Strength and sports performance training is a lot of fun. Lots of weight is lifted, confidence built, and souls crushed on the playing field.
But it's not all massive amounts of weight and grunting and yelling.
There are also small things that can be done that will yield big time results that you won’t find on instagram (unless you’re a nerd coach like me and follow other very smart people who post quality content over HYPE content).
I’m talking about small, joint-specific movements to help build resilience in muscles that can often be overlooked:
Feet, ankles, and achilles --
a rolled ankle is probably the most common athletic injury. With all the lateral movements and sometimes unstable surfaces, weak ankles could cause some problems!
strength in the groin, which will also help develop hip and knee stability. The Glute and the Groin are like guard rails for the femur to knee and if they're imbalanced, it can lead to problems on either end of the system.
Hamstring-specific motions to mimic game-time usage --
the hamstring is not really a small tissue but training it can sometimes be over simplified as just deadlift or RDL, which is a contraction of the muscle, but often times hamstring injuries occur on the EXTENSION part of sprinting, ie, striding forward. So gotta work the hammy in extension too!!
Knee work --
Video 3 is sissy squats against the wall. These help build tissue resilience around the knee -- the bottom of the quad and around the patella tendon, both of which get a lot of abuse in explosive sports like basketball, football, wrestling, volleyball, lacrosse, baseball, or softball.
Low Back --
You have to build strength in the spinal erectors, the low back muscles including the quadratis lumborum (QL) and intercostal muscles around the spine.
Here are videos of specific moves I’ve used with my basketball to help build resilience in these small tissues, which, if they’re overlooked in a training program, could create some serious problems during the season -- just ask Derek Carr how he felt last year when he pulled his groin.
I encourage you to take a critical look at your child’s strength program. Ask the football coach (whose qualifications are that he lifted back in the day) what he is doing to build knee resilience to prevent ACL tears, hamstring resilience that will transfer to their game, or groin work to increase hip stability and minimize back pain.
If you’d like to schedule a 30 minute consult with me to talk about your son or daughter’s strength and sports performance program, please click HERE. I’d be honored to work with them.
Feet, Ankles, Achilles
Knee and surrounding tissues (even feet and toes in this one)