The Springs physical therapist Chris Dunlop appeared on KIT radio this morning to talk about the importance of conditioning for spring sports. Here’s a summary of the advice he shared.
Topic: Spring Sports conditioning
Guest: Chris Dunlop, PT – Physical Therapists at The Springs
The most popular spring sports are golf, softball and tennis.
These activities involve abrupt, explosive actions that place stress on the musculoskeletal system:
- Driving a golf club
- Swinging a bat and sprinting around the bases
- Abruptly moving from side to side, forward and backward in tennis
When is the time to start conditioning?
As soon as you you’re ready to swing a club, bat or racket, Ideally, conditioning would begin 4-8 weeks prior to the activity.
What should I be doing?
- Even if you work out during the winter months, running on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary cycle is a different motion than what we’re talking about here. Good for your heart and cardiovascular health, but not enough to lower the risk of injury to your musculoskeletal system.
- It’s important to stay warm, stay loose and stretch before any activity and even during the activity (such as taking practice swings)
- Strengthen the entire musculoskeletal system
How should I be conditioning my body for these spring sports?
- Go for an overall strengthening and stretching approach. Don’t just focus on shoulders or legs, but work on the entire body.
- Weight lifting or resistance training is great for this.
- Perform 8 to 12 reps using proper form and slow movement. And use a full range of motion.
- Eight weeks of training, two to three times a week, before you hit the field, course or court is ideal.
- For stretching, use gentle movements that extend muscles until they are taut, but not hurting. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Where can I find information on exercises I can do or the proper form for these?
- Talk to your health care provider about referring you to a consultation at The Springs with one of our physical therapists.
- Contact any local gym. They have personal trainers on staff who could work with you.
- Visit the American
- Physical Therapy Association website at www.apta.org or the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website www.aaos.org for tips on exercises and stretches to help you get in shape.
The Springs: Memorial Occupational Health and Rehabilitation
302 S 10th Ave., Yakima, WA 98902