Upper St. Clair doctor develops workout bench with injury prevention in mind


While attending Upper St. Clair High School, Joel Klein was an exemplary athlete, earning a total of six varsity letters in baseball and basketball, and serving as a team captain in both sports.

After graduating, Klein continued to play baseball at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute when he could.

“I was injured for the majority of that first year,” he said. “I really started looking more into what was causing these injuries and trying to find out more about strength and conditioning, as well as physiotherapy and sports medicine in general.

“And that’s when I started thinking about shifting gears.”

He had studied engineering but decided to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his bachelor’s degree in natural sciences and premedicine and a master’s degree in biomedical sciences. In May, he graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is now in physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at Rochester Regional Hospital (NY).

What Klein learned in college and medical school, combined with his own extensive research, prompted him to develop a product with the goal of helping fitness conscious people train healthier way.

He formed a company called 2XSTRENGTH – “Two Times”, if you say it out loud – which produces a specialized workout bench of his own design.

The main purpose of the MaxPerformance Accessory Cable Bench, introduced earlier this year, is to prevent neck and hamstring injuries, which can help prevent serious illnesses such as concussions and ligament tears. anterior cross.

“Anything you can do to help reduce this risk of head injury in contact sports athletes is so beneficial because of the negative impacts of brain injury they face in these sports,” Klein said.

His bench works in combination with a head harness cable attachment that allows for optimal neck movement while keeping the spine in a neutral position. A chest harness helps perform one-arm and one-leg exercises correctly, techniques that Klein has found effective for focusing on specific areas of the body.

“It’s great for training muscle imbalances or asymmetries,” Klein said. “If I use it with my left arm, I know for sure that I’m only working my left arm.”

The year before he entered medical school, Klein was employed part-time by UPMC Sports Medicine at the Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, working with patients ranging from athletes to older people who had undergone knee and hip replacement surgery. hip.

“Near the first day at LECOM, I set my sights on sports medicine,” he said, deciding to focus on physical medicine and rehabilitation rather than surgery “because I loved the non-operative approach.

“In my experience, all the best surgeons will tell you: if you can avoid surgery, avoid surgery.”

Even better advice would be to avoid injury. And Klein, now an osteopathic doctor, sees the MaxPerformance bench as a significant step in that direction.

For more information, visit 2xstrengthtraining.com.

Harry Funk is a news editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Harry at hfunk@triblive.com.


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