SPECIFIC STRENGTH AND NEUROMUSCULAR TRAINING FOR INJURY PREVENTION
This is especially important for sports person and aspiring athletes.
In addition to players’ routine strength training, particular strength and neuromuscular training exercises may also be prescribed to specifically guard against common injuries reported in the sport. This specific injury prevention role for strength training has not received the research attention it would appear to merit. Too often specific strength exercises are only prescribed for team sports players once an injury has already occurred (Wagner, 2003).
Although there are a growing number of studies detailing injury data for different sports, there are very few that assess injury prevention strategies for sports.
For example, despite soccer’s status as the most popular sport in the world, a review of the literature pertaining to injury prevention for soccer players found only four relevant studies that met inclusion criteria (Olsen et al., 2004). The process of specific training prescription should begin with a needs analysis of the particular sport, including research into the injuries commonly sustained during competition.
After examining injury data for the sport, the injury history of each player and any ongoing injury concerns will then help highlight the specific needs of each individual. Such analysis of the sport, combined with an assessment of the individual, will identify what areas of the body are prone to what type of injury.
Once identified, the design of the injury prevention intervention program should aim systematically to address risk factors for each specific injury identified for the sport and the athlete (Nicholas and Tyler, 2002). Such preventative measures can only be taken by first gaining an understanding of the causative factors and injury mechanisms that are characteristic of the particular injury (Bahr and Krosshaug, 2005). Such data for injuries that are representative of different team sports are increasingly available (Junge and Dvorak, 2004).