Training is not just about building muscle or improving sporting performance, especially for adaptive athletes. One aspect of the program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that resonated with me was the focus on “for life” not just for performance. The program had that as its core and the athletes where better for it.
It’s something that I have continued with and have included in Karla’s program. After a functional analysis we identified areas that she wanted to improve on and as Karla has some functional capability in her legs, she wanted to improve on that.
Since we started, Karla has made some great improvements in her walking and leg functions as seen in tests with her physiotherapist and we hope to continue. Sure, we get some funny looks when people see a wheelchair athlete working legs, but we both see it as a necessary component of the program.
So, what is my point? That’s easy, strength and conditioning isn’t just for creating athletes it’s to improve your overall life through functional improvements and if your program doesn’t include this, you need to change it.