Loudoun County, Va. — All sports we participate in, whether it be football, rugby, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, or many others, require a wide range of movements. Athletes have to be able to jump, run, change direction, and change speed. With so much variability, the possibility of sustaining an injury while practicing or playing is common. Injuries can pertain to specific muscles or joints, ranging from muscle strains (“pulled muscles: or tear in muscle tissue) to sprains of ligaments that help stabilize joints. Athletes can also have a risk of sprains, in their ankles and knees. Though these injuries can occur there are simple and easy, preventative exercises we can do before and after playing.
Stretching is one thing you can do to help reduce the possibility of an injury. A comprehensive dynamic stretching program that addresses all muscles, should be preformed before and after you play. A dynamic stretching program includes stretches with movement.
This may include exercises such as:
- High knees
- Butt kicks
- Front and side lunges
These types of stretches warm muscles up by bringing blood flow to your muscles, which in turn can increase the elasticity of your muscles. When your muscles are “loose” or more elastic you reduce the possibility of straining a muscle.
Though a proper warm-up with a dynamic stretching series is essential to reducing injuries, there are also other preventative exercises that be can performed in order to increase core strength, balance, and hip strength.
Core strength exercises that can be performed include:
- Dead bug series
- Lower ab exercise
To increase hip strength athletes can perform:
- Straight leg raises
- Monster walks
Balance exercises include:
- Single leg stance
- ABC’s while on dingle leg stance
- Star excursion balance
The goal is always to get athletes back to the field. In order to keep them healthy and functioning on the field, a good warm-up consisting of dynamic movements, and performing preventative exercises is essential. If you engage in both of these, the possibility of sustaining an injury can be decreased and you can continue to work on being stronger, faster, and quicker at your sport!
Note from our sponsor: Don’t wait for an injury to occur, call today at 703-450-4300 to learn how to properly stretch and what exercises to perform to prevent injuries. Our expert physical therapists and athletic trainers will create a personalized plan of care to ensure you can perform to the best of your ability.