Strength & Conditioning Physical Therapy
Our Strength and Conditioning Coaches are experts in the selection and progression of exercise for the purpose of creating a desired adaptation. Our programs are centered around movement variability, power output, explosiveness and injury prevention.
The distinguishing qualities in a high level athlete include movement variability and explosiveness. Movement variability is a capacity to perform a variety of movements under a variety of loads. This translates to the unpredictable nature of competing in sport. After the athlete becomes an efficient mover, we then layer on sport-specific powerful and explosive movements. This decreases the risk of injury to the athlete while simultaneously increasing movement efficiency and explosiveness.
Strength development of the feet is a neglected part of most strength and conditioning programs. The feet, in most sports, are the only part of the body that is in contact with the ground. They provide us with sensory feedback, also known as proprioception, to help us move through space. The increased proprioceptive feedback allows the brain to develop the best strategy to complete the task at hand by utilizing our ability to maintain balance/stability, absorb force and produce force vertically, horizontally, and laterally. This enables the athlete to be able to absorb their own body weight and produce efficient power movement.
We incorporate the Sports Science Lab Footwork program to focus on developing the strength of the feet in different ranges of motion, in different planes of movement and at different speeds. This is achieved with the use of the Sports Science Lab’s discs, slant boards and cylindrical pipes as well as the Accelerated Isokinetic and Supercat machines.
The core’s main job is to stabilize the spine while the extremities are moving, producing, and receiving force. Traditional core strengthening exercises focus on bracing the core in a static manner while the extremities aren’t moving through their full range of motion. In order to properly train the core, you must produce trunk stability that allows for effective and efficient movement from the limbs distally. Therefore, you must move your extremities at the speed and range of motion they will be used in sport while maintaining core stability.
We utilize the Sports Science Lab Ballwork program in order to dynamically strengthen and challenge proximal stability by moving the trunk and/or limbs in specific movement patterns, at speeds and in ranges at which athletic movements occur.
At ROI, we focus on functional strength training that is directly transferable to each athlete’s sport. Most conventional weightlifting systems focus on increasing strength by increasing the amount of weight you can lift over an unlimited amount of time. These methods fail to look at the weight room as a modality to increase performance as it relates to the specific qualities of sport. While conventional weight lifting exercises can be useful to increase overall strength in those that have a younger training age, they do not take into account speed or angles that the athlete will be required to perform in their given sport.
One way ROI looks to improve the overall athletic ability of an athlete, instead of just maximal strength, is with the Sports Science Lab Accelerated Isokinetic machine. The Accelerated Isokineitic works similar to other Isokinetic machines in that the resistance/opposing force created matches that of the athlete, but also allows the athlete to accelerate the pace at which the force is applied. This allows the athlete to accelerate and build momentum throughout the movement which is more translatable to athletic movements seen in sports.
Plyometric training utilizes the body’s ability to store and release energy in an efficient manner to produce powerful/cyclical movements. Plyometrics are a type of exercise that utilizes different jumps, hops, bounds and/or skips designed to increase athletic performance. Plyometrics have been shown to elicit large strength gains compared to just conventional lifting alone. The mechanisms for which this happens is utilizing the elastic properties of tendons and efficient timing of neural drive to the working muscles. At ROI, we use a comprehensive method of increasing these qualities through 3 different techniques: exposing the tendon to heavy absolute load to increase tendon stiffness, cyclical/elastic movements to improve a spring-like quality in the tendon, and “shock method” training to increase neural efficiency to the working muscle.
Force by definition is the total mass you can move multiplied by the speed at which you can accelerate it. Power on the other hand, is the amount of force produced over a given amount of time. All sports require some form of power output in order to perform the necessary actions needed. While some sports require a higher force at a lower velocity, others will require the athlete to produce a lower force at a much higher velocity. Comparing force-based training to plyometric training, the overall force output would be the same but the Rate of Force Development would be drastically different.
We utilize the Sports Science Lab Plio machine to train both the strength(max force) and plyometric(power) components to achieve an overall faster Rate of Force Development. This allows us to individually program the power output specified for each athlete’s demands of their sport.
Whole body submersion in cold water (42 degrees) in our Icepod Plus can reduce core body temperature sufficiently and induce a powerful cold stress response. Cold stress elicits vasoconstriction, temporarily reducing blood flow to submerged, peripheral tissues, resulting in increased peripheral blood flow after normal body temperature is restored.
These benefits include:
- Decreases in inflammation
- Increase in norepinephrine
- Increases in Cold Shock Proteins
- Stimulates a reset of the Autonomic Nervous System
The cold tub can also be used in tandem with the sauna, termed “contrast therapy”, to increase the cold and heat stress responses associated with cold and heat therapies.
FRC (Functional Range Conditioning)
Developed by world-renowned musculoskeletal expert Dr. Andreo Spina, Functional Range Conditioning® is a comprehensive joint training system based on scientific principles and research that increases the ability to control one’s body. FRC targets gaining mobility, reinforcing those newly gained ranges of motion with strength, and improving the brain’s control of the body in space. These three outcomes ultimately help to mitigate injuries, “bullet-proof” joints and connective tissue, and decrease pain. FRC optimizes the body to be able to perform any desired task whether that’s sport or activities of daily living. FRC not only increases performance in the now, but also promotes joint and connective tissue longevity so that you can also perform your best throughout your lifetime.