In strength & conditioning or fitness, the term Bullet Proof or Bullet Proofing gets tossed around a bit. I know a few will sit there with an eyebrow raised saying, huh? I know I did when I was first starting out, so today I want to talk about what it means and what are realistic expectations for said meaning.
Bullet proofing in this context simply means, to make a joint or body part, stronger, durable and prevent injuries.
Bullet proof shoulders
Bullet proof knees
Bullet proof hamstrings
Bullet proof calves
For me, I think the expectations of outright preventing injuries is just not attainable. I truly believe that lifting weights and then focusing on the care of a few key areas of the body can and will cut down injuries, no matter the sport or gender. Unfortunately, we can not prevent injuries, no matter what the S&C coaches do, no matter what sport rules are made to help with them, they will exist and it’s a really tough fact of sports.
Does this mean we throw our hands up and say to hell with it? Not a chance
The ideas that come from “Bullet Proofing” or injury reduction (notice the change of term) are usually sound and will keep the silly little things from bothering athletes as they go through, what are usually, grueling seasons, at all levels. Strains, tweaks, sprains and the like are the stuff we really want to cut out. Not all of them are preventable, but many are avoidable and can keep athletes playing for 3-6 more weeks than they would play otherwise. In terms of a high school season that can be HUGE because they tend to be short (12-14 weeks or so depending). That’s about half to a quarter of your season back, that’s worth it to me.
So in the end, though the term may sound silly, the stuff that generally comes with concepts of “Bullet Proofing” aka making said body part stronger and less prone to injuries, it’s something to take seriously. Thanks for reading everyone and don’t forget to stop by Saturday September 16th 5:30-7:30 for the First XV Performance Clubhouse. Have yourself a day friends and catch you next week.
(Also, don’t forget to follow on Instagram and Facebook).
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS