Tags: fitness | injury | risk | youth

Pre-season Fitness Doesn’t Cut Injury Risk

Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:31 AM

Pre-season fitness training programs are standard practice in high school and college sports, with the aim of preparing athletes for competition and reducing their risk of injury. But a new study has found they don’t make much difference in boosting game-time performance or reducing injury.
The study, led by researchers at the University of Alberta, measured pre-season fitness levels for six varsity teams, putting the athletes through a series of fitness, strength and flexibility tests. They then tracked the players’ injury rates during the seasons to see if the fittest athletes were less likely to suffer problems.
The results, published in the journal Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology, indicated the rate and timing of injuries among the players was not affected at all by their level of pre-season fitness.
More than two-thirds of the athletes suffered injury throughout the season, most commonly muscle or tendon strain in the legs or feet. But there was no correlation between athletes’ pre-season fitness and their likelihood of becoming injured. They research team did find, however, that female athletes and participants in certain sports (such as volleyball) were more likely to suffer injuries than others (hockey or basketball).
"Our study attempted to answer the question whether fitter athletes are more resilient to injury than less fit athletes,” said Michael Kennedy, one of the team members who performed this study. “We know from our data that differences exist between risk of injury in pre-season training, regular season training and actual games. However most importantly our data clearly show that time to first injury for athletes is more heavily influenced by gender and sport than pre-season fitness."

© HealthDay

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Gender, type of sport are bigger predictors of injury than pre-game fitness levels.
Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:31 AM
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