The Importance of Balanced Strength

Information on health and injury are some of the most common Tuesday Tip requests that make their way into the TWMX inbox. But since health and wellness advice is the last thing you want from any of us, we’ve asked Dr. Mark Sanders to fill you in on the latest in health, wellness, and injury recovery. As a physician and athlete, Dr. Mark understands the unique needs of our sport, and in his first Tuesday Tip addresses the importance of balanced strength in preventing injury. Take it away Doc…

Most athletes understand the importance of training in their sport. Practice and more practice is the only way they’re going to stay competitive. Most also recognize the benefit of staying physically strong.

But what many athletes may not realize is the importance of balanced strength training with a particular emphasis on the areas most exerted in their sport and in their position. Just as the strain placed on particular areas of the MX athlete’s body affects the type of treatment and rehabilitation we’ll use when injury to one of those areas occurs, the way the athlete trains and conditions his body should be specific to these areas as well. In MX, the primary areas impacted include the knee, shoulder, and wrist.

By keeping opposing muscle groups in these areas strong, the risk of injury is greatly reduced. Equally strong quadriceps and hamstrings help protect the knees. And equally strong biceps and triceps — as well as the surrounding deltoid, pecs, trapezious and muscles of the rotator cuff — reduce the risk of injury to the shoulder area and arm.

When there is not a balance of strength in opposing and surrounding muscle groups, vulnerability is created. The injury could begin as a strain in a weaker muscle, or a ligament tear, that disrupts balance and causes a fall — resulting in a more serious fracture. I can’t emphasize enough how important proper muscle conditioning and strength training is — in both avoiding preventable injury and recovering quickly when an unavoidable accident occurs.

About Dr. Mark Sanders and the Sanders Clinic for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Known as the MX doctor, Dr. Mark Sanders is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor with over 20 years of experience — who has helped both MX and BMX professionals get back in the race with his unconventional approach to injuries and accelerated rehabilitation programs. He and his certified fitness trainers know an athlete isn’t going to let an injury keep him from his sport, so he provides treatment options and strengthening programs designed to keep them strong and in the race — which is why athletes from across the United States seek treatment at Sanders Clinic.

Dr. Sanders is the moderator for a number of health and fitness forums and has been listed among H Texas Magazine’s Top Docs for the past two years. He was recently featured in the 2006 edition of Medicine Men of Texas — a book spotlighting outstanding physicians and the impact their work has had on patients.

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