Not everyone is susceptible to injuries in the same way. When one suffers from injuries very often, the other almost never complains. Is it just a matter of training? What else determines the susceptibility to injury? It turns out that the considerable role is played by our genes.
Sport genes: marathoner vs sprinter
Our physical abilities and susceptibility to injuries are determined by around two hundred genes. They encode, e.g. proteins responsible for muscle contraction or for the proper functioning of tendons and ligaments. Some variants of certain genes can result in the production of an abnormal protein, which increases susceptibility to injuries.
An example could be ACTN3 gene, which encodes a protein α-actinin-3, involved in the proliferation of fast-twitch fibers. These fibers are involved in rapid and intense muscle work, such as racing on short distances. There is some anomaly of this gene, known as R577X. People who have two copies of the gene ACTN3 anomaly R577X may be susceptible to injuries during the fast and dynamic muscle work, eg. sprint, but are more durable, so better suited to long-distance running. On the other hand, people with gene without R577X anomalies are natural born sprinters - their muscles cope well with short, strong load, but get tired quickly.
Another gene responsible for the proliferation of fast-twitch fibers is ACE. Depending on occurring variants of this gene, possible genotypes are: II, ID and DD. Individuals with genotype II are characterized by a greater proportion of fast-twitch fibers in their muscles, so they are, alike a person without anomaly R577X ACTN3 gene, less prone to injury during fast, dynamic muscle work.
The optimal training program on the basis of DNA tests
The genes responsible for the production of collagen, such as the COL1A1 or COL5A1, determine the susceptibility to damage of tendons, joints and ligaments. For example, genotype TT of the COL1A1 gene - very rare, occurring in only 5% of the population - makes its holder almost never getting injuries of tendons and joints. On the COL5A1 gene variants depends the susceptibility to failure of one of the most prone to contusions tendon - Achilles tendon and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Basing on the results of DNA tests we are able to say how exposed to injuries we are and what to be especially careful about during exercises. Thereby, you can arrange customized training program, which will reduce the risk of injury to a minimum.
Just like Messi and his colleagues from Barcelona
DNA tests are being used by professional athletes. Not so long ago one of the best football clubs in the world, FC Barcelona, decided to check susceptibility to injury of all their players. Using the benefits of genetics, experts were able to develop for the players from Catalonia personalized workouts, so that the number of injuries in the team significantly decreased.
Sport DNA tests, the results of which reveal the secrets of susceptibility to injury, are available not only for professional athletes. On the contrary, everyone can (or has to) take advantage of them, even an amateur sportsman. Along with the test result an optimal training program is provided, which will significantly reduce the risk of injuries and make the sport become even more enjoyable. That's it, that’s all!
Check you inborn potential!