Thursday, February 14, 2013
Training the Overhead Athlete
Athletes who are required to regularly perform overhead movements must be strong in the overhead position. Athletes such as pitchers, throwers, quarterbacks and even post players in basketball need to have stable and healthy shoulders. However, there are some who believe overhead training should be avoided entirely with these types of athletes. These people may consist of sport coaches, athletic trainers, and even strength and conditioning coaches who may not exactly understand the science behind the why. By neglecting certain aspects of strength training due to a fear of causing injury to ourselves, we are actually doing the exact opposite.
The human body is highly adaptable. By placing the body in stressful but intelligent situations, the human body is forced to find a way to adapt and become stronger. Injury commonly takes place when an athlete's body is placed in unfamiliar movement patterns and then required to perform athletically at a high level. Furthermore, injury often occurs where there are muscle imbalances. Though accommodations may need to be made depending on the athlete's current health status, keeping the athlete’s competitive season in mind, movement selection should roughly stay the same. The shoulder is a complex, mobile joint and in order to heed against injury we must learn to stabilize and strengthen the body in these positions.