Strength and Conditioning – What’s it all about?


Muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, fascia, joint capsules: all highly complex and fascinating structures that allow us score that winning point for the local club or win a gold in the olympics on the rings.  They all work in tandem, and in similar processes.  Regardless of  age, occupation,  vocation or passion we need to be conditioned to function in our daily routines.

What are the benefits of strength and conditioning?

The benefits of strength training and exercise are undeniable and undisputed.  Increased lean muscle mass, lower blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, lower resting heart rate, improved cholesterol profiles, improved energy levels, better sleeping patterns and better mental health.  Sounds good doesn’t it?  These benefits are widespread across all individuals from the toddler to the octagenarian, the person who’s suffered a stroke to the olympic athlete.

 Do Physiotherapists do Strength and Conditioning?

Physiotherapists are experts in exercise prescription for those with and without medical conditions.  We can individually tailor your physical activity requirements to the needs of your current health status.  A past medical history is not a sentence to cease enjoying as full and active a life as possible.  We understand the various components of fitness that make you the finely tuned machine you are and we know how to train the slightly weaker aspects that you may have.  Most importantly we understand how to adapt exercise when you have an injury or medical condition.

We are passionate about the science behind it, experienced in its deliverance and practiced in what we preach.   Mark Elmes is our Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the world leading organisation for thousands of professionals in this field who deliver and research this field.

Mark has engaged all the staff in Kilkenny Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic with his enthusiasm for this subject and has all the staff utilising elements of strength and conditioning in their rehabilitation programmes.

Components of Strength and Conditioning

The various components of strength and conditioning that make you perform to the best of your ability are outlined below

  1.  Strength and Power – Why Does it matter?

    Strength is the ability to do work – to lift a box, carry your body up the stairs and get you through your daily routine.  For countless reasons our muscles become a little lazy or get forgotten as we get on with our lives.  Problems can arise after time.  The knee becomes a little sore, the shoulder aches when you lift a kettle.  We guarantee you that something is amiss with your strength and needs to be addressed.  The body follows a strict use or lose it principle and we must make it work hard to be able to do more work.  We can show you how to improve the same.

    Power on the other hand concerns how you use the strength you have, how you generate force.  Power concerns how fast you can push those muscles, launch forth across the pitch or send that javelin further than you have before.  To train power you must move the right way, with the right load and with the right form.  Power training is essential for all athletes across countless sports.  It is also complex to do well.  We would encourage anyone interested in developing the same to contact us.

    1. Flexibility and Mobility – Unleash Your Limbs?

    The importance of flexibility and mobility shall be disputed for a long time to come yet.   We believe it matters greatly and is an integral part of any programme. In a strength and conditioning sense it matters because you’re missing out on the potential for so much more performance.  Throughout your joint’s range of motion you have the ability to generate force.  If you’re missing some movement in that hip because of a tight hip flexor well then you are putting your glutes under a lot of pressure to do their job.  This is one of many examples.  There are also countless other ways in which you can be limited.  Let us show you the tried and tested strategies to better the same.

    1. Core Strengthening – Postural Control and Why it Matters?

    Let’s cut to the chase.  Core strength is complex but it doesn’t have to be.  The core is considered the centre of all things sporting and it’s important but it’s only one part of the link.

    Unfortunately over the past number of years across the relevant fields it has become muddled in thought and practice.  One should understand what they’re training before they start training it.  One should not train this in isolation but bring it to everything they do.

    It boils down to aligning the spine or “postural control.”  Your spine is the core, the scaffold and the foundation and you should support it as such.  If you can’t organise it you can’t effectively move and you put your joints under much more strain.  For more information click core strengthening.

    1. Movement Training – The Missing Link

    In all you do, you should move well.  This is the difference between success and failure and we have really been poor at it in this country.  Movement technique is critical to keeping your body healthy and performing well.  This type of training has been lacking from countless training programmes across the land.

    Pop into the clinic and let us show you why it matters and how to improve it.  You won’t be sorry when we get your nervous system firing.

    1. Metabolic Conditioning – Fueling Your Engine

    Fitness training, the dreaded laps, shuttle runs, sprints and ladders.  Many players have heard these terms and suffered their wrath but have you ever wondered what you are doing them for?  The answer – to get fit.  But that’s frankly rubbish.  Different sports have different requirements and should be treated as such.

    The key here is being specific.  A conditioning programme from us will incorporate the energy systems your sport needs, monitor the load it has on your body to prevent fatigue and ensure that when your heart is under pressure during the final minutes you will still move and flow accordingly.  Please don’t run for the sake of running.  Reason it, plan it and improve it.  We can help with that.

    1. Rehabilitation – Getting Back to Performance

    This is not just for athletes.  Performance, is relative it is personal and it matters no matter what you do.  Here at the clinic we believe wholeheartedly that when you’re injured we have a responsibility to educate you on how to get better.  As we guide you on the path to getting better the end goal is never about getting you back on the pitch.  The end goal is about getting you to perform better than you ever have before.  We will strive to do this and would love to help you along the way.

    1. Performance Testing – Measure Your Gains

    Ah the nerdy science bit.  Why should we test?  The answer is plain and clear.  Unless you have measured it, we believe it didn’t happen.  When you measure it’s undeniable proof of your hard work and a testament to your commitment.  Let us show you the strategies to do the same.  It doesn’t matter about the budget we can work with very little.

    1. Injury Prevention

    Read all of the above bits, they are all relevant.