Inertial flywheel vs heavy slow resistance training among athletes with patellar tendinopathy: a randomized trial

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Nearly one third of running and jumping athletes develop patellar tendinopathy (PT) during their playing careers. This occurs at both the competitive and recreational sport level.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Patellar tendinopathy (PT) is a clinical diagnosis of load-related pain and dysfunction in the patellar tendon. PT most commonly affects running and jumping athletes with incidence reported as high as 36% in basketball players (1). It is commonplace amongst recreational athletes as well, with a 30% incidence in runners (2). Evidence-based management of PT includes patient education, load management, and exercise therapy focused on progressive resistance training (3).

The isolated single leg eccentric decline squat is the most studied exercise for PT. Recent investigations into bilateral strength and power training have demonstrated efficacy for several different progressive approaches (3, 4, 5). The objective of this paper was to compare the effects of flywheel (FW) vs heavy slow resistance (HSR) training on PT.

Patella tendinopathy most commonly affects running and jumping athletes with incidence reported as high as 36% in basketball players.
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Regardless of the mechanism behind adaptation, the study confirms progressively loading the patellar tendon and strengthening the legs is beneficial for improved function and symptoms.

METHODS

The authors performed a randomized controlled trial with 42 recreational athletes participating in high patellar loading sports 2-3 times/week, and a minimum 3-month history of PT pain localized to the inferior pole. The 12-week intervention included 3 weekly sessions that

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