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Common weak points for tactical populations
Matt R. Wenning M.S. Education
Bachelor of Science Exercise Physiology 2003
Ball State University Dr. Mazzetti / Dr. Costill / Dr.Kraemer
Master of Science Sports Biomechanics 2005
Ball State University Dr. Newton / Dr. Craig / Dr. Pearson
World record total 2665lbs 2008
World record squat
1196lbs 2011
Westside barbell member 2001‐2007
Top ten totals in 275‐308 for 9 years
600lb bench all time list raw 2012
• American/ National records in IPF / APF / UPA / SPF/USAPL
ARMY experience
3rd Bt Rangers Consultant
Consulted training at Ft. Benning for Various Companies through multiple seminars Implemented Conjugate Periodization to resistance protocol
Showed alternate methods of Conditioning to aid in performance increases with decreases in injury Mountain Athlete Warrior Army
2010 to Present
Director and Co Founder of MAW
Implemented a state of the art training protocol, portable facilities, and conditioning over an entire brigade Ft. Carson
Strength Coordinator Fire Department 2008‐Present
Washington Township
Dublin ,Ohio
Decreased injury rate by over 70%, lowered diabetes and hypertension medications in 4 years
Increased strength with conjugate system and structured workouts around Previous chronic/acute
musculoskeletal issues
different age and experience levels
22‐60 years of age
Opening Remarks
The Production of strength and prevention of injury both depend on the alignment of limbs relative to one another from instant to instant. Mel Siff 2004
It is said that exercise may correct postural deviations. This may be a result of improved muscle balance. Reiter & Cato,1970; Wells, 1963; Zatsiorsky, 1995.
Where are the weak links of tactical populations??
Through statistical data collected by U.S. Army PTs, insurance reviews of fire departments, and feedback from the personnel. We found
Lower back
The top 3 most common areas for skeletal muscular injury….Why? Why are these the common areas of injury???
Due to skeletal structure, lack of muscle development in prime areas, and low education/equipment availability, the shoulder, knee, and lower back are always at risk!
To the right we see little rear delt development and the start of A/C joint impingement
The left we see minimal rhomboid development, and upper erector deficiency
What else was observed??
These areas were not being considered during training protocols. Little if any pro active resistance training was taken into account.
Running, pushups and pullups, a stable in these tactical populations, don’t address much in the way of injury prevention How do we correct
these issues?
We must change our thought process
• Traction/Compression
• Train with purpose utilizing injury stats
Build these areas with proper exercises
• Having proper equipment/education available is key
Take a proactive approach to injury
• Have high risk areas developed Traction Vs. Compression
Training needs to keep traction in mind while selecting exercises and developing programs.
Remember that almost every duty/action/movement done in the field is compressive, training should help to strengthen as well as decompress.
If we know that the lower back, knee and shoulder are
major concerns, are we providing training/traction
to these areas????
Proper exercises for tactical populations
The lower back is a very important part of every movement, but its training for most is lackluster and in desperate need of attention in all tactical populations.
Look familiar?
posture analysis is key
Lower back cont.
A workout regimen designed to attack problems before they happen are key for all tactical areas. Glute activation/hamstring strength is key to lower back safety!
MAW soldiers doing
Reverse hypers
Lower back Cont.
The lower back needs training constantly once every 72 hours one day heavy one day for volume
MAW soldiers learning
To deadlift (sumo) as a max
Effort exercise (1‐RM)
Lower back Summary
• The lower back is a major issue in the tactical population for 2 reasons.
• 1) Most the time strength and flexibility are lacking
• 2) Little if any directed exercises are utilized to strengthen/
traction the lower back
B) The Knee
A relatively small joint surrounded by large muscles and major strength imbalances in most cases
Knee cont.
• Because of its position, structure, and movement it is subjected to great pressure.
• Therefore muscle balance, coordination etc, must be of high importance.
Many knee issues are caused
by weak hamstrings
hamstrings to quadriceps strength ratio 1‐1 in a perfect world
Knee cont
• The only way to ensure balance at the knee is proper strengthening of the hamstring (posterior chain) and surrounding muscle groups
The GHR is the key!!!!
Exercises needed (Knee)
• GHR (picture on previous slide)
• Squats (no replacement for lower body development) but there are many ways to perform this exercise
• Sumo deadlifts (great way to isolate hamstrings and hips)
Hanging kb squats
For stability/coordination
The Knee summary
• Developing the knee correctly also aids the lower back It is important to have strong hamstrings and hips in order to take pressure off the knee and allow the rest of the body to be mechanically sound.
Training the weak areas is insurance for future performance and injuries (hamstrings, lower back)
The Shoulder
Not hard to understand why it’s a commonly injured area
Shoulder cont
• Due to is extensive range of motion, the shoulder is very useful, but very prone to injury.
Most injury is caused by weak upper back
Shoulder Cont.
Many exercises combat these issues. I have tactical populations do 2‐400 reps of these exercises a wk
Notice all rear delt (posterior chain) development
Shoulder Cont.
• By developing the rear delts, and the entire upper back, the shoulder is more stable, stronger, and posturally sound, creating less injury.
Row variations are
key as well
Shoulder Summary
• The rear delts, upper back, and rotator cuff need to be developed and structurally sound for shoulder strength/health
Not uncommon to lift
Overhead for tactical populations
Training programs to correct major issues
Weights /3‐4 times per wk. approx 40min in length Cardio /3‐4 times per wk 25‐35min duration
(legs lower back/glute emphasis)
(upper body upper back emphasis)
(legs hamstring emphasis)
Fri (upper body tricep and posture emphasis)
This would be a layout for the fire service example
Army etc. may require more training to achieve desired result
Tips for training
Pressing work (bench press, military press, etc) Should always be half of the volume of back work.
(example 5,000lb of bench pressing in total volume??? 10,000lb of various back work in the same day)
Closing Remark
Because of its role in adaptive shortening and muscle balance it is widely believed that muscular strength plays a large role in postural maintenance.
(Bloomfield, 1994;Brandt, Buchele, and Kraczyck, 1986; Holloway, 1994; Kelly, 1949; Kendall et al., 1993;Phelps & Kiphuth, 1932; Reiter & Cato, 1970; Zatsiorsky, 1995)