Success in any sport requires many attributes. Athletes, professional or amateur, are always looking for ways to improve their performance. New training programs, great nutrition, superior supplements and the most important method I prefer is called……PREHABILITATION,
SHOULDER PAIN, INJURY, AND SURGERY ARE A GROWING ISSUE WITH TODAY’S ATHLETES. ATHLETES ARE STRONGER AND PUSHING THEMSELVES HARDER THAN YEARS AGO, UNFORTUNATELY PROBLEMS AS MENTIONED CAN ARISE AND DERAIL YOU.
The solution to minimize these issues is Pre-Hab! Pre-hab is the addition of specific exercises to enhance your joint mobility, muscle flexibility, and strength, leading to overall performance and preventing injuries. The most common complaint with athletes is anterior delt pain. It begins minor, and before you know it, pain has limited your workouts, and performance. Upon examination of athletes, the most common objective finding is limited shoulder flexion and reaching behind their back, towards the small of their back. Pain with these movements is reproduced in the front of the shoulder. Assessing strength of the shoulder in various positions reveals pain and weakness. Athletes should have an MRI, if the weakness is significant, and the clinician notices clicking or popping with weakness.
CORRECT JOINT MOBILITY
Athletes lifting incorrectly, leads to improper muscle recruitment. The biggest cause of shoulder impingement is posterior capsule tightness. The head of the humerus is not able to sit back in the capsule as you move your shoulder in various positions. The rotator cuff tendons become pinched in this space, causing inflammation and possible bone spurs. My first treatment with athletes after evaluating them is Manual Manipulation. This can include deep tissue release techniques, joint mobilizations, nerve manipulation, and spinal assessment. Going through all these techniques is like setting a reset button in your muscles and allows the healing process to occur.
IMPROVE MUSCLE FLEXIBILITY
Muscles in pain become tight and weak. For the shoulder, stretching your upper traps, levator scapula, lats, biceps, and chest muscles are important. These key areas will allow proper movement of your shoulder and shoulder blade when lifting.
STRENGTHENING YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES
Now that the muscles have been manipulated, stretched and restored to their normal state, strengthening can be effective. Rotator cuff exercises are performed using a theraband, elastic cords, cables, and dumbbells.
PROPER LIFTING MECHANICS
Number one incorrect thing I witness with my athletes is their set up with exercises that involve pressing. Squeezing your shoulder blades back together is so important and rarely performed. Not doing this simple maneuver places all the stress onto your anterior delts and increases the strain on your rotator cuff tendons.
CHANGING YOUR WORKOUTS
Athletes get caught up in the same routines and never change their workouts, reps, and volume. Changing your routine, reps, angles of movement, and volume will allow optimal physique development, muscle balance, and improved muscle flexibility.
Key products to use for Pre-hab training are Glutamine, BCAA, and Beta Alanine. Glutamine has been studied extensively over the past 10 years and has been useful in treatment of serious illness, injury, trauma, as well as wound healing for post operative patients. It has also been used for muscle growth, in weightlifting, bodybuilding, and endurance sports. According to some reports, BCAAs act as a metabolic fuel during exercise, but its best used to negate catabolic effects associated with extreme training. BETA ALANINE is the rate limiting precursor of carnosine. Supplementation with Beta-Alanine has been shown to increase the concentration of carnosine in muscles, decreasing fatigue in athletes and increasing total muscular work done.