Strength and Power Training in Rehabilitation: Underpinning Principles and Practical Strategies to Return Athletes to High Performance

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Residual deficits in maximal strength, rate of force development, and peak power have been shown to persist for years following athletic injuries.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The development and restoration of maximal strength, rate of force development (RFD) and reactive strength are of upmost importance in training and rehabilitating high performing athletes. Following the initial stages of rehabilitation, athletes often exhibit deficits in the aforementioned qualities well into their return to sport phase. Emergent research points to prolonged deficits in strength and power production as significant risk factors contributing to the high re-injury rates seen in hamstring strains and ACL tears. The purpose of this paper was to appraise the current body of literature on strength development in athletic rehabilitation and suggest evidence-based strategies to target a resolution of these deficits.

Deficits in strength and power production are significant risk factors contributing to the high re-injury rates seen in hamstring strains and ACL tears.
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Slow submaximal resistance training is important early on in rehabilitation, but it should be replaced with faster and heavier resistance training as soon as the athlete can tolerate higher loads.

METHODS

This paper was a well-written synopsis of current topics relating to strength and athletic rehabilitation, ranging from recommendations of interdisciplinary cooperation, to the necessity of a battery of tests for ACL return to sport, to programming recommendations for power production

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