Why Strength Training For Triathletes Is Essential

Triathletes are great at many things, but after all the time they spend running, riding, and swimming, they might forget something important – strength training. Strength training for triathletes can be a significant advantage for several reasons. In addition to its performance benefits, we think that strength training also plays an active role in keeping athletes healthy and injury-free. While adding another activity to your exercise routine might sound daunting, you can become an all-around better athlete with a simple plan that doesn’t have to take more than half an hour a week. Building your strength will make you faster and keep you feeling stronger as you make your way to the finish line.

Read on as we describe why strength training for triathletes is important.

The Importance of Strength Training For Triathletes

Successful triathlon training should include strength training. It helps improve muscular endurance to help prepare the body for the demands of training and racing. This kind of exercise helps to increase your power output and also prevent injury.

Any athlete with a well-balanced strength training plan has the ability to efficiently transfer power from their body into their run, their swim, and their pedaling. On the other hand, an athlete who lacks strength throughout their body might experience a lack of power due to poor postural control, reducing the amount of force they can produce during the triathlon.

Postural strength is crucial when it comes to injury prevention. As your workouts get more challenging, your body requires the proper support from your muscles to maintain good form for all three areas of the race. When your form is weak, you become more susceptible to injury. You’ve already heard that you need good core strength, and it’s because core strength creates a stable base for all the activities you do on a daily basis.

When you ask a physical therapist, they’ll tell you it’s imperative to work on the lateral and rotational musculature of the hips and core. These muscles are used to help you move side to side and help prevent any unwanted twisting motions of the pelvis, trunk, or legs when running and biking. When these muscles are strong, your workout will be much more efficient and keep you from straining unnecessarily. Since running and biking is a straight-forward motion, you’ll naturally be working the muscles in the front and back of the hips and legs. Therefore, adding a strength program that includes strengthening the lateral muscles will help you improve stability.

Better Performance

Many of the best triathlon coaches will tell you that strength training for triathletes is a vital part of any multisport training program. With triathlons, there is both upper body and lower body training involved.

Research supports the idea that strength training and improved endurance performance are linked. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at several studies and concluded that the analysis showed a 4.6% improvement in running overall among those trained along with their regular endurance training.

Additionally, another study looked at both runners and cyclists. After a ten-week resistance training program, participants showed an increase in leg strength by 30%, a 13% improved running time, and cyclists could ride for 14 more minutes than they could initially.

Reducing Injuries

While performance benefits might appeal more to triathletes, as physical therapists, we encourage strength training as a way to prevent injuries. Injuries are often caused by muscle imbalances and chronic weaknesses in certain areas of our bodies. A basic strength training program is the best way to increase your muscle tissue strength and connective tissue, too, like tendons and ligaments. As your tissue is strengthened, you’ll be able to put in more training without injury, which leads to better and faster performances.

Break Your Training Into Phases

Just like with all triathlon and marathon training, strength training should be periodized throughout the year. You should start with the general strengthening and preparation phase, which lines up with the offseason and helps you build triathlon training phases. This period is when you increase your overall base strength. The offseason is when you should also take a break from the main activities in a triathlon. Hitting the weights will be a nice change of pace from the hardcore training you might be used to. We might even suggest that you increase your resistance in this phase, as you don’t necessarily need to worry about soreness or fatigue for your next run, bike, or swim workout. In particular, heavy-resistance training has been shown to enhance both short and long duration endurance capacity in high-level endurance athletes, like those who participate in triathlons. The healthier you are, the better you will be able to handle increases in workout intensity as the season progresses.

After the offseason and build phases, then comes the pre-racing stage. The pre-racing phase will require that your strength training become more specific and focused on building power and speed. This is where plyometrics comes in. Plyometrics, also known as jump training, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals, the goal being to increase both speed and strength.

During the competitive phase, the idea is to maintain the strength you’ve built throughout the season. Resistance training is reduced, and you can continue focusing on training and practicing for your races.

Once the season is over, take some time off to rest and recover. During this time, strength training is low and shouldn’t be done more than a couple of times a week. You want to let your muscles rest, but you also don’t want to lose the fitness you’ve earned before the next cycle.

Consult A Physical Therapist

If you are new to strength training or new to triathlons in general, you should definitely consult a physical therapist to help guide you. They’ll show you the proper technique and help you focus your strength training sessions on your specific needs.

Even if you’re an experienced triathlete, it’s never a bad idea to have a functional assessment and evaluation from a licensed therapist to learn what you need to work on so you have an injury-free and successful season.

The experts at Park Sports Physical Therapy would love to set up a consultation to see how we can help you maintain your health and wellness so that you can continue to do the things you love.

Common Injuries In Runners & How To Treat & Prevent Them

Running is one of the most popular ways to improve and maintain fitness, and more than 40 million Americans run on a regular basis to stay in shape. Though running is a great way to keep active, runners across the country deal with an injury at some point in time. Many running injuries are caused by repetitive stress, but other injuries like sprained ankles and torn muscles can happen suddenly.

Keep reading to learn a little more about the most common injuries in runners and how they are typically treated.

How To Treat the Most Common Injuries In Runners At Home

Before we begin, it’s important to note that there is no substitute for a highly-qualified physical therapist, even though some running injuries can be treated at home. Here is a brief list of some of the common injuries in runners and some basic prevention and treatment options. 

Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Syndrome)

Patellofemoral Syndrome, commonly known as runner’s knee, refers to the pain that resides in front of your knee or around your kneecap. This is a common injury in sports caused by overuse from running or jumping. 

Runner’s knee usually causes pain that is dull and can be felt in one or both knees. Typically the pain ranges from mild to extreme and worsens with prolonged sitting or exercise like jumping, climbing stairs, or squatting. 

This type of injury may also include cracking or popping sounds after being stationary for prolonged periods. You might be at higher risk of developing runner’s knee if you have weakness in your hips or the muscles around your knee.

A doctor can usually diagnose a runner’s knee with a physical exam, but they might recommend an X-ray to rule out anything else. A physical therapist like the ones at Park Sports will give you a specific treatment plan to treat runner’s knee and other common injuries in runners.

IT band syndrome

Your IT band, or iliotibial band, is a long piece of connective tissue that runs from your outer hip to your knee. It helps stabilize your knee as you’re walking or running. 

Repetitive friction of the IT band rubbing against your leg bone is the typical cause of IT band syndrome. Runners have tight IT bands, which is why this is a common injury in runners. Other things that may also contribute to this condition are weak gluteal muscles, abdominals, or hips.

Runner’s experiencing IT band syndrome feel a sharp pain on the outer side of your leg, just above the knee. The IT band might also be tender to the touch, and the problem gets worse when the knee is bent.

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common foot injuries is plantar fasciitis. It entails irritation or degeneration of the fascia, the thick layer of tissue on the bottom of your foot. This tissue layer acts like a spring when you’re walking or running. You can put your fascia under increased stress by increasing your running volume too quickly. Weaknesses in your calves and muscle tightness can also increase your risk of plantar fasciitis.

Some symptoms include gradually developing pain, a burning sensation on the bottom of your foot, pain that resides under your heel or midfoot, and pain after prolonged activity.

Hamstring Injuries

During your running cycle, your hamstrings help decelerate your lower leg during the swing phase, so if your hamstrings are tight, weak, or tired, they might be prone to injury. Distance runners rarely experience sudden hamstring tears like sprinters might. Most of the time, distance runners experience hamstring strains that come on slowly. They are usually caused by repetitive small tears in the fibers and connective tissue of the hamstring muscle. 

Hamstring injuries usually cause dull pain in the back of your upper leg, muscles that are tender to the touch, or general weakness and stiffness in your hamstring.

Treatment Options For Running Injuries

Follow up with your doctor or physical therapist if you’re experiencing any kind of pain or discomfort or find it hard to run so that you can get a proper diagnosis and rule out any underlying conditions.

For many common injuries in running, treatment often includes specific exercises assigned by physical therapists, following the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation), cutting back on your running time, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen.

Specifically for runner’s knee, you should try strengthening your quadriceps and hip muscles while making sure to stretch quads and calves often. It might also help to wear orthotic shoes. With IT band syndrome, daily stretching, and strength training for your hip muscles can decrease pain. If you’re experiencing hamstring injuries, then you should work on strengthening your glutes, stretching your hamstrings often, and changing your running technique. If you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, then stretching and strengthening your calves can help ease discomfort.

Prevention Tips For Common Injuries In Runners

Running injuries can happen to anyone, but you can minimize the risk of injury in a few of the following ways:

First, warm up! Warming up before you go on your regular run by starting with an easy job or dynamic mobility stretches for 5 to 10 minutes. Another tip is to increase your running volume slowly. Consider the 10% rule, where you don’t increase your weekly volume of running by more than 10 percent at a time. 

A lot of physical therapists recommend preventing further injuries to take care of the small ones as they come up. If you already have a nagging pain in your knee or leg, rest! You don’t want them to develop into more severe issues. A physical therapist will give you a proper diagnosis and provide you with a customized treatment plan. 

Include stability exercises in your training program to help strengthen your hips. Try glute bridges or single-leg squats to help you protect your knees and ankles. You might also consider cross-training to improve your aerobic fitness, which gives your joints a break from the repetitive impact of running. Add some low-impact workouts into your schedule, such as swimming or cycling.

You should also work on your running technique. Especially if you’re just getting into running, it’s important to note that poor technique can increase the amount of stress on your muscles and joints. Work with a running coach or film yourself running to help yourself improve. 

Lastly, run on softer surfaces. Grass, rubber tracks, sand, or even gravel is easier on your joints than running on pavement. Especially if you’re experiencing nagging injuries, try switching up your run and stay on softer surfaces until your pain subsides.


Many runners will deal with an injury at some point, and the most common areas that sustain injuries include knees, legs, and feet. If you’re a runner and experience any kind of pain or discomfort when running, it’s essential to reach out to your physical therapist or doctor to get a proper diagnosis and to rule out other conditions.

A targeted plan made by a physical therapist can go a long way into helping you properly recover when you’re injured so that you can get back to doing what you love. When you need help or advice, give us a call today. We’d love to schedule a consultation with you to see how we can help you alleviate pain and keep you healthy and safe.


3 Ways to Prevent Show-stopper Runner Injuries

Worried that an injury will bring a screeching halt to the runs you enjoy and depend on? It’s the last activity gym-goers can enjoy during the COVID-19 crisis, so running is more important to you than ever.  There’s good news: you can do much to stay healthy, keep running, and even hone your fitness.

Physical therapists can analyze what you can do to prevent runners injuries

The injury prevention process starts with a screening known as biomechanical running analysis. This skilled assessment can identify injury-prone running styles, and with a bonus: it can also help you to improve your performance and to make running more enjoyable. Our therapists are specialists in running assessment and injury prevention.  

Runners, the time is right.  Luckily for us, through the COVID-19 pandemic NYC large parks have remained open, and running has become the only activity regular gym-goers could do. Through the window of our Park Slope facility right now, I can see runners taking advantage of the lush Prospect Park paths. Running has become a badly needed escape from the constant stream of distressing media coverage.  

But wait: with other activities curtailed, it also means that maladies associated with running can return: runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, shin splints to name a few.

You can prevent injuries from running

That said, there is no need to discontinue your running. With some modification you can still enjoy your routine. Because those conditions are often associated with your running style, paying attention to the way you run may help you to resolve them.

A shortlist of common adverse running styles and the negative effects it may have on your selective body parts includes:

  • Heel striking
  • Forefoot striking
  • Side-to-side excessive motion

Heel Striking

If your heel comes first on the contact with the ground, you are a “heel-striker.” Chances are that your knee joint experiences high impact because your hip and knee are not flexing enough to absorb vertical forces. The heel-first contact is also slowing down your weight transfer, thus putting more stress on your shin and the sole of the foot. 

Heel-strikers may experience anterior knee pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.  They tend to have longer strides and lower cadence. A possible simple solution is to increase the cadence. Set up a metronome on your iPhone to 160 bpm and try to keep up. A higher number of strides per minute leads to faster weight transfer, thus shifting your center of gravity more to the front of your foot.

Forefoot striking

The opposite style of running is landing on the forefoot, the ball of your foot. If your heel is not coming down completely to the ground before taking the next stride, you are placing continuous stress on Achilles and posterior tibialis tendons. Pain in the calf, discomfort behind the heel, and on the inside of the ankle may indicate that one has those conditions.  This running style comes with more flexion at the knee and higher arm swing. Changing the stride length or lowering your speed may help to alleviate the issue.

Side-to-side exessive motion

Another common adverse running style is an increased side to side motion. This style is not easily discernible by the subject and would likely require an external observer to confirm. If your leg crosses midline on the run too often it is an indication that the trunk is moving to the side more than it should. Larger than normal displacement your center gravity points out to the weakness of muscles in the pelvic area: hip abductors, back, and abdominals. 

My advice is to spend your non-running times working on your core stability and balance. There are plenty of resources on that. Among others, I like Katie Thompson’s piece in Self Motivate on building a strong core.

Three steps to a healthy running routine

Pay attention to these three adverse patterns and you’re well on your way to the healthy running routine we love and the fitness we need during this crisis.  Park Sports staff, ourselves athletes, dancers, and others at home in the active life, can fill you in. We welcome you to a consultation. And of course if needed, we are there for you with the best sports rehab in Brooklyn…visit our sports rehabilitation page.

“Don’t dream of winning, train for it!”
Mo Farah, Olympic long distance runner


Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries can be painful and set you back weeks if not properly recognized and treated.  Strain to the hamstring occurs when one or more of the three hamstring muscles or tendons (at the back of the thigh) is torn, either partially or completely. It is one of the most common injuries of the lower body. While hamstring injuries are most often associated with athletes participating in sports involving high-speed running, such as football, soccer, or track, anyone with a hamstring runs a risk of a hamstring injury. There is also great risk of hamstring re-injury. In fact, after tearing a hamstring muscle, a person is two to six times more likely to suffer a subsequent injury. In most cases, hamstring strain injuries are successfully managed with physical therapy.

“Hamstring strains are one of the most frequently occurring injuries in sport. They can be challenging and frustrating to treat because of the high recurrence rate. Hamstring strains account for 12–16% of all injuries in athletes.”
The National Center for Biotechnology Information

Symptoms of a Hamstring Injury

  • Pain in the back of your thigh, either behind your knee, in the muscle belly, or near your buttock
  • Difficulty fully straightening your knee without pain
  • Hard to take large steps or walk quickly, or pain experienced with climbing stairs
  • Discomfort with running

In most instances, there is pain associated with a hamstring injury. The range of pain can be from mild to severe. As the hamstring covers a large portion of the back of the leg, the exact location of symptoms may vary from person to person.

Causes of Injury

A hamstring injury may come on suddenly, typically as the result of a quick motion that occurs with running or cutting maneuvers while participating in sports. Occasionally, you can suffer a hamstring strain by simply moving the wrong way while getting up from a chair or while walking and running.

First steps to injury recovery

  • See your doctor to be sure you get an accurate diagnosis
  • Visit a physical therapist to start treating the pain and to start working on restoring your normal mobility
  • Avoid aggravating activities that can cause pain or prevent normal tissue healing of your hamstring


At Park Sports, we regularly treat hamstring and other sports injuries. Many of our therapists are current and former athletes so we understand the importance of strength, range of motion, and rehabilitation when it comes to performance and daily life. Treatment starts with an initial evaluation. All hamstring injuries are unique so the initial evaluation phase is vital time for us as we work to prepare an individualized treatment plan. During our evaluation we will:

  • Determine the Range of Motion (ROM) of your hip and knee. Hamstring strains typically limit the amount of motion and flexibility around the hip and knee joints
  • Measure the strength of your hamstrings and surrounding muscles
  • Check on how your hamstring pain limits your ability to perform normal activities. We will watch you walk, run, climb stairs, or jump, depending on the severity of your condition


  1. The main goals of physical therapy for a hamstring strain include restoring normal flexibility and ROM, regaining normal strength, controlling pain and swelling, and helping you get back to optimal function.
  2. Ultrasound is a deep heating treatment that can help improve circulation and extensibility around the injured tissues of your hamstring.
  3. Massage. Massaging the injured tissue can help improve scar tissue mobility. The effects of deep stripping massage results in an increased hamstring length rather quickly, improving flexibility, but does not affect the strength of the muscle.
  4. Kinesiology taping techniques help improve the way your hamstring muscle functions. Kinesiology taping can also be used to decrease swelling and bruising around your hamstring muscles.
  5. Ice may be used during the acute phase of injury to control swelling and to decrease pain that you are feeling.
  6. Moist heat packs help relax your hamstring muscles and to improve tissue extensibility prior to stretching.

We will also prescribe specific exercises for you to do in the clinic, and a home exercise program for you to do on a regular basis.

Get Back and Better

Hamstring injuries have a history of returning and we want you to get back to your life and be in a better physical place. Studies show that physical therapy can help the hamstring heal properly. In addition, our therapists will work with you on balance, posture and other everyday motions that will help to reduce re-injury. For more information or a free evaluation of your injury, please contact us.

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Runner’s Injury Prevention Workshop Recap

We want to give a big thank you to all of you who came out to the Runner’s Injury Prevention Workshop. Boris and Julie really enjoyed presenting and getting to know more about your running goals.

Want to keep up to date with our future events, articles, and running tips? Follow us on social media!



Whether you run recreationally, competitively, or for fitness, the information we shared last night is 100% applicable to you. We covered a lot of material, so we wrote up a brief recap for you and those who couldn’t make it out to our event.

Biomechanics of the Foot

foot pronation and supination chart

Boris and Julie discussed what pronation and supination is and how it can affect your foot if there is a mechanical abnormality. They mentioned individuals’ variations in the foot and ankle structure and how it is connected to the rest of your leg higher up. Other variables play a part in how fast, how long, and efficiently you run. They touched on proper running mechanics and emphasized the form over the speed and distance.

When you run your body experiences impact many times your body weight on each stride. It’s important to understand how your feet land to make the appropriate adjustments. A physical therapist or personal trainer specializing in gait analysis can help in this regard.

The Importance of Core Strength

core muscles

One cannot overstate the importance of core strength in any physical activity and this includes running. Your core ensures your body’s stability, balance, proper posture, and control. Strengthening your core comes with many benefits including injury prevention. In regards to running, when your core muscles – your pelvis, abdominal, hips, and back – all work in sync, you are able to remain solid as your foot strikes the ground. If you are a long distance runner, you know how important maintaining proper posture is. A strong core will improve your running time, endurance, stamina, and help reduce the chances of injury.

Strengthening Your Glutes

Glutes Breakdown

Your glutes are made up of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. They all play an important role during your run. We want to make sure that each of these muscles is strong so that other parts of your body aren’t overcompensating for their lack of engagement.

Your gluteus medius and minimus are abductors and help move your legs away from your body. The gluteus maximus is used for hip extension.

Julie mentioned that too much sitting can lead to weak glutes since they are not activated in that position. On the opposite end, your hip flexors shorten since sitting keeps them in a contracted position. Both Boris and Julie recommend that you do the following exercises:

  • Glute Bridge
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Clamshells

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic Stretching

Although recent research has shown that stretching before a run does not help to prevent injury, there are some benefits to stretchings.

Both Boris and Julie encourage dynamic stretching in which your body is moving while you stretch. This ensures that your muscles are warmed up and ready to go.

Common Tight Spots for Runners

We suggest that you keep a close eye on these parts of the body before, during, and after your run.

  • ITB
  • Achilles
  • Hip Flexors
  • Hamstrings

Plantar Fasciitis

plantar fascitiis

Some of you had concerns about plantar fasciitis. Your plantar fascia is a thin ligament that lies on the bottom of your foot. It connects from the heel all the way to the front of your foot. It helps to support the arch of your foot and plays an important role in walking and running mechanics. If you suffer from heel pain after a run, chances are high that you suffer from plantar fasciitis which is the inflammation of this ligament. Symptoms are described as a shooting pain near the heel. The pain is usually worse in the morning or after long periods of rest.

When you run there is a lot of pressure and force pushed on the plantar fascia. This can cause inflammation and tightness.

There are many factors that can contribute to plantar fasciitis. Tight calf muscles or having a high arch can both play a role in plantar fasciitis. Seeing a physical therapist can help identify these issues and provide a treatment plan to manage pain or prevent pain altogether.

Are you currently experiencing pain from running? Participating in races anytime soon? Our highly trained physical therapists can help.

Running can put a lot of strain and stress on your body. Seeing a physical therapist can help you address any biomechanical issues such as muscle imbalances, gait, or tightness to prevent injury, improve your performance, and keep you running for life.

Fill out the form below to get started.

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Want to learn more about the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill and give it a try at our Clinton Hill location on Fulton Street? Schedule your first run here.

Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course Recap

We had a blast last night hosting the Crown Heights Running Club at our Clinton Hill location for our Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course.

The presenters included physical therapist and owner of Park Sports Physical Therapy, Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT, Certified Coach for the Road Runner Clubs of America, Nate Turner, and nutritionist, Tara Mardigan, MS, MPH, RD, AKA “The Plate Coach.”

They shared a lot of great information with us. This post will serve as a brief recap of some of the material that was reviewed.

Dynamic Stretching VS Static Stretching

Dynamic stretching is preferred over static stretching. You will want to focus on “warming up” your muscles before a run or undertaking any form of exercise. This can be in the form of jumping jacks, lunges, or any other full body movement. Core exercises are strongly encouraged.

There is no correlation between stretching and preventing injury, but stretching is still very beneficial in other ways. Boris recommends holding a stretch for twenty seconds or more for the muscles to get the full benefit of the stretch.

Tara recommends staying properly hydrated as that also plays a role in the performance and flexibility of your muscles.

Anywhere from 7-10 minutes of dynamic stretching will be enough to get you warmed up.

Cross Training

Cross training is useful, but depending on your goals, whether they be increasing mileage, speed, or endurance, nothing can replace running.

Boris and Nate both recommend strategic planning in terms of setting up a schedule for training to achieve your goals. The example given was a six-month training schedule. Boris recommends starting off with a light workout and running schedule at the very beginning and then increasing the intensity of theworkoutss as time progresses. This allows the body to adapt.

According to Nate, you should plan ahead and find ways to stimulate the climate of the actual race. For instance, if you are training during the colder seasons for a race that takes place during warmer seasons, you should try running in warmer temperatures some days. This could be done on a treadmill indoors with higher heat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated during these experiments!

Identifying Pre-Existing Structural Issues to Avoid Injury

Having a pre-existing injury or structural issue can lead to more serious injuries down the line. Both Nate and Boris strongly advise against working through the pain during training. Structural issues can be evaluated by a medical professional, physical therapist, or even an athletic trainer trained in identifying imbalances in the body.

A physical therapist will be able to assess your body’s strengths and weaknesses and will be able to offer valuable insight as to how you can improve your odds to avoiding injury, whether they be through strengthening exercises, modifying certain movements, correcting postural issues, or stretching and manual therapy.

If you are interested in getting a movement evaluation done by one of our physical therapists, schedule your appointment here.

Increasing Mileage Safely

Boris and Nate mentioned when training for a half marathon or even a full marathon, it’s best to work your way up to running that distance.

Instead of flat-out running thirteen miles, you could distribute a certain amount of miles each day that adds up to the full thirteen miles.

For example, on Monday you run four miles, Wednesday you run four miles, and Friday you run five miles. You can slowly increase your mileage safely in this manner instead of just deciding to run ten miles one day.

Nutrition for Runners

Tara put together an excellent handout reviewing some excellent advice in terms of nutrition, rest periods, and more. Here’s a PDF of the handout for those of you who couldn’t make it last night.

Wrapping Up

To those of you running the Brooklyn Half Marathon, we wish you the best of luck. You have trained hard and whether you aim to break a new personal record, finish the race, or have a set time that you would like to finish, we are here to help.

Want to learn more about Park Sports Physical Therapy and get started? Fill out this form here.

AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill

We are offering a 20% discount to Crown Heights Running Club’s members interested in trying out the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.

Schedule your first run today! Call 718.230.1180

Learn more about the AlterG treadmill and our rates here.

Injury Prevention for Youth Soccer Athletes Workshop Recap

On March, 28th 2018, physical therapists, Igor Kozlov, DPT, and Aaron Lentz, SPT, gave their first presentation at the new Park Slope United Club House, which just opened up their doors on March, 24th 2018 in Bedford Stuyvesant.

A lot of great material was covered including common injuries that soccer players face during training and games, the FIFA 11+ warm-up, proper footwear for different kinds of turf, and the benefits of the Movement Assessment.

Here’s a brief recap.

What is the Movement Assessment?

A Movement Assessment is an evaluation of your child’s body’s movement. Our therapists will assess your child’s body’s posture and core strength, search for any muscle imbalances, test their flexibility, analyze their gait, and test for balance.

This creates a baseline for them to improve upon. A Movement Assessment is useful for catching any inefficiencies in the body early on that can lead to injury. This assessment has proven to be an invaluable tool for many of the athletes we see at our practice.

Imagine your child being able to run with greater efficiency and producing less strain on their muscles and joints, or having the knowledge to jump, land, and pivot with a lower chance of injury.

Our therapists can help your child gain greater insight and control over their body, which will lead to greater athletic performance.


The FIFA 11+ Warm-up

The FIFA 11+

Aaron and Igor mentioned the importance of stretching and warming up before training and playing in any matches. The FIFA 11+ warm-up routine was created as an injury prevention program. Coaches and parents should be mindful and remind their young athletes to do a proper warm-up.

Recent studies have shown that the most common injuries in youth soccer players are torn ACL’s, Hamstring strains/tears, and ankle injuries.

Research has shown that implementing the FIFA 11/11+ warm up statistically decreases the number of injuries during soccer. The warm-up can be implemented before a game, practice or just kicking the ball around with friends.

The FIFA 11 is a series of warm-up exercises that are broken up into three parts.

Part 1 includes all running exercises, there are a series of 6 activities to be performed in part 1.

Part 2 is all about exercises that utilize plyometrics, balance training, and strength training. Part 2 includes another 6 exercises which can be changed to a more challenging level as the athlete improves.

Part 3 is the last section where there is just one exercise that again focuses on running. In part 3 the level of difficulty can be changed based on the ease of completion of the athlete performing the warm-up.

Download the FIFA 11+ warm-up sheet here.


Osgood-Schlatter Knee Pain
Medical Illustration originally sourced from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/osgood-schlatter-disease-knee-pain/

Osgood-Schlatters (Knee Pain)

Osgood-Schlatters is an overuse injury that is more common among boys from the age of 9-15 and during growth spurts. The presentation and symptoms are a pronounced bump below the knee cap, that is painful with activity, but the pain decreases with rest. The details of the injury affect the patellar tendon at its insertion point on the tibia and may affect the growth plate. Osgood-Schlatters can be diagnosed with a radiograph. This injury is caused by a lot of running and jumping activities.

Read more about Osgood-Schlatters here.

Proper Footwear

The last topic that was discussed was proper footwear for playing soccer. The shoe should fit snug with just a little room for the toes to move. Proper soccer shoes should be worn while playing soccer, not running shoes or cross trainers or basketball shoes. This cannot be stressed enough!

For indoor play, there are specific indoor soccer shoes that should be worn. When playing on artificial turf there are specific turf cleats that aren’t as long and have more cleats on the bottom of the shoes.

When playing in wet or long grass that is softer the cleats should be a little longer to provide more grip while playing.

Schedule Your Child’s Movement Assessment with Our Expert Physical Therapists Today.

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Runner’s Injury Prevention Workshop w/ Pongo Power

RESCHEDULED to Monday, April 30th 2018 @ 7:00 PM

Park Sports Physical Therapy – Park Slope
142 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Register for the Runner’s Injury Prevention Workshop Here

The presentation will be given by Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT owner of Park Sports PT, an avid runner and triathlete alongside Julie Petrusak, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and director of the Rev up to Run! Training Program at of Pongo Power.

Join Park Sports Physical Therapy and Pongo Power for a free injury prevention workshop geared towards runners.

Here are a few topics that will be covered during the workshop:

Part I

  • The Physical Demands of Running – What happens to your muscles and joints during a long run.
  • Common Running Injuries – How they occur & how to prevent them.
  • Self-Treatment – We’ll cover the basics of icing, stretching, rest periods, and what problems to look out for.
  • Knowing When to Seek Medical Attention – Benefits of Physical Therapy

Part II

  • Becoming an optimal runner. The efficiency of muscles, structural balance, and building up endurance.
  • Technique and proper form.
  • How to safely increase mileage during training.
  • How to become a faster runner the safe way.
  • Benefits of cross training

Part III

  • Q&A

Space is limited to 25 people. Reserve your spot today!

Register for the Runner’s Injury Prevention Workshop Here

Questions? Contact us by calling 718.230.1180 or emailing info@parksportspt.com


Pongo Power

Learn more about Pongo Power here.

Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course w/ Crown Heights Running Club

Monday, April 9th, 2018 @ 7:00 PM

Park Sports Physical Therapy – Clinton Hill
973 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Register for the Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course

The presentation will be given by Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT the owner of Park Sports Physical Therapy and an avid runner and triathlete, Nathon Turner, Certified Coach, Road Runner Clubs of America, and Nutritionist Tara Mardigan, MS, MPH, RD, AKA “The Plate Coach”.

Are you a runner looking to build speed, improve your endurance, and increase mileage safely to prep for the Brooklyn Half Marathon?

Park Sports Physical Therapy would like to invite the members of the Crown Heights Running Club to a free crash course to help improve performance and prevent injury.

The topics being covered include:

  • How to prevent failure in critical joints and avoid structural imbalances.
  • Muscle efficiency – making sure opposing muscle groups are performing in harmony.
  • Proper running form and how to spot deficiencies.
  • Benefits of training with the AlterG Anti Gravity Treadmill.
  • Nutrition for runners.
  • Reviewing your current training plan.

We’ll have a short Q&A section at the end the presentation.

Space is limited to 25 people. Reserve your spot today!

Register for the Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course

Questions? Email us at info@parksportspt.com or call 718.230.1180.

Crown Heights Running Club

Learn more about Crown Heights Running Club


Injury Prevention Workshop for Youth Soccer Athletes

Presentation by Aaron Lentz, SPT & Igor Kozlov, PT, DPT of Park Sports Physical Therapy

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 @ 7PM

Park Slope United
260 Jefferson Avenue, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11216

RSVP to the Workshop Here

Join us for our very first injury prevention workshop at Park Slope United’s clubhouse presented by one of our physical therapists from Park Sports Physical Therapy.

This workshop is designed to inform parents of children playing soccer about some of the common injuries that can occur on the field during training or matches and what to do in the event of those injuries occurring. We’ll also review the most common injuries among soccer players, how to self-treat, what to look out for more serious injuries, and more.

Here are some other topics that we’ll be covering during the workshop:


  • Proper stretching before and after training and games.
  • Post-injury signs.
  • Common knee and ankle injuries.
  • Concussion symptoms.
  • Purchasing proper footwear for both indoor and outdoor soccer.
  • Landing and cutting mechanics.
  • Flexibility vs. Hypermobility.


To RSVP call 347-301-9613 or email  team@parkslopeunited.com or sign up on Eventbrite.


About Park Sports Physical Therapy

Park Sports Physical Therapy & Hand Therapy has been treating patients of all ages for over 20 years in Brooklyn. With three locations – two in Park Slope and one in Clinton Hill, patients have access to sports rehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation, pelvic floor therapy, pre & post operative rehabilitation, Scoliosis Treatment / Schroth Therapy, and pediatric physical therapy.

About the Presenter

Igor Kozlov, PT, DPT - Physical Therapist

Igor Kozlov, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

  • Received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Hunter College
  • Attended courses focused on manual therapy at the Institute of Physical Art (IPA) and Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars (MAPS)
  • Pre and Post Operative Rehabilitation

Read Igor’s Full Bio