React Fast

If you play a team sport you may be familiar with reaction training. Basically it’s training to react to situations quickly and continue play. 

For example in hockey or football you need to be alert as to where the ball is going, other players etc which could mean you have to stop and change direction quickly and frequently at speed. Being able to do this firstly makes you a better player but also having trained your body to do this means it is less prone to injury in this situation.

I also had a think about whether reaction training would apply to more solitary sports such as running or cycling and I believe the answer is yes. If you run off road then you constantly need to adapt to the ground underneath you, and if you’re a cyclist the terrain, other cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles could be moving around you that you may need to react to.

There are various ways in which sports teams add this into their training.

Here are a couple of simple ways you can help train your fast reactions.

  • Reaction ball-These little bouncy balls are odd shaped and when you bounce them on the floor they fire off in any direction meaning you have to react fast to catch it! 
  • Using a timer set it for say 20/30 secs then put it somewhere you can hear it but not see it. Sprint as fast as you can, then when the buzzer goes stop dead and change direction.

 

Pain got you Sidelined

If there is one thing I am totally obsessed with in training its Stability (I’m talking physical not mental we ain’t got time for that discussion!) 

Stability means strong and balanced. Strength is such an important part of injury prevention and of course in rehabilitation.

I see a lot of niggly injuries in my studio often hip pain, calf problems and lower back pain that can seem like they might put an end to that person’s sport. 

Often that person will have tried stretching to no avail, maybe it feels better for a bit but as soon as they run, cycle etc. the pain returns.

With some assessment of movement patterns it becomes clear that there is either a lack of strength, an asymmetry or a dysfunction in the movement pattern that although may not be repeated exactly in the sport will affect the biomechanics of that pattern too. 

You may think with a strong set of thighs on show surely that isn’t possible? 

The thing is, there is more to strength and stability than just the big muscles. We also have lots of stabiliser muscles that play a huge part in how those big muscles function.

I  often start with the hips as they are the centre of the body, and therefore responsible for a huge part of the stability of the whole skeleton. They stabilise the spine and therefore the limbs that attach to it. 

Hip Stability can be improved with some really basic (not necessarily easy!) exercises. 

 

Some of my favourites include.

 

Hip Hitch Single Leg Squat

Single Leg Squat -With a ball or TRX for support

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift – If you do have Calf issues try them on your tip toes to really work on your strength here. 

Curtsy Lunge to 1 leg balance. 

Unfold Your Sports Posture

Last week we did a little foam rolling on the lower body.

Now I want to look at using little physio balls, hockey, tennis whatever balls to release restrictions. 

I find whatever sport people play/take part in most of it will result in a shortening of the chest. 

A Golfer closes here as part of the initial stance, a cyclist spends their time forward over the bike and a tired runner can definitely be prone to slouching. Add to this the fact that most of us then spend a lot of our time hunched over desks, laptops, phones etc. 

That’s a lot of time shortening the muscles at the front of the chest. 

As a result of this the muscles at the back of the neck and shoulders become sore as they are constantly being stretched.

Whilst rolling and massaging these areas can help relieve the pain, in order to address the problem we need to release the shortening of the chest. 

I’m going to admit this looks super weird but I promise it works.

Either lying on your front or stood facing a wall put a ball in the front of your chest maybe approx an inch in from your arm pit. You can either just press down here or roll around a little to massage the area. Do this for a couple of minutes then change sides.

If it would like some help with Strength & Conditioning for your sport I have some availability for 1 2 1 training, hit reply if you would like to have a chat about how I could help you up your game!