Every sport is unique. Because of the diversity of 14-varsity sports offered at Washington College it is our job as Strength and Conditioning coaches to analyze the different movements and motions performed in each sport. These variations in biomechanics and kinesiology lead to different muscular development, compensations, weaknesses and strengths that must be addressed to ensure a balanced kinetic chain.
Muscular compensations form in the body when one muscle becomes over developed while the opposing muscle becomes underdeveloped. This lack of balance causes an uneven distribution of development between the muscle and structural support systems i.e. the ligaments and tendons. Any disruption in the kinetic chain may cause serious injury in the lower back, knees, hips and ankle areas. Compensations can be seen through general static and dynamic observations. i.e. when performing a squat an individuals knees move inward. The compensation is a result of overactive muscles of the adductor complex, bicep formis, Vastus lateralis and TFL and underactive muscles of the Gluteus medius/maximus and Vastus medialis oblique.
Training programs focus on strengthening the underactive muscle groups to create a balanced kinetic chain. A major compensation of our athletes across the board is overdeveloped quadriceps and underdeveloped hamstrings.
Certain strength exercises may relate to multiple sports. The power clean is a dynamic, total body movement that provides power increases and shows functional benefits in a wide range of sports. In order to make this one lift more specific to functional strength on the court or on the field, we manipulate acute variables i.e. volume, reps, sets and recovery time. Our focus is placed first on the individual athlete regarding their weaknesses and strengths, followed by their ability to perform the lifts correctly.
If an individual lacks range of motion or shows compensations when performing a lift, that lift will be performed with an alternative lift to ensure proper mechanics and a safe environment.