What Physios Should Know About Strength And Conditioning

physiotherapist with client


Physiotherapists play a crucial role in the rehabilitation and injury prevention of athletes and individuals seeking to optimize their physical performance.

While their expertise lies primarily in the field of rehabilitation, it is essential for physiotherapists to have a solid understanding of strength and conditioning principles.

This knowledge enables them to design comprehensive rehabilitation programs that encompass not only the recovery of injured tissues but also the development of strength, power, and endurance.

What Is Strength And Conditioning?

Strength and conditioning (S&C) is a specialized field that focuses on improving physical performance through targeted exercise and training techniques.

By incorporating S&C principles into their practice, physiotherapists can enhance their ability to help clients recover from injuries, improve athletic performance, and prevent future injuries.

Important Concepts Of Strength And Conditioning

Physiotherapists should be familiar with the fundamental principles of S&C. This includes understanding the concepts of progressive overload, specificity, individualization, and periodization.

Progressive Overload

Progressive overload refers to gradually increasing the intensity, volume, or complexity of exercises to stimulate adaptation and progress.


Specificity emphasizes tailoring training programs to the unique demands of the individual’s sport or activity.


Individualization recognizes that each person has unique physiological and biomechanical characteristics that should be considered when designing exercise programs.


Periodization involves systematically organizing training phases to optimize performance and minimize the risk of overuse injuries.

Types Of Strength And Conditioning

Physiotherapists should also be very familiar with the different methods of training, both strength and conditioning.

Strength Training

Physiotherapists should also be well-versed in various strength training modalities. Resistance training, for example, is a key component of S&C and can effectively enhance muscular strength, power, and endurance.

Physiotherapists should understand different resistance training techniques, such as isometric, isotonic, and plyometric exercises, and know how to prescribe appropriate loads, repetitions, and sets based on the client’s goals and abilities.

Conditioning Training

Physiotherapists should familiarize themselves with the principles of cardiovascular conditioning. Aerobic and anaerobic training methods can improve cardiovascular fitness and enhance an individual’s capacity to sustain high-intensity efforts.

Understanding the principles of cardiovascular conditioning allows physiotherapists to incorporate appropriate endurance training techniques, such as interval training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), into their rehabilitation programs.

Additional Things To Consider

Physiotherapists should understand the role of the core muscles in dynamic movements and incorporate exercises that challenge stability and promote functional strength.

It’s also important to have a basic understanding of nutrition and supplementation. Proper nutrition is essential for optimal performance, recovery, and tissue repair.

Additionally, physiotherapists should stay updated with the latest research and advancements in the field of S&C.

Continuing education courses, workshops, and conferences can provide valuable insights into new training methodologies, injury prevention strategies, and evidence-based practices.

Physiotherapy and S&C: Conclusion

Physiotherapists can greatly benefit from understanding the principles of strength and conditioning. This knowledge allows them to design comprehensive rehabilitation programs.

These programs not only facilitate the recovery of injured tissues, but also optimize physical performance and reduce the risk of future injuries.

By incorporating S&C principles into their practice, physiotherapists can provide a well-rounded approach to rehabilitation and help patients achieve their health goals.

Physiotherapists at Evoker are trained in strength and conditioning principles. Book an appointment today!


  1. Australian Strength And Conditioning Association. ASCA. Available from: https://www.strengthandconditioning.org/
  2. Physiopedia. Strength Training. Available from: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Strength_Training

About Theresa Duncan

Originally from Detroit, MI, Theresa has been offering health and fitness advice for the last 30 years while working as an engineer. She decided to turn her passion into a profession, and finds nothing more satisfying than helping others reach their health and fitness goals.

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