As a trainer, you want your athletes to be in the best shape possible. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that they have a good warm up. This means preventing them from doing static stretching. When your team members practice static stretching, their muscles relax which causes those muscles to shut down. The last thing your athletes need when they are trying to perform is muscles that are shut down and not responding. They will also notice that they have less speed and strength a well. Instead of static stretch, have your team members practice foam rolling and dynamic warm ups.
Foam rolling is perfect way to help your team members warm up safely and effectively, and more people should be doing it. In fact, probably fifty per cent of recent orthopedic surgeries could have been prevented if the patients had done serious work on their flexibility by using foam rolling before they got hurt.
Foam rolling is the process of applying pressure to different muscle areas to release the tension in those muscles by using a hard, foam cylinder. It works by relaxing the fascia. The fascia is the web-like sheath that envelops every muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, vein and artery of the body. It supports your organs and joints from head to toe, acts as a shock absorber, and is extremely rich in nerve supply.
Your players’ strength, flexibility, and fitness performance depend on its health. It is preventative medicine for the kinetic chain. Foam rolling can be taught to an entire team in thirty minutes. But it needs to be reinforced by coaches, trainers, and parents. It is the perfect way to start a workout and will go a long way to reduce or eliminate injury and long-term pain.
Dynamic Warm Ups: A great warm up fires up your entire neuromuscular system, increases the temperature of your muscles, and lengthens the fascia. A ‘warm’ muscle and lengthened fascia can generate more energy and force, and react more efficiently to any demand you place on them. Bonus Tip: Before each dynamic warm up, remember to improve the quality of your fascia with 5-10 minutes of foam rolling.
The foundation of your body is your joints and ligaments; they keep you healthy and prevent injury. This includes the structures in your shoulders, core, hips, legs and feet. Because you are only as strong as your weakest link and as efficient as your worst movement, the joint integrity portion of your athletes’ training will challenge the small, often-neglected muscles of your body. Include this as part of the early stages of your team’s workout.
Author Vito La Fata can help you and your team perform at optimum levels. He is a Nationally Certified Fitness Conditioning Specialist who provides professional strength and conditioning training. Contact him for more information on how to get the best results from your team training.