6 Exercises you can be doing now to help prevent lower limb injuries when you return to Sport after COVID-19
Often times as sportspeople we carry injuries and play through niggles. We accept this as part of playing a competitive sport, and only see our Physio once the problem has manifested into something bigger. This contributes to time off sport, reduced performance and a decrease to our overall potential!
To top it off, the recent isolation caused by COVID-19 and subsequent competitive sport delays will have a huge impact on injuries and fitness.
While in isolation, this as actually an opportunity to work hard now, to help you excel and kick goals when you return! Which is why we’ve come up with “The Special six” group of exercises to perform whilst in Isolation, that have a massive impact on injury prevention.
The Special Six exercises to do whilst in Isolation
What if I was able to tell you that Science, yes SCIENCE points to the need for a structured, targeted and progressive exercise program to help avoid those frustrating season interrupting (or sometimes ending) injuries.
Research indicates that with the right exercise, hamstring strains can be reduced by 65%, groin related issues by 41%, and that you can boost your sprint performance by 12%!
SO what is the magic?
Simple answer – EXERCISE! It’s getting in early. It’s establishing a structured program with different phases that challenge you. It’s creating a program to target your specific needs and requirements. It’s understanding that a dance program will be different to a football program.
In order to do this your local physio can assess what the demands of your sport are and couple that with what you as an individual may need to improve on!
This could be working out strategies to help strengthen your muscles in sport specific positions all the way to trigger pointing to help you improve neural function of your body!
So, at pathways we have decided to put together a Special 6 exercises series to help with lower limb injuries. In particular we have put together exercises which are challenging without need of a gym to help during isolation. I will outline each below!
The Special Six
1. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
Slightly bend your knee on the stance leg and maintain that position. Bend at the hips whilst simultaneously extending your leg backwards. Go to a depth where you can maintain your knee bend, and where your leg doesn’t kick out to the side. Hold the weight in opposite hand to stance leg.
2. Lateral Lunge/Squat
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Take a step to the side maintaining the position of the non stepping leg. Avoid turning your foot or lifting it off the ground. Step with the other leg and perform a squat shifting weight over the knee and foot.
3. Single Leg Calf Raises
Stand on one leg, up on your toes whilst holding the weight (or backpack) in the hand on the same side. Without gripping your toes, rise onto the balls of your feet. Hold onto a chair or wall to stabilise yourself.
4. Single Leg Rises/Squats
Sit on a chair with your hips at a 90 degree angle. Rise up off the chair with one leg, and then sit back down slowly. Make sure not to fall back down onto the chair too quickly.
5. Adductor Copenhagen Bridge
Use a chair with space underneath, like a dining or kitchen chair. Lie on your side, with your elbows, hips and ankles aligned over one another. Place one leg with the inside of your foot on the chair, and use this leg to lift your body up off the floor. Your bottom leg under the chair touches the ground and the underside of the chair, whilst maintaining a straight, “locked in” position at the knee.
6. Single Leg Hamstring Bridge
Place one heel on the chair and other leg in the air, with 90 degree hip and knee bend. Press your heel down into the chair to lift your bottom up off the ground.
While this program is just a guide, it’s designed to strengthen the majority of the lower limb muscles, which have been proven to be key for injury prevention.
Let’s say goodbye to missed games or even seasons due to ankle injuries, hamstring strains or groin related soreness! Let us provide you with a pathway to high performance and health!
If you want more information follow our Video series on Facebook and Instagram, or feel free to contact your local physio.
You can also chat to one of our Expert Physio’s, either in out clinic or over an Online Physiotherapy Consult by booking here.