As addressed last month, injury can end a players season or simply hurt their effectiveness. Either way it is something we all want to avoid. By understanding how the following issues can affect your athletes and addressing these issues, we can help our athletes stay healthy and performing at their best.
Ankles: Tight/short calf muscles will cause shin splints and lack of mobility in the ankle. If the athlete lacks mobility in the ankle this will overload hamstrings, hips, lumbar and spine.
- Flexibility – Stretching the calves before, during, and after activity x 30 sec
- Mobility – Rolling calf region using a roller, small ball, or massage stick x 2-3 min
- Strength – Dorsi-Flexion exercises using bands or machines x 10 reps + 3 sec pause
Knees: Most knee pain comes from overuse and lack of strength in muscles surrounding the knee joint.
- Flexibility – Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch using a bench x 30 sec (if pain increases discontinue exercise)
- Mobility – Rolling IT Band, Inner Thigh Groin Region, Quads and Glutes using roller, pvc pipe, softball or massage stick x 2-3 min
- Strength – Seated (floor) Straight Leg Raise x 10 reps + 3 sec pause; Mini-Band Clam Lifts x 10 reps + 3 sec pause; Super Band Standing Knee Extension x 10 reps + 3 sec pause
Hips/Hip Flexor/Lumbar Region: Hip and Lumbar pain comes from overuse and lack of core strength. Hip Flexor/Groin strains also come from overuse and weak core muscles.
- Flexibility – Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch using a bench x 30 sec (if pain increases discontinue exercise); Seated Glute (piriformis) Stretch x 30 sec; Floor Praying Mantis Stretch x 30 sec
- Mobility – Rolling IT Band, Inner Thigh Groin Region, Quads, Glutes and Mid-Back using roller, pvc pipe, softball or massage stick x 2-3 min
- Strength – Quadruped Hip Series: Fire Hydrants x 10, Hip Circles x 10 each direction (clockwise + counter-clockwise), Hip Extension x 10; Lateral/Side Plank x 30 sec each
Shoulder/Scapular Region: Most shoulder injuries come from posture imbalances and overloading activity in the pectoral region. For example, too many pushing movements without counter balancing pull movements. This causes a major imbalance resulting in shoulder pain and even tears.
- Flexibility: Super Band Hanging Lat Stretch x 30 sec each; Stick/PVC Pipe Standing Pec Stretch x 5 + 5 sec pause; Stick/PVC Pipe Standing Flexion Stretch x 10 + 3 sec pause
- Mobility: Rolling Lats and Pec Region using roller, PVC pipe, small ball x 2-3 min
- Strength: Y’s (thumbs down) – T’s (thumbs up) – L’s (thumbs in) x 10 each; Super Band Band Pull Aparts x 15 + 3 sec pause; Band Pull/Row x 15 + 3 sec pause
Creating a proper warm-up routine and recovery program for all of your athletes will not only reduce the chances of your athlete’s injuries, but also increase overall performance.