Preparing for Fall Sports
Why is it important to prepare for fall sports?
The Football Association has found that 17% of all injuries over a two-year period occurred during preseason, which is a significant amount considering the short time period. Common injuries during preseason include: ankle sprains, hamstring injuries, shin splints, achilles injuries, and ACL ruptures.
Research has shown that athletes who participate in conditioning programs prior to participating in preseason or sport activities have a reduced incidence of injuries. Specific factors that are related to an increased injury rate include a significant increase in intensity and duration of activity and muscle imbalances.
How can you prevent injury when returning to sports?
Participating in a conditioning program prior to preseason has been shown to decrease the incidence of injuries. By slowly increasing training intensity and duration, muscles can gradually adapt to the increased stress without becoming injured. In addition, several muscle imbalances have been found to increase risk for injury but can be prevented. For instance, decreased calf (gastroc/soleus complex) muscle flexibility, and hip weakness have been found to be associated with an increased risk of knee and ankle injuries. Below are a few recommended exercises:
1) Calf Stretch- Stand with right foot back, leg straight, forward leg bent. Keeping heel on floor, turned slightly out, lean into wall until stretch is felt in calf. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 3 sessions per day.
2) Hip Abduction- Keeping left knee slightly bent, lift right hip out to the side. Repeat 10 times per set. Do 2 sets per session. Do 3 sessions per day.
3) Hamstring Stretch- Place right foot on stool. Slowly lean forward, keeping back straight, until stretch is felt in back of thigh. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per set. Do 1 set per sessions. Do 3 sessions per day.
4) Squat- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and squat deeply, head and chest up. Repeat 10 times per set. Do 2 sets per sessions. Do 3 sessions per day.
How can CPRS Physical Therapy help you Prepare for Sports?
CPRS offers multiple options to personalize a fitness program to your needs depending upon your strength and flexibility deficits, as well as geared toward the sports in which you want to participate. Personal training sessions and fitness plans based upon your personal needs are available at the majority of our locations. CPRS also offers a healthy lifestyles program, which is a three-month individualized fitness program. It includes an initial evaluation of your fitness level and provides assistance in developing your personal fitness program followed by a monthly fitness assessment and progression toward your goals. Visit our website and find a facility near you: www.CPRSWEB.com.