JC's Musings

Longer And Stronger Muscles

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Shifting the Optimum length of muscle. Strength and Conditioning for physiotherapists and physical therapists

Shifting optimum length (SOPL) of muscle, can be a goal of training if your clients/athletes have short and/or weak muscles. That is, you’re trying to make the muscles stronger at longer lengths. This is particularly important in those who suffer from recurrent muscle strain injuries.  SOPL is shown in the force-length/torque-angle curve in the diagram, which was determined with an isokinetic dynamometer. You can see the peak torque increased from ~140 to 160 Nm and at a greater angle - ~55 to 70 degs.

So how do you go about SOPL? This FREE Research Byte (interactive infographic) details the intervention used for an athlete who was suffering from recurrent hamstring injuries. Check out how a program of eccentric box drops, box lunge drops, towel pulls, eccentric resisted pushes and weighted drop lunges affected SOPL and other measures.