Weight or strength training is included in most workouts to help increase muscle mass, muscle strength and build endurance.
In weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding and CrossFit, weight training is essential for training or competing. Understanding how proper form and function of the lower body can influence weight training allows athletes to improve gains and reduce the risk of injury.
Lower Body Injuries
Two of the most popular in weightlifting and powerlifting are the clean & jerk and the snatch. Both these exercises require an individual to raise the barbell over the head from the floor. This makes it important for the athlete to have proper form in order to reduce the risk of lower body injuries in bodybuilding.
A study in the Korean Journal of Sport Biomechanics investigates the types of movements involved in weightlifting to identify the risk of injuries. It highlights that athletes with a history of knee injuries have a higher possibility of re-injuring the affected knee. This is due to the reduced ability of the hamstring muscles to control forward movement of the front part of the leg while lifting heavy weights.
A review in the 2017 edition of Sports Medicine Journal identified the lower back and knee as the most common sites of lower body injury. The authors also determined that the risk of acute muscle strain injuries is higher in sports that require lifting of heavy loads like weightlifting, powerlifting and strongman.
Impact of Foot Posture
Foot posture problems may cause weight training injuries and limit the ability of an athlete to train to their full potential. For instance, a number of muscles in the lower body need to work properly to perform the barbell back-squat.
With flat feet, the athlete can be at a disadvantage. As the foot arch collapses, it causes the shin bone and thigh bone to twist inwards. This increases load on the ankles, knees, hips and the lower back, which may increase the risk of injuries when lifting weights.
Supportive Care and Rehabilitation
Injury prevention and rehab in weight training should involve building lower body strength. Athletes with weak foot posture should be examined by foot care specialists or physiotherapists to identify the problem, its causes and the best treatment options.
If foot posture problems are present, then foot insoles can be recommended as part of a complete supportive care or active rehab programme.
MASS4D® insoles can help promote alignment in the lower body by supporting the feet in their optimal posture. The insoles offer foot support to improve proper distribution of weight and shock absorption.
MASS4D® foot insoles help provide a strong base to promote good form and posture for different styles of weight training. Additional removable support is also available to strengthen the arch of the insole and offer the best support even when lifting heavy weight.
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Reference: Keogh, J. W. L., Winwood, P. W. (2017) The Epidemiology of Injuries Across The Weight Training Sports: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine: March 2017, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 479-501. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0575-0.
Reference: Moon, Y. (2016) Evaluation of Biomechanical Movements and Injury Risk Factors in Weight Lifting (Snatch). Korean Journal of Sport Biomechanics: 2016, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 369-375. http://dx.doi.org/10.5103/KJSB.2016.26.4.369
Reference: Glassbrook, D. J. (2016) An Analysis of High-Bar and Low-Bar Back-Squat Techniques in Olympic Weightlifters and Powerlifters. Auckland University of Technology.
Pilates refers to a series of exercises that target the core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and so on. The movements involved in pilates also help to improve flexibility and posture while promoting core stability.