WEEKEND WARRIOR KNEE PREP
Preventing Summer from being a Bummer!
Summer is upon us. A lot of us are getting outside and playing sports, hitting the beach, or joining a pick-up basketball or pick-up softball game.
The last thing on our minds is a potential knee injury.
A knee injury can take you away from your work, school, or enjoying time with loved ones — for an extended period of time. You can be relegated to crutches, a knee brace, or (at worst) laid up and immobile for a few weeks.
To put it plainly, you do not want a knee injury!!!
This blog will help you avoid the dreaded Weekend Warrior knee-injury-scenario by showing you some simple and quick exercises to keep your knees from being deconditioned and unprepared for activity.
If you do the exercises in this blog, you can greatly increase the conditioning level of your knees and joints and their ability to take on the demands of your weeknight or weekend activities.
SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING
First of all, let’s address the overarching problem: SITTING! Sitting for prolonged periods of time is terrible for your body. SITTING IS BEING CALLED THE NEW SMOKING. Because of technology, most of us are sitting the majority of the day. Unfortunately, sitting for prolonged periods of time causes important muscles to shorten and tighten in the hip flexors, calves, Achilles, and quadriceps region (among other areas). When a weeknight or weekend sport demands that a specific muscle be flexible (especially after a long day of sitting) and long enough to perform a movement [and that specific muscle cannot reach the demanded range of motion], the potential for injury increases dramatically — and in many cases is almost certain.
The importance of neuromuscular training and knee stability in preventing ACL injuries has not gone unnoticed.
According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, knee injuries are among the most common injury in sports today. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) accounts for 150,000 knee injuries in the United States annually. Of those injuries, 70% are from non-contact sports.
According to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), which most Iron Orr Fitness Trainers hold at least one certification,Weekend Warriors account for over 100,000 ACL tears a year.
What does this mean for you? If you’re reading this blog and you are participating in a sport while working full-time, you need to start doing some of these exercises ASAP!!
The following Neuromuscular Training Program should only take you 10-15min to do, and you should perform these exercises 2-3 times a week.
Neuromuscular Training refers to exercises that train your central nervous system [CNS] to activate the proper muscles to counteract force and maintain joint stability. When the body jumps up and lands, your CNS fires off messages to activate the proper muscles in order to land softly on your feet. Without neuromuscular control, you wouldn’t be able to balance, move, and maintain joint stability. Neuromuscular Training focuses on performing exercises that train the nerves and muscles to react and communicate with each other. This results in increased body awareness and trains your body on what proper technique feels like (mind-body connection).
Before you begin any exercise program, it is important to perform dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches are stretches held for 30 seconds or less and create muscle extensibility (flexibility) while waking up and firing your CNS.
Examples of dynamic stretches are the following:
A) Leg Swings
B) Calf Stretches to Toe-Up
C) Hurdle Stretches
Now that you’re warmed up, let’s do some Neuromuscular Training to help reduce the risk of knee injuries!
One Leg Hops: Side to Side & Back to Front
Speed & Agility Ladder: Various Directions
1 Foot Balance Pad
When you’re done, a cool down walk of five minutes as well as static stretching of one minute each will help maintain tissue extensibility (flexibility).
Repeat this short warm-up, NMTraining, and cool down every other day for a maximum of three times a week, and you’ll be ready to play your favorite sport and not worry about injury!
If you are carrying a few extra pounds and need help getting a program started or you need to bring your muscle or power game to the next level, we are experts and designing and implementing individual pre-hab, weight loss, muscle gain and injury prevention exercise plans that will take you to your goals safely and expediently!
If you aren’t sure how to include the above workouts in your current training plan, shoot us a message. We’re always willing to help out.
And, if you’re in San Diego, come by the gym for a complimentary consultation. It is no-obligation and we can answer all your questions, help develop a SMART goal, determine your body composition with our state-of-the-art InBody medical-grade body composition machine.