August 8, 2011
Next week sees the start of a new Premiership season, and I’m sure I can speak on behalf of you all when I say we can’t wait. Unfortunately, we have to sit through international friendlies and hope our players can avoid injury for the opening fixtures. This is the most idiotic time for international football matches, and if I remember hearing correctly, they plan arranging more friendlies throughout the season. Genius.
Last summer Liverpool FC brought in a new Sports Science team, considered top of the area. Dr. Peter Brukner is Head of the Department and oversees all thing Sports Science at the club. Another Ozzy, Darren Burgess, is the Fitness and Conditioning Coach. Burgess previously held this position with the Australia national team. Sports Science is playing a bigger role than ever in giving a team that edge to see them over the line. One massive part is injury prevention. Injuries can ruin a season, and although freak injuries can occur, training can be done to help lower the risk of injury. A tool used for this is TRX. On 6th August 2011, Darren Burgess (@darrenburgess25) tweeted saying:
TRX is leveraged bodyweight exercise, started with the US Navy Seals. This exercise is said to build power, strength, flexibility, balance, mobility, and prevent injuries. In his tweet, Burgess talks of Raul Meireles, who has been struggling recently with a leg injury. I would assume they are working with the TRX Suspension Pack to rebuild Meireles’ strength. On their website (http://trxtraining.com/), they say “The TRX uses unique functional movements that safely improve soccer-specific skills without getting exposed to on-pitch risks”. It is ‘full spectrum solution’ as it can be used in prehab, to training, to rehab. That, for me, is really interesting, as it shows how much strength and conditioning work goes on at professional clubs. Players are constantly improving their bodies to prevent injury, build strength and improve any physical weaknesses they have, not only when they are recovering from injury. ‘Prehab’ seems to have become a massive part of training throughout a season.
Using the TRX System for football, players would be doing single-leg squats, squat jumps, introducing a ball for heading to these, and also using a beam to walk on, with the TRX included. It is also used for bicep and tricep exercises. The #LFC squad are using it two to three times per week, where they would do three to five hours a week off the field. An interesting point Burgess makes is that alot of people think a ton of gym work, lifting heavy weights stationary, will transfer to better performance on the pitch, but exercising the actual movements is much more specific and beneficial to the players. They would use the TRX for squats, jump squats, low rows and chest presses, where they usually complete a couple of upper body exercises and a couple of lower body.
I would love to be a professional athlete, getting this kind of treatment, specific and relevant to the game I play. Having a program which caters for my individual needs would be really good. It begs the question, are stacks of teams and athletes training the wrong way, are they spending pointless hours in the gym doing what won’t really benefit them?This entry was posted in Injury. Bookmark the permalink. ← 2011 Ulster All-Stars #RaiseYourGame – Arsenal →
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