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Power & Strength

Back Clinic Power & Strength Training. These types of conditioning programs are for both athletes and the general population. They can reach higher levels of personal power and strength, making them capable of achieving their personal fitness goals. Power is defined as the ability to generate as much force as fast as possible. It’s needed for athletic movements such as workouts (clean & jerk), swinging a bat, golf club, tennis racket, and running through a tackle.

Power requires strength and speed to develop force. Strength is the amount of force muscle/s can exert against an external load. One rep maximum test is performed where individuals assess the greatest weight they can lift while maintaining proper form. The movement’s speed is not important in a strength test. Dr. Alex Jimenez offers insight into various stretches and exercises and explains the possible risks of injury on strength training through his numerous article archives.

Tennis Weight Training

Tennis Weight Training

Tennis requires strength, power, and endurance. Can combining tennis weight training into a player’s fitness regimen that is broken up into phases achieve optimal results?

Tennis Weight Training

Tennis Weight Training

In professional sports that utilize weight lifting, the training is often broken up into seasonal phases. (Daniel S Lorenz, Michael P Reiman, John C Walker. 2010) Each phase consists of specific objectives that contribute to and build upon the previous phase. This is known as periodization. Tennis is played year-round indoors and outdoors. This is an example of a tennis weight training program to build up strength.


  • In the early pre-season, players prepare to rebuild their strength after a break.
  • The emphasis is on building functional strength and some muscle.

Late Pre-Season

  • In late pre-season, players workout to get ready for the start of the season.
  • Here, the emphasis is on building maximum power.

In Season

  • In season, regular practice, play, and competition get underway and players are in top condition.
  • In this phase, strength and power maintenance is the focus.

Season Break

  • This is when players need to relax for a while.
  • However, players need to keep active if they want to maintain some level of fitness.
  • The emphasis is on rest and recovery with the maintenance of light activity, like cross-training and light gym workouts.
  • Research has shown that taking a break from serious strength training does help the body recover and rebuild. (Daniel Lorenz, Scot Morrison. 2015)
  1. This is a three-phase all-around program.
  2. The first phase concentrates on building basic strength and muscle
  3. The second phase on power delivery.
  4. Players who play year-round can continue with the power program once they build the basics.
  5. Players who take a break for longer than six weeks should start again with the strength program.

Pre-Season – Phase One

Strength and Muscle

  • The focus is on lifting heavy weights, but not going full force to begin training the nervous system to work with the muscle fibers.
  • Some muscle building or hypertrophy/building muscle size will happen during strength development.
  • Strength is the foundation for the power development phase.


  1. Duration: 6-8 weeks
  2. Workout Days: 2-3, with at least one day, however, two are recommended between sessions.
  3. Reps: 8-10
  4. Sets: 2-4
  5. Rest between sets: 1-2 minutes
  • Barbell squat, dumbbell squat, or sled hack squat
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Dumbbell bent-over row
  • Dumbbell triceps extension or machine pushdown
  • Cable wood chop
  • Lat pulldown to the front with a wide grip
  • Reverse crunch

Things to Remember

Use the Proper Weight

  • Adjust the weight so that the last reps are heavy but don’t cause a complete failure.

Balance the Lower Half

  • The posterior chain of the hips, the gluteals/buttocks, the upper legs, and the abdominals are of equal importance and require equal attention. (Eline Md De Ridder, et al., 2013)
  • Squats and deadlifts build strength and power in this region.

Follow Proper Form

  • For upper body exercises like the dumbbell press, lat pulldown, and wood chops the proper form needs to be followed.
  • Keep the forearms in a vertical plane with the upper arms.
  • Do not extend excessively at the bottom of the movement.
  • Remember to protect the vulnerable shoulder joint.

Listen to The Body

  • Strength training is physically and mentally challenging.
  • Individuals who are not able to recover from a session with only one rest day are recommended to move the program to two sessions per week.
  • Muscle soreness or delayed onset muscle soreness – DOMS – is normal, however, joint pain is not.
  • Monitor arm and shoulder reactions during this phase.
  • Stop if any joint pain or discomfort is felt.

Late Pre-Season – In-Season – Phase Two


Power is the ability to move the heaviest loads in the shortest time and is the combination of strength and speed. In this phase, the player builds on the strength developed in phase one with tennis weight training that will increase the ability to move a load at high velocity.

  • Power training requires lifting weights at high velocity and with explosiveness.
  • The body needs to rest adequately between repetitions and sets so that each movement is done as fast as possible.
  • The number of sets can be less than phase one because there is no point in training at this level when the body is fatigued.


  1. Duration: Ongoing
  2. Days per week: 2
  3. Reps: 8 to 10
  4. Sets: 2-4
  5. Rest between repetitions: 10 to 15 seconds​
  6. Rest between sets: at least 1 minute or until recovered
  • Barbell or dumbbell hang clean
  • Cable push-pull
  • Cable wood chop
  • One arm cable raises
  • Medicine ball push press
  • Medicine ball standing twist with a partner or alone – 6×15 repetitions fast and recover between sets.

Reminders When Preparing For the Season

Recovery Time

  • In power training, it’s important that the body has relatively recovered for each repetition and set so that the individual can maximize the movement.
  • The weights should not be as heavy and the rest periods sufficient.

Push When Possible

  • Rest is important, at the same time, the player needs to push through reasonably heavy loads to develop power against significant resistance.
  • When doing medicine ball twists, do a full set at maximum, then sufficiently rest before the next one.
  • If doing the medicine ball exercises alone, use a lighter ball and keep the ball in your hands while twisting.

In Season – Phase Three

When the season begins training does not stop in order to help maintain strength and power.

Strength and Power Maintenance

  • Alternate phase one and phase two for a total of two sessions each week.
  • Every fifth week, skip weight training to achieve optimal recovery.

Key Points

Things to keep in mind during the season.

Avoid Overscheduling

  • Avoid strength training on the same day when practicing on the court.
  • If the weight training has to be both on the same day, try to separate the workouts into morning and afternoon sessions.

Plan Time

  • Rest completely from strength training one week out of every six.
  • Light gym work is fine.
  • During the season, use intuition when it comes to working out at the gym.
  • Individuals with limited time, stick to court skills training instead of tennis weight training.

Off Season

If there is an off-season, this is the time for emotional and physical decompression and full-body recovery.

  • For several weeks, forget about weight training and do other things.
  • Stay fit and active with cross-training or other physical activities but keep it light to prevent injuries.

It is recommended to consult a coach, trainer, sports chiropractor, and/or physical therapist to develop a program specific to an individual’s needs, fitness goals, and access to resources.

Spine Injuries In Sports


Lorenz, D. S., Reiman, M. P., & Walker, J. C. (2010). Periodization: current review and suggested implementation for athletic rehabilitation. Sports health, 2(6), 509–518.

Lorenz, D., & Morrison, S. (2015). CURRENT CONCEPTS IN PERIODIZATION OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING FOR THE SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPIST. International journal of sports physical therapy, 10(6), 734–747.

De Ridder, E. M., Van Oosterwijck, J. O., Vleeming, A., Vanderstraeten, G. G., & Danneels, L. A. (2013). Posterior muscle chain activity during various extension exercises: an observational study. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 14, 204.

Throwing Sports Strength Training

Throwing Sports Strength Training

Can weight and strength training increase speed and power in athletes that participate in throwing sports?

Throwing Sports Strength Training

Throwing Sports

Top-throwing athletes have amazing arm speed. To succeed in throwing sports athletes need to be able to generate quick explosive power. This means the ability to propel the arm forward with substantial velocity for maximum object delivery like a baseball, javelin, hammer throw, shot put, discus, etc. Combined with sports technique training, throwing strength and power can be increased by training with weights. Here is a three-phase training plan to improve throwing performance.

Full Body

  • The arm provides only one part of the delivery process.
  • The legs, core, shoulders, and general flexibility need to work cooperatively to exert maximum thrust and achieve maximum object speed.
  • The natural ability to throw fast with power is largely determined by an individual’s muscle type, joint structure, and biomechanics. (Alexander E Weber, et al., 2014)


  • Preparation should provide all-around muscle and strength conditioning for early pre-season conditioning.
  • Athletes will be doing throwing training as well, so fieldwork will need to be able to fit in.
  • It is recommended not to do weight training prior to throwing practice.
  • Do the session on a separate day if possible.


  • 2 to 3 sessions per week



  • Warm-up
  • Squat or leg press
  • Bench-press or chest press
  • Deadlift
  • Crunch
  • Seated cable row
  • Triceps pushdown
  • Lat pulldown
  • 3 sets of 12
  • Cool-down


  • Between sets 60 to 90 seconds.

Weight Training

  • This stage will focus more on the development of strength and power. (Nikolaos Zaras, et al., 2013)
  • This leads to the start of competition and tournament play.


  • 2 to 3 sessions per week


  • Strength and power – 60% to 70% for one-rep max/1RM
  • The one-repetition maximum test, known as a one-rep max or 1RM, is used to find out the heaviest weight you can lift once.
  • When designing a resistance training program, individuals use different percentages of their 1RM, depending on whether they’re lifting to improve muscular strength, endurance, hypertrophy, or power. (Dong-Il Seo, et al., 2012)


  • 5 sets of 6
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Incline bench press (Akihiro Sakamoto, et al., 2018)
  • Hang clean press
  • Single-leg squats
  • Back squat
  • Lat pulldown
  • Pull-ups
  • Combo crunches


  • Between sets 2 to 3 minutes


  • This stage focuses on maintaining strength and power. (Nikolaos Zaras, et al., 2013)
  • Throwing practice and competition are the priorities.
  • Before competition begins, take a 7- to 10-day break from heavyweight sessions while maintaining throwing workouts.
  • Weight training during competition should provide maintenance.


  • 1 to 2 sessions per week


  • Power – lighter loads and faster execution than in the preparation stage.


  • 3 sets of 10
  • Rapid movement, 40% to 60% of 1RM.
  • Squats
  • Power hang clean and press
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Lat pulldown
  • Incline bench press
  • Crunches


  • Between sets 1 to 2 minutes.

Training Tips

  • Athletes have individual needs, so a general program like this needs modification based on age, sex, goals, skills, competitions, etc.
  • A certified strength and conditioning coach or trainer could help develop a fitness plan that can be adjusted as the athlete progresses.
  • Be sure to warm up prior to weight training and cool down afterward.
  • Don’t try to train through injuries or try to progress too fast – it is recommended not to throw or do weights when treating or recovering from an injury. (Terrance A Sgroi, John M Zajac. 2018)
  • Focus on the fundamentals and practice proper form.
  • Take a few weeks off at the end of the season to recover after hard training and competition.

Body Transformation


Weber, A. E., Kontaxis, A., O’Brien, S. J., & Bedi, A. (2014). The biomechanics of throwing: simplified and cogent. Sports medicine and arthroscopy review, 22(2), 72–79.

American College of Sports Medicine (2009). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 41(3), 687–708.

Zaras, N., Spengos, K., Methenitis, S., Papadopoulos, C., Karampatsos, G., Georgiadis, G., Stasinaki, A., Manta, P., & Terzis, G. (2013). Effects of Strength vs. Ballistic-Power Training on Throwing Performance. Journal of sports science & medicine, 12(1), 130–137.

Seo, D. I., Kim, E., Fahs, C. A., Rossow, L., Young, K., Ferguson, S. L., Thiebaud, R., Sherk, V. D., Loenneke, J. P., Kim, D., Lee, M. K., Choi, K. H., Bemben, D. A., Bemben, M. G., & So, W. Y. (2012). Reliability of the one-repetition maximum test based on muscle group and gender. Journal of sports science & medicine, 11(2), 221–225.

Sakamoto, A., Kuroda, A., Sinclair, P. J., Naito, H., & Sakuma, K. (2018). The effectiveness of bench press training with or without throws on strength and shot put distance of competitive university athletes. European journal of applied physiology, 118(9), 1821–1830.

Sgroi, T. A., & Zajac, J. M. (2018). Return to Throwing after Shoulder or Elbow Injury. Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine, 11(1), 12–18.

Vertical Jump Increase and Improvement

Vertical Jump Increase and Improvement

For athletes, the vertical jump is a skill that can be increased and improved with proper training. To improve jumping abilities for sports like basketball, tennis, volleyball, or track and field events such as the high jump it is necessary to do both strength and power training. Research has found certain key components can help athletes become better at jumping. There are different ways to improve an individual’s vertical jump. Here we go over some of the most effective exercises including plyometrics, and exercises that build strength and power.

Vertical Jump Increase and Improvement

Vertical Jump Increase and Improvement

Jumping is an explosive movement.

  • To jump well, an individual needs a consistent powerful spring.
  • This is achieved by training the explosive/fast-twitch muscle fibers with the ability to shorten and stretch dynamically.
  • Upper body strength is important for creating upward momentum.
  1. Strength exercises involve slow, controlled movements like squats, lunges, and step-ups with weights.
  2. Power exercises involve explosive, quick movements.
  3. Plyometrics involve explosive hopping, bounding, and jumping drills that combine strength and speed.



  • Common plyometric exercises include hops, jumps, and bounding movements.
  • A popular exercise is jumping off a box and rebounding off the floor then jumping onto another, higher box.
  • Box jumps provide practice for jumping.

Single-Leg Squats

  • Single-leg squats can be done almost anywhere, without equipment.
  • They work the hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and calves.
  • They strengthen the core and increase flexibility.

Full Squats

  • This is a barbell exercise to build strength and power.
  • It is considered one of the best total body exercises.

Weighted Step-Ups

  • The step-up is a recommended all-around exercise that can be done almost anywhere.
  • Not only will it build strength in your quadriceps, but you can also use it as part of a cardio workout.
  • It has a low risk of injury.

Overhead Walking Lunges

  • All that is needed is a weight and room to walk.
  • This exercise builds power, strength, and speed in the legs.
  • Improves core strength.

Stair Running

  • This is a high-intensity workout that builds speed, power, and cardiovascular fitness.
  • It targets the glutes, quads, and calves.

Agility Drills

  • Agility drills can include jumping to improve coordination, speed, power, and specific skills.


  • Sprints are quick intense exercises to build muscle and increase performance.
  • Sprints use more muscle groups.


  • Build strength by performing basic weight training exercises using slow, controlled movements.
  • Build power with faster dynamic movements.
  • Improve movement speed to create power with explosive, quick exercises.
  • Work on form, by incorporating the lead-up to the jump, arm motion, and safe landing technique.
  1. Include time to practice maximum jumping and bring it all together.
  2. Always warm up before jumping or performing drills to keep the joints and body safe.
  3. Athletes jump rope to get the blood circulating and warm up their muscles.
  4. Do several slow, controlled toe raises to prepare the feet and ankles for jumping and landing.
  5. Gradually work up to a full vertical jump, by doing box and squat jumps.


  • When finally working on the vertical jump, start with the feet hips-distance apart.
  • If measuring jump height, stand about a foot away from the measuring tape or measuring bar on the side.
  • Start with arms overhead.
  • As you drop into a squat position swing the arms behind the hips.
  • Swing back up to the starting position before going for the full jump.
  • The pre-swing helps build momentum.
  • Land with the knees bent to minimize the impact.

Jumping is a high-impact activity that can take a toll on the knees, hips, ankles, and feet. Be sure to rest the body between hard workouts so the muscles have time to recover, repair, and build up.

Improving Athletic Performance


Barnes, Jacque L et al. “Relationship of jumping and agility performance in female volleyball athletes.” Journal of Strength and conditioning research vol. 21,4 (2007): 1192-6. doi:10.1519/R-22416.1

Bezerra, Ewertton DE S et al. “Influence of Trunk Position during Three Lunge Exercises on Muscular Activation in Trained Women.” International journal of exercise science vol. 14,1 202-210. 1 Apr. 2021

Hedlund, Sofia, et al. “Effect of chiropractic manipulation on vertical jump height in young female athletes with talocrural joint dysfunction: a single-blind randomized clinical pilot trial.” Journal of Manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 37,2 (2014): 116-23. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.11.004

Hernández, Sebastian, et al. “Effects of Plyometric Training on Neuromuscular Performance in Youth Basketball Players: A Pilot Study on the Influence of Drill Randomization.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 17,3 372-378. 14 Aug. 2018

Karatrantou, Konstantina, et al. “Can sport-specific training affect vertical jumping ability during puberty?.” Biology of sport vol. 36,3 (2019): 217-224. doi:10.5114/biolsport.2019.85455

Markovic, Goran. “Does plyometric training improve vertical jump height? A meta-analytical review.” British Journal of sports medicine vol. 41,6 (2007): 349-55; discussion 355. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.035113

McLellan, Christopher P et al. “The role of rate of force development on vertical jump performance.” Journal of Strength and conditioning research vol. 25,2 (2011): 379-85. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181be305c

Rodríguez-Rosell, David, et al. “Traditional vs. Sport-Specific Vertical Jump Tests: Reliability, Validity, and Relationship With the Legs Strength and Sprint Performance in Adult and Teen Soccer and Basketball Players.” Journal of Strength and conditioning research vol. 31,1 (2017): 196-206. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001476

Vanezis, Athanasios, and Adrian Lees. “A biomechanical analysis of good and poor performers of the vertical jump.” Ergonomics vol. 48,11-14 (2005): 1594-603. doi:10.1080/00140130500101262

Sets, Reps, and Rest: A Strength Training Guide

Sets, Reps, and Rest: A Strength Training Guide

Fitness, exercising, weight, and strength training programs use terms like sets, reps, and rest intervals. Knowing what they mean and how to use them for optimal results is important to achieve health goals. An individual’s training program will differ in the weights, reps, sets, rest intervals, and execution speed depending on whether the training is for fitness, muscle growth, strength, power, or endurance. Here we offer a strength training guide on understanding these terms and how they apply to a workout program.

Strength Training Guide

Sets, Reps, and Rest: A Strength Training Guide


  • Rep means repetition.
  • A rep is one completion of an exercise, such as one bench press, or one bicep curl.
  • So, one bicep curl equals one rep, and 10 bicep curls equals 10 reps.
  • Reps make up a set, which is typically the total number of reps done before taking a break.
  • A repetition maximum – 1RM is an individual’s personal best or the most they can lift once in a single repetition.
  • A 10RM would be the most an individual could lift and successfully perform 10 reps with proper form.


  • A set is a series of repetitions performed sequentially.
  • For example, one set of bench presses could be eight reps
  • Sets are designed according to the individual’s workout program.


  • The rest interval is the time of resting between sets that allow the muscles to recover.
  • The rest period between sets can range from 30 seconds to two minutes.
  • Exercises can have short or long rests between reps.
  • The ideal rest period depends on the objective of the workout and health goals.
  • Muscle hypertrophy/building: 30 to 60 seconds
  • Muscle endurance: 30 to 60 seconds
  • Strength: 2 to 5 minutes
  • Power: 1 to 2 minutes
  1. It’s important to time rest between sets.
  2. Not resting long enough and starting with another set too soon can fatigue the muscles too soon, increasing the risk of injury.
  3. Resting too long between reps can cool the muscles down and release tension before starting again.

Execution Speed

  • The speed at which one rep of an exercise is performed is contraction velocity.
  • Concentric – shortening of the muscle is often the lifting part of a rep.
  • Eccentric – lengthening of the muscle, often the lowering part of a rep helps to build muscle mass.
  1. Strength: 1 to 2 seconds concentric and eccentric
  2. Hypertrophy: 2 to 5 seconds concentric and eccentric
  3. Endurance: 1 to 2 seconds concentric and eccentric
  4. Power: Less than 1 second concentric and 1 to 2 seconds eccentric

Choosing Weights

The distribution of repetitions against a percentage of 1RM maximum lift is as follows. This example uses a bench press where 1RM is 160 pounds.

  • 100% of 1RM: 160 pounds, 1 repetition
  • 60% of 1RM: 96 pounds, warm-up reps
  • 85% of 1RM: 136 pounds, 6 repetitions
  • 67% of 1RM: 107 pounds, 12 repetitions
  • 65% of 1RM: 104 pounds, 15 repetitions

An individual should be able to do one lift at 1RM, six reps at 85%, 15 reps at 65%, and so on.

Goals to Build a Program

A training program is a schedule of exercise types, frequency, intensity, and volume, for weight training or any other type of fitness training. Individuals can devise various combinations of sets, reps, rest, and exercise types to find what works best for them. A qualified strength and conditioning trainer can help develop a program. The variables can be adjusted and include:

  • Exercise selection
  • Weights or resistance used
  • Number of reps
  • Number of sets
  • Execution speed
  • Rest time between sets
  • Rest time between training sessions and days of the week

General Fitness

  • A basic strength training fitness program targets strength and muscle-building.
  • Between eight and 15 repetitions for two to four sets will help achieve both.
  • Choose eight to 12 exercises, making sure to hit the lower and upper body and core.


  • Building strength uses the most weight, the least number of reps, and the longest rest periods.
  • The neuromuscular system responds to heavy weights by increasing the body’s ability to lift heavy loads.
  • For example, individuals with a strength goal could use a 5×5 system.
  • This means five sets of five repetitions.

Muscle Growth

  • Muscle growth and bodybuilding training use lighter weights, more reps, and less rest periods.
  • Muscle requires metabolic stress to increase in size.
  • This means working the muscles to the point where lactate builds and the muscle suffers internal damage, sometimes called “training to failure.”
  • Then resting and proper nutrition help muscle repair and the muscle grows larger in the process.
  • A program could be three sets of 8 to 12 reps, with loads that reach or near the failure point on the last few reps.


  • Power training uses slightly lighter weights, takes longer rest periods, and focuses on execution speed.
  • Power is the ability to move an object at high speed.
  • Each push, pull, squat, or lunge is done at a quick tempo.
  • This type of training requires practicing the acceleration of a lift, resting properly, and repeating.

Muscular Endurance

  • Endurance weight training requires more reps in each set, up to 20 or 30, with lighter weights.
  • Individuals should ask themselves what is the day-to-day physical activity that requires the most muscular endurance?
  • For example, runners will want to concentrate on increasing endurance in their legs.
  • Swimmers may shift and focus on their arms one day then legs another.

Movement as Medicine


Liu, Chiung-Ju, and Nancy K Latham. “Progressive resistance strength training for improving physical function in older adults.” The Cochrane Database of systematic reviews vol. 2009,3 CD002759. 8 Jul. 2009, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002759.pub2

Loturco, Irineu, et al. “Muscle Contraction Velocity: A Suitable Approach to Analyze the Functional Adaptations in Elite Soccer Players.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 15,3 483-491. 5 Aug. 2016

Rønnestad, B R, and I Mujika. “Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: A review.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports vol. 24,4 (2014): 603-12. doi:10.1111/sms.12104

Suchomel, Timothy J et al. “The Importance of Muscular Strength: Training Considerations.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 48,4 (2018): 765-785. doi:10.1007/s40279-018-0862-z

Tøien, Tiril, et al. “Maximal strength training: the impact of eccentric overload.” Journal of Neurophysiology vol. 120,6 (2018): 2868-2876. doi:10.1152/jn.00609.2018

Westcott, Wayne L. “Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 11,4 (2012): 209-16. doi:10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825dabb8

Overtraining Syndrome: El Paso Back Clinic

Overtraining Syndrome: El Paso Back Clinic

Individuals can become overly passionate about exercising. However, constantly training the body without taking enough time to rest and recover can impact athletes and fitness enthusiasts physically and mentally and lead to overtraining syndrome. Excessive training can cause decreases in athletic physical performance that can be long-lasting, sometimes taking several weeks or months to recover. Individuals who don’t learn to manage overtraining can have injuries and more frequent illnesses and infections. And the psychological effects can also lead to negative mood changes. Learn the signs and how to cut back to prevent injury and/or burnout.

Overtraining Syndrome: EP's Chiropractic Injury Team

Overtraining Syndrome

Athletes and fitness lovers often exercise longer and harder than average to reach peak performance. Even individuals just getting started with exercise can push their limits as they try to figure out what works for them. This means taking into consideration the following:

  • The mental side of training.
  • How to get and stay motivated.
  • How to set up a safe and effective program with balanced cardio and strength training.
  • How to avoid skipping workouts when things get in the way.
  • Exercising too much is a mistake many beginners make, putting themselves at risk for injury.

Overtraining syndrome is when the body goes through and feels:

  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Physical performance problems.
  • Mood changes.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Other issues due to working out or training too much and/or too hard without giving the body enough time to rest.

Overtraining is common among athletes who train beyond their body’s ability to recover, usually when preparing for a competition or event. Conditioning for athletes and enthusiasts requires a balance between work and recovery.

Signs and Symptoms

There are several signs to look for, with the more common symptoms being:

  • Mild muscle or joint soreness, general aches, and pains.
  • Decreased training capacity, intensity, or performance.
  • Lack of energy, constantly tired, and/or drained.
  • Brain fog.
  • Insomnia.
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss.
  • Loss of enthusiasm for the sport or exercise.
  • Irregular heart rate or heart rhythm.
  • Increased injuries.
  • Increased headaches.
  • Feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable.
  • Sexual dysfunction or decreased sex drive.
  • Lower immunity with an increase in colds and sore throats.

Prevent Overtraining

  • Predicting whether there is a risk of overtraining can be tricky because every person responds differently to various training routines.
  • Individuals have to vary their training throughout and schedule adequate time for rest.
  • Individuals who believe they may be training too hard should try the following strategies to prevent overtraining syndrome.

Take Note of Mental and Mood Changes

Methods exist to test for overtraining objectively.

  • One is taking note of psychological signs and symptoms associated with changes in an individual’s mental state can be an indicator.
  • Decreased positive feelings for exercise, physical activities, and sports.
  • Increased negative emotions, like depression, anger, fatigue, and irritability, can appear after a few days of intense training.
  • If these feelings and emotions begin to present, it is time to rest or dial the intensity down.

Training Log

  • A training log that notes how the body feels daily.
  • It can help individuals notice downward trends and decreased enthusiasm.
  • This can help individuals learn to listen to their body’s signals and rest when necessary.

Monitor Heart Rate

  • Another option is to track changes in heart rate over time.
  • Monitor heart rate at rest and specific exercise intensities while training, and record it.
  • If the heart rate increases at rest or a given intensity, this could be a risk indicator, especially if symptoms develop.
  • Track resting heart rate each morning.
  • Individuals can manually take a pulse for 60 seconds immediately after waking up.
  • Individuals can also use a heart rate monitor or fitness band.
  • Any marked increase from the norm may indicate that the body has not fully recovered.


Rest and Recovery

  • Reduce or stop the exercise and allow the mind and body a few rest days.
  • Research on overtraining shows that complete rest is the primary treatment.

Take Extra Rest Days

  • Starting anything new will usually make the body sore.
  • Be prepared for the aches and take extra rest days when needed.
  • The body won’t have the same energy levels from day to day or even from week to week.

Consult A Trainer

  • Not sure where to start or how to approach working out safely.
  • This is the time to meet with a professional who can look at physical and medical history, fitness level, and goals.
  • They can develop a customized program to meet specific needs.

Nutrition and Hydration

  • Maintain optimal body hydration with plenty of H2O/water and rehydrating drinks, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Staying properly hydrated is key to both recovery and prevention.
  • Getting enough protein and carbohydrates supports muscle recovery.
  • Carbs are important for endurance, and protein is important for muscular strength and power.

Sports Chiropractic Massage

  • Research shows that sports massage benefits muscle recovery and can improve delayed onset muscle soreness/DOMS.
  • Massage keeps muscles loose and flexible and increases blood circulation for expedited recovery.

Relaxation Techniques

  • Stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation exercises can improve rest and recovery.

Total recovery from overtraining syndrome can take a few weeks or longer, depending on the individual’s health status and how long the excessive training has gone on. A physician can refer individuals to a physical therapist or sports chiropractor, who can develop a personalized recovery plan to get the body back to top form.

Military Training and Chiropractic


Bell, G W. “Aquatic sports massage therapy.” Clinics in sports medicine vol. 18,2 (1999): 427-35, ix. doi:10.1016/s0278-5919(05)70156-3

Carrard, Justin, et al. “Diagnosing Overtraining Syndrome: A Scoping Review.” Sports Health vol. 14,5 (2022): 665-673. doi:10.1177/19417381211044739

Davis, Holly Louisa, et al. “Effect of sports massage on performance and recovery: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” BMJ open sport & exercise medicine vol. 6,1 e000614. 7 May. 2020, doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2019-000614

Grandou, Clementine, et al. “Symptoms of Overtraining in Resistance Exercise: International Cross-Sectional Survey.” International Journal of sports physiology and Performance vol. 16,1 (2021): 80-89. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2019-0825

Meeusen, Romain, et al. “Brain neurotransmitters in fatigue and overtraining.” Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie applique, nutrition et metabolisme vol. 32,5 (2007): 857-64. doi:10.1139/H07-080

Peluso, Marco Aurélio Monteiro, and Laura Helena Silveira Guerra de Andrade. “Physical activity and mental health: the association between exercise and mood.” Clinics (Sao Paulo, Brazil) vol. 60,1 (2005): 61-70. doi:10.1590/s1807-59322005000100012

Weerapong, Pornratshanee, et al. “The mechanisms of massage and effects on performance, muscle recovery, and injury prevention.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 35,3 (2005): 235-56. doi:10.2165/00007256-200535030-00004

Power Strength Training: El Paso Back Clinic

Power Strength Training: El Paso Back Clinic

Power is the combination of strength and speed over time. Strength is how much force an individual can exert. Power is how fast an individual can exert force. Strength training for power, aka power training, is being able to exert a certain amount of force in a given time. Power can be built with weight training. However, power strength training is not just for weightlifters. Many athletes like football, basketball, and volleyball players, sprinters, dancers, and wrestlers build strength to increase power, improve explosiveness, increase their vertical leap/jump, and give their bodies a break from heavy weight training.

Power Strength Training: EP's Chiropractic Fitness Team

Power Strength Training

Building strength is one factor, but becoming powerful requires another element in training. Biologically, individuals train the muscles to elongate and contract fast so the body can perform a certain set of movements.


The benefits of power strength training.

Promotes Active Body Rest

  • Power training gives the mind and body a break from heavy training.
  • Provides the tendons, joints, and central nervous system a rest.
  • Offers a fun and healthy change with jumping, throwing, swinging, etc.

Reduces Risk of Knee Injury

Training helps improve:

  • Hip strength.
  • Landing biomechanics.
  • Helps reduce the risk of a knee injury.
  • Helps strengthen the muscles above the knee.
  • A study found individuals with knee osteoarthritis that participated in high-intensity strength training, compared with low-intensity, had a reduction in knee pain symptoms.

Improves Vertical Jump

  • Vertical jump or leap is how high an individual can jump and is a common parameter for assessing athletic ability.
  • It is an integral part of movement training programs to improve sports performance.
  • Research has shown that power strength and jump training can improve jump height.

Training Program

Before starting any exercise program, it is recommended to talk with a doctor. Key components to focus on when training for power.


  • Starting with a schedule of 3-4 times a week is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.
  • Going above this frequency can be intense on the body and central nervous system.
  • Limiting sessions to a few times a week gives the body time to recover.


  • Because power training involves a combination of increasing force and speed, using the right equipment that allows both is important. However, there are ways to improve without equipment.
  • For practicing jumps, increase the force by increasing the distance using a taller box.
  • For practicing push-ups on the floor, increase the force by pushing with more power so the hands come off the ground.
  • To improve power by increasing speed, exercises can be performed faster or with decreased rest between sets.


  • The weight depends on an individual’s one-rep max or the heaviest weight that can be lifted in a single repetition.
  • This is essentially an individual’s record for whatever type of weightlifting is being done.
  • Power training movement options: Plyometrics, Ballistic, or Dynamic.
  • Plyometrics includes activities like squats or jump lunges, common with football and basketball players.
  • Ballistic training includes activities like a back squat for football or soccer players.
  • Dynamic training works for sports-specific training motions like golf swinging or tennis serving.


Whether cardio or strength training, adequate caloric intake is important regardless of workout type, this means having a healthy balance of the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

  • Carbohydrates could be the most important, as research has shown that high-intensity exercise like power training improves when eating carbohydrates before, during, and after the workout.
  • Fat is necessary, and a daily intake below 20% of calorie intake can decrease the absorption of various essential nutrients.
  • It is recommended to consume 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of individual body weight.

As with any exercise, training takes time, and it’s important to gradually progress only when the body is prepared. Incorporating the elements of a healthy lifestyle includes a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and proper sleep and rest days. This will help get the most benefits and prevent injuries.

Improving Athletic Performance Through Chiropractic


Balachandran, Anoop T et al. “Comparison of Power Training vs. Traditional Strength Training on Physical Function in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” JAMA Network Open vol. 5,5 e2211623. 2 May. 2022, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.11623

Maestroni, Luca, et al. “Strength and Power Training in Rehabilitation: Underpinning Principles and Practical Strategies to Return Athletes to High Performance.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 50,2 (2020): 239-252. doi:10.1007/s40279-019-01195-6

Marián, Vanderka, et al. “Improved Maximum Strength, Vertical Jump and Sprint Performance after 8 Weeks of Jump Squat Training with Individualized Loads.” Journal of sports science & Medicine vol. 15,3 492-500. 5 Aug. 2016

Peebles, Alexander T et al. “Landing biomechanics deficits in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction patients can be assessed in a non-laboratory setting.” Journal of orthopedic research: official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society vol. 40,1 (2022): 150-158. doi:10.1002/jor.25039

Suchomel, Timothy J et al. “The Importance of Muscular Strength: Training Considerations.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 48,4 (2018): 765-785. doi:10.1007/s40279-018-0862-z

Wesley, Caroline A et al. “Lower Extremity Landing Biomechanics in Both Sexes After a Functional Exercise Protocol.” Journal of athletic training vol. 50,9 (2015): 914-20. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-50.8.03

Westcott, Wayne L. “Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 11,4 (2012): 209-16. doi:10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825dabb8

Bicep Curls: El Paso Back Clinic

Bicep Curls: El Paso Back Clinic

The biceps curl is an exercise to build strength in the upper arm. Curls are a common exercise used in upper-body strength training. Specifically, the curl works the muscles in the front of the upper arm. It’s recommended for achieving strength and definition and provides core and stability challenges. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can educate individuals on fitness, strength training, nutrition, and injury prevention.

Bicep Curls: EP's Chiropractic Fitness Clinic

Bicep Curls

Located at the upper arm, the biceps comprise a short and long head that operates as a single muscle.

  • The bicep heads begin at different places around the shoulder/scapula region,
  • They have a common insertion point on the elbow tendon.
  • Together allow the bending of the arm at the elbow joint to curl and pull weight.
  • Curls work the muscles at the front of the upper arm and the lower arm. The brachialis and brachioradialis.


Different equipment and grips can be used, including dumbbell weights, kettlebells, barbells, resistance bands, or cable machines. Select equipment with enough weight that can be lifted ten times using proper form, ensuring the last three repetitions are challenging to the point of being unable to raise another. From there, use this same weight to perform eight repetitions or slightly lower the weight and perform ten repetitions.

  • Begin by standing with the feet about hip-width apart.
  • Keep the abdominal/core muscles engaged.
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand.
  • Relax the arms down at the sides with palms facing forward.
  • Keep the upper arms stable and shoulders relaxed.
  • Bend at the elbow and lift the weights so the dumbbells approach the shoulders.
  • Raise the dumbbells to eye or forehead level for a full range of motion.
  • Tension will be felt in the muscles in the front of the upper arm.
  • Keep movements smooth and controlled.
  • The elbows should stay tucked in close to the body.
  • Be careful to keep the wrist straight and rigid.
  • Flexing the wrist while bending the elbow won’t target the biceps effectively and can result in a wrist or elbow injury.
  • Exhale while lifting.
  • Lower the weights to the starting position.
  • For most, one set of 12 to 15 repetitions is adequate.
  • Train to failure performing the desired reps, staying within 3 to 5 repetitions of total failure.
  • When able, slightly increase weight and/or reps over time to increase muscle and strength.
  • Both biceps can be worked out by alternating arms.
  • It can be done standing or sitting.

Avoid Errors

Get the most out of the workout by avoiding these errors.

Rushing Through

  • Focus on proper form and avoid rushing through the workout.
  • Lift the weights with a smooth motion.
  • Take as much time to lower the weight as when lifting it.
  • Lowering the weight slowly can help build more muscle, making the most of the workout.

Improper Elbow Position

  • The position of the elbows should remain close to the side of the body.
  • Only the lower arm should move until the end of the movement when the elbows rise. This is a complete range of motion.
  • If the elbows move away from the torso or swing behind the body, there is probably too much weight.

Avoid Swinging the Weights

  • Focus on maintaining a tall, upright spine and a tight core.
  • The shoulders or torso should not swing the weights up when doing the curl.
  • It can feel like swinging, twisting, or heaving movements.
  • Don’t let the hips hinge, or the lower body assist the movement.
  • Keep the elbows at the sides until they naturally rise at the end of the motion.
  • Keep the shoulders relaxed
  • Make sure the shoulders don’t move forward to initiate the movement.
  • Use lighter weights or reduce the number of repetitions if this happens.


This exercise is generally recommended for most individuals. However, getting clearance from a primary caregiver before beginning any exercise routine is recommended.

  • Individuals with an arm injury or who experience pain during the motion should not perform the exercise without a doctor’s approval.
  • Don’t try to lift weights that are too heavy.
  • After a few lifts, expect to feel fatigued and a burning sensation in the biceps and forearm muscles.
  • This is the desired effect to get the muscles strong and growing.
  • Do not force extra repetitions once proper form cannot be achieved.
  • Take a thorough rest before the next set.
  • Stop if pain begins to present.


  • These muscles are in constant use when picking things up.
  • Consistently performing the biceps curl will help build strength in the upper arm.
  • Individuals learn to use their arm muscles correctly and with the core muscles.

Unlocking Athletic Potential with Chiropractic


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Coratella, Giuseppe, et al. “Bilateral Biceps Curl Shows Distinct Biceps Brachii and Anterior Deltoid Excitation Comparing Straight vs. EZ Barbell Coupled with Arms Flexion/No-Flexion.” Journal of functional morphology and Kinesiology vol. 8,1 13. 19 Jan. 2023, doi:10.3390/jfmk8010013

Marchetti, Paulo H et al. “Seated row and biceps curl exercises present similar acute responses on muscle thickness, arm circumference, and peak force for elbow flexors after a resistance training session in recreationally-trained subjects.” The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness vol. 60,11 (2020): 1415-1422. doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10996-4

Sato, Shigeru, et al. “Elbow Joint Angles in Elbow Flexor Unilateral Resistance Exercise Training Determine Its Effects on Muscle Strength and Thickness of Trained and Non-trained Arms.” Frontiers in physiology vol. 12 734509. 16 Sep. 2021, doi:10.3389/fphys.2021.734509

Schoenfeld, Brad Jon, et al. “Differential effects of attentional focus strategies during long-term resistance training.” European Journal of sports science vol. 18,5 (2018): 705-712. doi:10.1080/17461391.2018.1447020