Increasing Joint Mobility and Function
One of the most common complaints we hear as coaches is that our client has a “tight” joint segment. This description can apply to a variety of symptoms, but most commonly presented as tension in the hips and shoulders associated with activities of daily life and training. Here at IMPACT, multiple members of our staff have specialized training in Functional Range Conditioning. This training system promotes enhancing joint function mobility through strictly structured movement patterns.
After a general warmup, the client/athlete is taken through controlled articular rotations of the hip. This allows the coach to observe the active range of motion (AROM) available to the client/athlete. Once AROM has been documented, a customized program of Progressive and Regressive Angular Isometric Loading (PAILs/RAILs) based on the FRC system is introduced.
The PAILs/RAILs system “utilizes isometric training protocols in conjunction with stretching techniques in order to simultaneously increase and strengthen progressively larger ranges of active, usable motion.” (Source: https://functionalanatomyseminars.com/frc-members-area/frc-members-pails-rails-slides/frc-members-pails-rails-overview/)
Initial stretching positions are assumed by the client/athlete and held for a specific period at maximum tension. Following this, the client/athlete is cued to gradually build to maximal tension through the contractile tissues and hold for as long as possible. As the contraction is then released, the client/athlete works to increase the depth of the stretch into the newly acquired position utilizing a contractile tissue opposite of the stretch. This held for as long as possible, then will be released, putting the client/athlete back into a passive stretch.
Over the course of one session the client/athlete can expect a 15-20% increase in available ROM, however, the PAILs/RAILs system must be applied as part of the regular program to optimize the long term results of the training.
If you find yourself searching for way to reduce joint tightness or improve mobility and function, call us today to set up your assessment!
Core Stability and Strength
One of the foundations of training for sports revolves around developing proper strength through the trunk of the body. Our “core” is comprised of the muscle in the torso, specifically the transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, pelvic floor musculature, the diaphragm, rectus abdominus, and erector spinae. They serve as a link between the arms and legs and help to transfer the forces developed during athletic movements including sprinting, jumping, throwing, etc.
A lack of strength, coordination, or balance of the core musculature presents multiple issues for athletes:
First, the inability to efficiently transfer force leads to a decrease in performance. Regardless of how strong an athlete may be in the arms and legs; a lack of core strength will not fully demonstrate the extremities’ strength potential.
Second, lack of coordination of the limbs through the core can predispose the athlete to injury. The ability to react and recover from twisting, bending, and trunk rotating motions is crucial during a sporting event.
Third, an imbalance of strength in the anterior vs posterior musculature can cause poor posture. Over time this can lead to issues with both health and performance.
Finally, poorly developed core musculature can predispose an athlete to issues like chronic back pain which in itself may cause a decrease in performance.
We have developed a systematic approach to ensure that our athletes are properly loaded and put under the appropriate stresses to maximize their performance both in the training center and on the field of play.
We focus on anti-rotation, flexion, extension movement fundamentals and progress to higher level movements and indicated by evaluation.
Our Athletic Development Specialists and Strength and Conditioning Specialists strive to help create a robust athlete. Stop by today to see how we can help take your training to the next level!
COOK BAR ANTI ROTATIONAL PALOFF PRESS
SLIDEBOARD DYNAMIC BODY SAW
SIDEPLANK HOLD WITH POSTERIOR SHOULDER WEIGHT HOLD
BAND RESISTED ALTERNATING BIRD DOGS
BAND RESISTED ALTERNATING BIRD DOGS
Training with Knee Osteoarthritis
A common issue that affects many athletes and people alike is osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Osteoarthritis describes the breakdown of articular cartilage and underlying bone within a joint. It is usually the result of mechanical stress (injury, overuse, etc.) and an underlying, chronic inflammation.
Osteoarthritis can cause pain and reduced joint function, however, research has shown that exercise can help stabilize the structure and improve symptoms of OA. The key is to utilize the proper exercises focused on increasing strength in the thighs and hips and progress from strict rehabilitation based exercise into functional movements.
Our staff at IMPACT Sports Performance strives to stay on the leading edge with research review and application to our clientele. If your training has been affected by knee issue like osteoarthritis, call us today for an assessment!
Sore Knees after a weekend tournament? Race? Workouts? Check out IMPACT Sports Performance for a variety of tools to assist with your recovery. Our 30-minute Return to Play Session is designed to help accelerate your recovery so you can get back sooner!
1.) Air Relax: Graded compression boots help enhance circulation (we also offer shorts for the hips and a sleeve for the shoulder.)
2.) Game Ready: Compression with cryotherapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation.
3.) Cold Tub: Full body immersion for whole body cryotherapy effects.
Flexibility and Mobility
The words flexibility and mobility are many times used interchangeably, and though related, are very different when describing athletic movement.
Flexibility refers to a passive motion allowed by the synovium, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that surround a joint. It truly refers to the amount of stretch that can be applied through these tissues.
Mobility refers to one’s ability to control movement through a wide range of motion. It can be further described as proficiency while holding and moving from positions closer to one’s end range of motion.
Mobility allows an athlete to act and react to the various demands placed on the body during sporting events. As the body moves properly and in a controlled fashion, likelihood of injury decreases.
At IMPACT Sports Performance, we utilize Functional Range Conditioning to enhance both flexibility and mobility by providing the athlete with verbal education and physical instruction based upon this system. Our coaches will also provide the assessment to identify limitations in mobility and flexibility, then provide the programing specific to address those limitation.
In subsequent installments in our Return to Play Series, we will discuss specific joint segments, common limitations, and samples of programming designed to improve athletic performance in our athletes and clients.
The Foot and Ankle
The foot and ankle complex is made up of 26 bones that articulate to allow for walking, running, jumping, and many different types of athletic movement. Foot and ankle health is very important to the athlete and fitness enthusiast alike. Not only can abnormalities cause pain, but they can also cause a decrease in athletic performance.
One of the most common issues we deal with is limited dorsiflexion of the ankle joint. This has broad reaching affects including limited squat depth, decreased power production, and predisposition to ankle injury.
Sample Flexibility and Mobility Protocol for Dorsiflexion of the Ankle
Our coaching staff has developed an approach used to help increase both flexibility and mobility for the athlete lacking dorsiflexion. The approach starts with self-myofascial release of the calf musculature and the plantar fascia utilizing foam rollers, massage sticks, and lacrosse balls. The second step involves passive stretching of the calf musculature to increase flexibility of the ankle into dorsiflexion. After stretching for 90 seconds, the athlete is cued to actively bring the ankle into maximum dorsiflexion. It is encouraged to ramp up the intensity of the muscle contrition facilitating the dorsiflexion hold to held improve active ROM. The athlete then return to the passive stretch.
Modifications can be made for athletes who demonstrate limitations and pain with this protocol.
Every body is different and requires individualized assessment and program design. Contact us today to set up your Return to Play Session!
Utilizing the Deep Muscle Stimulator for assisted myofascial release
Ankle Range of Motion Video
Coach Matt Crawley utilizing the Hyperice Vyper VG1 Foam Roller for self myofascial release of the gastroc/soleus complex
Stretching the gastric/soleus complex and putting the ankle into passive dorsiflexion