Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 4

In Part 3, we talked about how coaches identify weaker areas of athletic performance through regular performance testing. Over the next several articles, we’ll take a closer look at each performance test and identify the most common movement flaws that indicate an underlying strength imbalance or “performance leak.” We’ll also address how to fix these leaks and transform athletic weaknesses into strengths.
Let’s start with one of the most popular performance tests among athletes - the vertical jump.
For starters, the knees tell us a lot about an athlete’s muscular balance. When an athlete jumps, the knees should remain stacked over their base of support. What we’ll often see in athletes who have a strength imbalance are the knees collapsing in. This is termed valgus collapse, and usually indicates an imbalance in strength between the underdeveloped glutes and external rotators of the hip in favor of the overdeveloped quadriceps muscles of the thighs.

Valgus knee collapse prior to jumping.
This collapse is harmless when the athlete performs it, but if the underlying strength imbalances are not addressed, the athlete is at a greater predisposition for more serious injuries down the road. In our next article, we’ll examine how to correct this performance leak and restore proper balance between the glutes, external rotators, and quads!

Keep Training!
Coach Anthony and Akron General Sports Performance

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