Part 1 - What is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting is a strength-sport in which competitors attempt to lift as much weight as they are capable over three different exercises; the back squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Most programming also involves big comprehensive movements to compliment these three lifts, including; the overhead press, bent over row, pull-up, and weighted carry.
This, at face value, may sound dangerous, daunting, and possibly scary. I mean, one of the exercises has the word dead in it! And, you know, people on the internet say that lifting weights can’t be good for your back, and you should never lift weights overhead. Also, your friend knows a jacked guy that has injuries so, how can this possibly be therapeutic?
Well, it’s true that if you perform these exercises incorrectly, you may be risking injury. But if you break it down, you are performing these movements multiple times throughout the day anyway! Reaching into cabinets overhead, picking items up off the ground, moving your couch, getting in/out of your car and on/off the toilet, carrying in groceries, etc., all of these movements require some derivative of the aforementioned exercises. If you think of this from the perspective that you already perform these movements, you might as well learn how to do them well in an effort to mitigate risk for injury.
So how does this translate to rehabilitation from injury?
As a physical therapist I treat an array of orthopedic issues every day. The purpose of this blog series is to go through the top ten orthopedic injuries that I treat, and show how conventional powerlifting training may be the best intervention for these issues from a rehabilitative perspective. The top eight issues I see, in no particular order, are:
This blog series will be set up to address each of these orthopedic issues individually within each blog post, highlighting the benefits of skilled powerlifting training with regards to rehabilitation from injury along the way.
How do I get started?
Sold already, but don’t know where to start? No worries! I have posted directories below that will point you in the right direction so you can find skilled practitioners in your area.
The Charlotte Athlete - If you’re local to the Charlotte Area, The Charlotte Athlete is a group of healthcare providers and highly accredited sports doctors that specialize in various sports setting including Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Strongman, Olympic Weightlifting, Crossfit, and recreational athletes and youth athletes. There is also free, quality, information on how to improve your lifts and ways to work around common aches and pains.
APTA Specialist Directory - This is the directory for the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). There are options to search within each specialty. An orthopedic specialist would be able to help best with nagging aches and pains and help get you back to sport specific training. A sport specialist may help you overcome, manage, or avoid injury within your sport. Some Sport Specialists have a subspecialty with a specific sport, or set of sports.
The Clinical Athlete - This is a directory of healthcare providers that happen to be athletes themselves. Again, you can search by location and filter for specific providers. Peruse each providers website to see who is the best fit for you.
RSCC Registry - This is a directory of Strength and Conditioning Specialists that are registered with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). This directory allows you to filter by location and search based on years of experience. Peruse this directory to find a Strength and Conditioning Specialist in your area.
Author: Dr. Michael Masi
Masi Fitness, LLC
At some point or another we’ve all woken up with a “crick in our neck” or finished a workout with neck pain. Why is that? What are we doing that’s causing these annoyances? Unfortunately, it’s much more then to just stop smacking our head into the ground during handstand push-ups. When it comes to the neck, we often set the stage for an injury or pain to occur because of what we are doing outside of the gym, without even realizing it. You see, when it comes to a healthy neck, we more or less want all our the cervical joints to contribute equally to movement (ex: turning to look around). However, we can develop stiffness in certain areas because of the prolonged postures and repeated movements we engage in day in and day out. The human body is extremely resilient and rather than limit total motion because of those stiff areas, other joints will start to compensate and move more to pick up the slack. It’s often these “over-working” segments that cause the pain you experience, which can also lead to issues with the muscles surrounding them (muscle tightness/ spasm). Here are 3 causes of why neck pain occurs in athletes.
We Sit Behind a Computer All Day
When we're stuck behind a computer screen for hours on end, we almost all fall victim to the dreaded forward head posture. We get lazy and our posture falls apart. This forward head position is one of the main culprits behind those stiff joints I mentioned earlier. It’s not just computer work either, driving posture can also wreak havoc. In both situations, we end up hunched forward which tightens up certain areas, and then rotate our neck to look around (ex: checking your mirrors). Repetitive rotations in bad posture causes micro-trauma and irritation that builds over time, eventually leading to pain and discomfort.
We Have Poor Sleeping Positions
You’ll hear me say this time and time again – sleep is the time our bodies heal and recovery. If we end up on our stomach, or in a position with a lot of neck rotation, the beat-down we put on our necks during the day will never get back to square 0. You should always wake up feeling fresh and pain-free, with no stiffness. If you don’t, you did something wrong and attention needs to be placed on getting it right.
We Have Poor Head/ Neck Position While Working Out
The position you put your head in while exercising and working out plays a major factor whether or not you’ll experience neck pain. Any time you fall into that forward head position, you are at risk. The most common exercises where this can happen includes pressing weight overhead, at the bottom of the squat or deadlift, during Olympic movements, and while performing pull-ups and handstand push-ups.
If you can just modify these bad head/ neck positions, the benefits will have a compounding effect on your health and prevent injuries from even occurring in the first place. Make adjustments as needed! For any additional questions, please reach out and sent me an e-mail!
This where we share our expert opinion on hot topics in physical therapy, injury prevention, sports performance, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and sometimes other random thoughts. Enjoy.