Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Structural Balance Assessment in Grand Rapids

A big idea with injury prevention is to look for imbalances in strength. Asymmetries with in the body are often one of the leading causes of injury. Tight hamstrings may or may not be detrimental to performance, but one tight hamstring compared to the other may. All pressing and no pulling will eventually catch up with any athlete for example. So smart programing is a must.  One thing I always try to evaluate when training someone in our Grand Rapids gym, is strength deficits.
Charles Poliquin one of the leading strength coaches in the country has a concept called structural balance. For example, if you press 100 lb's a certain percentage of this you should be able to pull. One of these tests is for the rotatore cuff, in particular the external rotators, infraspinatous and teres minor. Poliquin states that you should be able to do 8 strict reps on the side lying external rotations with a dumbell with 9% of your maximum bench press. So if you bench 350 lbs, you should be able to do 8 reps with around 32 lbs. If you can't your rotator cuff strength is deficient and you are setting yourself up for injury. So try it and see how you do. You may find that bringing up the smaller muscles will lead to bigger gains in the long term and along the way keep you injury free.

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