10 Minute Routine That Every Athlete Should Do

Listen up baby birds – whether you’re swinging for the fence, driving for the green, or smashing double faults into the net, repetitive rotation can cause overuse or acute injuries during your favorite sports.

Many activities like: golf, baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse, and football are only a handful of the more common sports where repetitive rotation is prominent. Most back injuries in these sports occur in the low back. They can manifest as facet joint injuries, disc injuries, or sprains/strains to muscles or ligaments. Injuries such as these can occur gradually over time, or all at once, sidelining you for days, weeks, or months at a time. This proves that prevention is key to keeping you in the game.

Related: Top 3 Core Strengthening Moves

While the location of pain and injury may be in the low back, the surrounding areas, above and below, play a large part as well. Vertebrae in the low back are arranged as such to bend forward, and arch backward; not to twist. Twisting movements should occur primarily at the hips and mid-back while participating in rotational sports. Meanwhile, the low back stays stable while any twisting is taking place.

Related: How to Prevent Shoulder Injury During Baseball Season
Runner’s Knee…Becoming Pain Free

Unfortunately most athletes are confined to sitting positions for most of the workday. This can cause stiffness in the hips and mid back. Whether you are a student-athlete taking notes in class or behind a desk all day writing blogs for work, at some point or another you have felt the urge to take a break and stretch out. By that time, it’s too late. Your body is already about as flexible as the Tin Man. It is unrealistic to think that a quick stretch will prevent you from a serious injury while competing after being under sedentary conditions for 8 or more hours. Critical prevention, such as stretching the hips and mid back as well as strengthening the core muscles for any rotational athlete should be done daily. My top 6 exercises that you can do in 10 minutes even while watching TV are:

  • Planks/side planks

Plank side planks

  • Comerford Hip Progressions

Comerford Hip Progressions 01 Comerford Hip Progressions 02 Comerford Hip Progressions 03 Comerford Hip Progressions 04 Comerford Hip Progressions 05

  • Single Leg Bridging

Single Leg Bridging

  • Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Figure Four Stretch

Figure Four Stretch

  • Open books

Open books 01 Open books 02 Open books 03

Be sure to take advantage of our free pain consultations at our Gorham, South Portland, and Portland clinics. Maine is a direct access state which means you can come to us with or without a doctor referral. We will always be able to help you within 24 hours at all three of our clinics.

Dan Clark

By Dan Clark, DPT

Back in Motion Physical Therapy – Portland, Maine

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