In today’s world of misinformation and overtraining, it’s important to know of ways to help reduce the most common injuries in the sports community. There are several reasons why so many injuries occur and one of which is due to the lack of rest child athletes are experiencing. As of recently, sports have become year-round with AAU. So now the athletes are playing forteams that are playing and training hard without any downtime or recuperation.
The key to preventing common injuries like ankle sprains, twists, breaks or tears in the tendons or ligaments, all require targeted training and muscular strengthening. To limit your chance of injury, add the following exercises to your routine:
1) Single leg cone jumps from side to side as well as front to back. For this exercise, you will need two cones that are small so that you don’t hit them with your feet while jumping. Now starting with your right leg, on the left side of the two cones, keeping your toes pointed straight ahead so your foot is facing sideways to the cones, you will jump over the cones one at a time going back and forth over them ten times with each time you jump over the cones and back counting as one repetition. After you complete the set with your right leg, you will begin with your left leg on the right side of the cones and do the same thing. For jumping over the cones forwards and backwards, you will start with your right leg and you will keep your toes pointed forwards as you jump over the top of the two cones individually forward and then backwards coming back over the two cones. Then you will repeat the same thing with your left leg.
2) Single leg calf raises. For this exercise you will stand underneath either a calf raise machine or you can do on stairs with bodyweight and you will have either your right leg or your left leg start. Whatever feels most comfortable for you. You will want to raise your body up on your toes as high as you can go and then come back down slowly dating on your toes and having your heel come below thebar or the stair and then repeat.
3) Single leg bounds forward or lateral. For this exercise you will be on one leg at a time. You will start in a quarter squat position, and then jump forward as far as you can trying to land softly on your toes and then sit back on your heel. Reset your position and then do this again. After you do ten repetitions, you can then switch legs and do it on the other leg. For the lateral bounds, you will face sideways and then squat down quarter of the way, then jump to the side opposite your leg position so if your on your right leg, you would jump towards your left side.
The second most common form of athletic injuries are tears in either the ACL, MCL or PCL, with the likely cause being over strengthened quad muscle’s and under strengthened or underdeveloped hamstring muscle’s. Having strong hamstrings is the best way to protect the muscle’s around the knee’s and therefore reducing your risk of injury. We’ve found the best exercise for building these hamstring muscles are:
1) Back squats. For this exercise you will find a squat rack. Then you will put the straight bar on your back and not on your neck. You will make sure that your feet are just outside shoulder width apart and then you will squat down keeping your head up and keeping your core tight till your butt is below 90° then you will stand back up making sure you’re utilizing your hamstrings. Make sure your knees are not coming over your toes, and make sure that your weight is on your heels and not your toes.
2) Leg curl exercise. For this exercise you’re going to find the leg curl machine, lay down on your stomach putting both of your feet underneath the pad. Then bring your feet with all the way to your butt. Once the bar is touching your butt, retract the bar back down till your legs are fully extended and then repeat.
While the exercises above are a good starting point, there are so many more exercises that should be considered to reduce injury.
About the author:
As the principal owner of Functional Sports Performance,Stephen Beseda has been involved in the sports training industry since 2001. Stephen attended Central Washington University, and studied Exercise Science. After receiving his BA, he then received his CSCS through the NSCA. He began working for BMD Sports as a strength and conditioning coach. He has trained many professional athletes from team sports to individual sports as well as many of the surrounding west coast college and high school athletes. He currently is working with club programs throughout Orange County, CA; including Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Swim, Lacrosse, Football and Softball. Stephen’s expertise is focused in the area of sports training, injury prevention, and exercise therapy, which are central to the operations of the business. He has an excellent reputation throughout the industry and brings tremendous strength and experience to this enterprise. He continues to expand his knowledge in business and training.
We are located in Irvine, but have clients from all over Orange County. Give us a ring at 714-483-8252 or stop by our office ready to get sweaty.