by Mike Giunta, DPT, CSCS >> Request an Appointment
Recovery is a concept that's often missed in the realm of injury prevention and performance.
Did you know that what you do in the days immediately following competition will affect the way your body is able to perform in subsequent practices and games? Most sports require a combination of linear (front to back) lateral (side to side) movement as well as rotation. Because of this, it's important to hit a variety of mobility exercises post-activity to ensure proper restoration of joint motion/lubrication and soft tissue length.
90/90 Hip Stretch (3 x 1 min each side)
Orient your hips and legs into the 90/90 position. Keeping your spine straight, lean forward so your sternum is going directly over the knee. Hold for 1 minute. In order to transition to the other side, return to the starting position. With your arms out in front of your sternum, externally rotate your back leg opening up your hips, rotate the body to the opposite side and finish with internally rotating the other side to position yourself back in the 90/90 position.
Hip Flexion Hold (3 x 1 min each leg)
Pull one knee up towards the chest and hold for 30-45 seconds. On the stance leg, squeeze the glute tight. After the initial hold, let the knee go and use the muscles in the front of the hip to hold the leg as high towards the chest as possible. Hold for another 10-15 seconds in this position with the arms down by the side of the body holding tension throughout the core.
Shoulder CARs (2 x 5 reps each side)
Build tension throughout the body by tightening the abs and glutes, pushing the shoulders down and making fists. Elevate your arm straight over the head in a controlled fashion, fighting for every degree of motion. At the top of the movement, when there is no more motion, begin internally rotating the shoulder and reaching backward as far as possible ending with the back of your palm against the hip. Then, reverse the motion by extending backward, then externally rotating the shoulder to bring the wrist, elbow and shoulder back to the starting position.
Open Book with Box Breathing (2 x 10 reps with 4 sec box-breath each side)
Start from side-lying position with the bottom arm grasping the knee holding it towards the ground. Rotate from the thoracic spine in the opposite direction. Once in full rotation, inhale through the nose for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4 before rotating back.
Spinal Decompression (2 x 1 min)
With legs up the wall, internally rotate at both hips so the toes are pointing inwards and pulled towards the head. Reach overhead with wrists extended working to lengthen the spine. Hold for 1 minute, relax 1 arm at a time, then 1 leg at a time.
Try these out and let us know what you think in the comments section!