The Performance Matrix

Injury prediction in Olympic weightlifters

9th October 2014

‘The most explosive end of the movement control continuum...’

The sport of Olympic weightlifting is seen to produce the highest peak power of any training approach. Its combination of high load, high velocity and large ranges of motion leave its athletes with minimal leeway when it comes to movement quality at this the most explosive end of the movement control continuum. As the sport becomes ever more popular due to the likes of Cross Fit and its adoption of fitness as a competition, a greater number of non-athletes are exposed to weightlifting’s demands. This mix of client base and exercise activity has raised questions over injury risk.

Injury risk; weightlifting & movement control deficits?

In order to explore the injury risk associated with weightlifting and poor movement control a three year study is about to be launched. The Performance Matrix screening tool will test movement quality of athletes prior to them commencing a three month Olympic lifting programme, to be delivered by a group of highly experienced coaches. Injury occurrence will tracked over this 12 week period and regression analysis will seek to reveal how movement quality at both a low and high threshold of muscle recruitment influences injury risk for this sport.        

Not just risk; performance insurance & performance enhancement


It is hoped the study will add to the growing body evidence supporting a movement quality biased approach to injury prevention. Mark Comerford, one of the principle developers behind the movement analysis system, underlines the quality of the screen in prediction of injury risk but also highlights its value in finding the performance deficits in athletes’ movement efficiency. The success of this approach has not gone unnoticed by the biggest names in sport, as The Performance Matrix perspective on movement analysis continues to infiltrate into the screening and training of elite athletes. The insight the study is likely to provide will further aid the continued success of building both a programme of prevention and enhancement routinely monitored by re-screening and goal re-evaluation. Such provision is steered towards ensuring athletes are more robust under speed and load situations, displaying a movement control resilience both in the gym and on the field of play.  

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