Sport specific training VS sports specific injury prevention
You may have heard the term 'sports specific training' quite a lot if you're a sports person looking for a physical trainer as it's a key message in many health professionals marketing these days, but what exactly does it mean?
If you're a sports person and want to improve in your sport, then the term 'sports specific' will appeal to you right? Well, like everything, it's important to do your research, as it seems to be more and more common that athletes and coaches in this day and age are using the term 'sports specific' and are seeking to replicate the movements and skills in their sport so much to a point that they may as well just do their sport.. now surely the reason your training in the first place is because your sport is demanding enough that you are seeking alternative methods to make you stronger and fitter for it; if this is the case then how is replicating the exact movements going to improve your ability in the sport?
I see the term 'sports specific training' as- training for the demands of the sport. If you require high intensity, short bursts of explosiveness in your sport then that's what we'll train; but in a global way, rather than just the specific movement planes you do in your sport. You see, if we keep replicating the exact movements that are required for your sport and make them stronger and stronger yet overlook the antagonists, then you're going to massively accelerate injury rates and subsequently reduce performance. After all, what use is a fast car with no brakes?
If you are training to develop your pushing force, then you need to also develop your eccentric pulling force (the brakes) and if you're increasing your jump height, then you'd better consider your landing mechanics as this is also an area where the 'brakes' can break.- (The brakes are the eccentric component of a muscle contraction) Find out more about eccentric muscle contractions here
If you perform in a sport that requires landing after being airborne, whether you're a climber, a MTB rider, wakeboarder, motocross racer, snowboarder/ skier, then gym work should be the element that increases your overall physical strength, core strength, balance & power and should prepare you for sudden impacts, falls or crashes. Something to think about at least...