Isokinetic Training

#SPEEDANDPOWER

At MOTUS Specialists Physical Therapy in Orange County, we have the key to faster, safer rehabilitation — isokinetic training. This alternative to conventional weightlifting uses a special machine that results in safe, complete muscle contractions without the risk of overdoing it with weights. If you’re looking to recover from an injury, or want to further enhance your performance, isokinetic training at MOTUS might be for you.

What is Isokinetic Training?

Although athletes train in order to build strength for their sport, many training routines fall short of building functional strength. According to Sports Science Lab, the makers of our isokinetic training machine at MOTUS, functional strength is defined as “the ability to produce and control force and power in a very small amount of time.” In the middle of a game, athletes don’t have time to produce a careful movement like they would in weight lifting. Instead, they need to rely on their body’s ability to produce muscle movements under the stress of the game. To this end, traditional weightlifting falls short of preparing an athlete for their game, because it doesn’t develop this type of functional strength. That’s where isokinetic training comes in. It varies from other types of training by putting focus on consistency of speed. In conventional weightlifting, a person performs their reps in an undefined amount of time. With no concern for time, they will do their training at an uneven speed, without control and consistency. Isokinetic training, on the other hand, enforces a regular speed throughout the entire performance. It uses a special machine that adjusts its resistance levels to a person’s strength. By adjusting the resistance, the person’s movements maintain the same speed, no matter what their output of strength. At MOTUS, we find that the Sports Science Lab isokinetic training machine is an invaluable tool for rehabilitation. We can use it to test which muscles and joints we need to focus on rehabilitating, and it makes it easy for us to measure progress as a patient regains strength.

How does it work?

Although athletes train in order to build strength for their sport, many training routines fall short of building functional strength. According to Sports Science Lab, the makers of our isokinetic training machine at MOTUS, functional strength is defined as “the ability to produce and control force and power in a very small amount of time.” In the middle of a game, athletes don’t have time to produce a careful movement like they would in weight lifting. Instead, they need to rely on their body’s ability to produce muscle movements under the stress of the game. To this end, traditional weightlifting falls short of preparing an athlete for their game, because it doesn’t develop this type of functional strength. That’s where isokinetic training comes in. It varies from other types of training by putting focus on consistency of speed. In conventional weightlifting, a person performs their reps in an undefined amount of time.
With no concern for time, they will do their training at an uneven speed, without control and consistency.Isokinetic training, on the other hand, enforces a regular speed throughout the entire performance. It uses a special machine that adjusts its resistance levels to a person’s strength. By adjusting the resistance, the person’s movements maintain the same speed, no matter what their output of strength. At MOTUS, we find that the Sports Science Lab isokinetic training machine is an invaluable tool for rehabilitation. We can use it to test which muscles and joints we need to focus on rehabilitating, and it makes it easy for us to measure progress as a patient regains strength.

What are the benefits of Isokinetic Training?

Isokinetic training offers benefits for both strengthening and recovery. Because of its controlled nature, isokinetic training is great for building strength and range of motion after injury. An athlete can be monitored closely in their training on the machine, allowing the physical therapist to watch their progress and note additional recovery needs. The speed and range of motion of each movement can be adjusted and will remain consistent throughout the activity. Unlike traditional weight training, there’s no real risk of worsening an injury or causing a new one. With this device, we are able to safely strengthen a body part very soon after injury or surgery for faster recovery.

When it comes to strengthening, isokinetic training has all the benefits without risk. The training trains the brain to produce force throughout the entire range of motion, which leads to a better performance in the sport. It provides incredibly fast strength gain, without the delayed onset muscle syndrome that would come from muscle tearing with an excessive weight load.

A 2017 study looked at the effects of isokinetic training on power and driver performance in elite golfers. It found that after nine weeks of training, the golfers had an improved performance that led to a greater carry distance.*

Using isokinetic training can eliminate the risk of injury by improving muscular balance and protecting joints with more functional training. One study from 2008 showed that an isokinetic training program greatly reduced imbalances in the knee muscle strength of soccer players.**

Is Isokinetic Training right for me?

All athletes, no matter their level or their age, can benefit from isokinetic training. This tool is safe and effective for people of all ages and conditions because its resistance levels adjust to the person using it. If you are healing from an injury, isokinetic training is a safe way to regain strength and move forward with your sport.
Alternatively, if you’ve plateaued in your training and want to try a more effective way of improving functional strength for your sport, isokinetic training can help.

REFERENCES

* James Parker et al – Effects of nine weeks isokinetic training on power, golf kinematics, and driver performance in pre-elite golfers

** A. Gioftsidou et al – Isokinetic strength training program for muscular imbalances in professional soccer players


https://www.healthline.com/health/isokinetic#benefits
https://www.sportsciencelab.com/strengthwork
https://nysportssciencelab.com/explore-programs/recovery-modalities/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF1wNq-A5hc&t=55s