Dr. Keith Baar on Building Bulletproof Tendons

As a former athlete who considered himself mediocre, Dr. Keith Baar became curious as to why some people respond well to a training program and grew stronger while others didn’t adapt the same way. He followed this curiosity into an internship in strength and conditioning at the University of Michigan’s football team for his undergraduate degree.

Later, Keith pursued a Master’s degree at the University of California – Berkeley and a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, where he discovered the molecular mechanisms underlying muscle growth in response to exercise.

After working at a laboratory in Dundee, Scotland for five years, Keith is now the Head of the Functional Molecular Biology Laboratory (FMBLab) at the University of California Davis, where he studies how the musculoskeletal system functions, including how diet and physical activity affect muscle growth, and how tendons and ligaments respond to the stresses of exercise.

In today’s episode, Keith and I discuss how to maintain tendon health and decrease injuries. He defines the morphological differences between a tendon and a muscle and shares tips on how to train the tendon for flexibility and health. He explains why we see more tendon ruptures in sports and how to recover from injury faster. And we discuss how to design training programs that stimulate healing as well as the nutritional interventions to create stronger tendons. 

 

If a tendon is less stiff at its muscle end, it’s going to stretch. That stretching is a shock absorber for the whole muscle. – Dr. Keith Baar

 

This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • The structure of a tendon and its morphological difference to a muscle
  • How to create a program for strengthening tendons
  • Why injury history should be taken into account when creating a training program
  • Why injured athletes should lift slower
  • Why we see an increased number of tendon ruptures in sports
  • The role of nutrition in injury recovery and performance
  • How to heal injuries quickly
  • Keith’s training advice for athletes

 

Connect with Dr. Baar:

 

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1 Comments

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  1. Fantastic! As a former research chemist I really liked this podcast. Oh, to be young again (now 70), I would so much want to work in Dr. Baar’s lab….that would be fun.

    Really great podcast, sent the link to several friends.

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