. Slow twitch fibers have a slower contraction time and higher endurance making them more usable for aerobic activities in which longer and less explosive movements are required such as a marathon runner. Fast twitch fibers are used for shorter, more explosive movements which you might find in a power lifter.

Both athletes train differently to utilize the effectiveness of their muscle fiber and achieve greater results in their sport. The amount and type of muscle fiber is present at birth. Slow twitch muscle fibers and fast twitch muscle fibers may not be changed; we are born with what we have. The way you train your muscles fibers will ultimately change “which” ones will develop and dominate the make up of your muscles. Developing fast twitch muscle to use for explosive, short movements such as: power lifting, wrestling, judo, sprinting will benefit from high intensity, high resistance training.

Slow twitch training can benefit marathon, runners, long distance swimming, athletes who prefer more endurance with their contractions, able to perform longer with less fatigue. These athletes should practice with the same amount of intensity but with less weight for a longer duration.