By Dr. Ed Green
That’s right football season is near. Now is the time to make sure that you are ready to handle the rigors of football especially the dreaded two-a-days. This article will touch on some of the more important things one should prepare themselves to make sure they are healthy and ready for the season.
One of the first things we want to work on is our flexibility. Being more flexible will decrease our chances for injury. I recommend the following several stretches to be done pre play and then some to be done post play. For sports that require fast twitch muscle firing I would not recommend doing static stretching. You should more do stretches that mimic the sport that you are about to play.
Stretches to be done PRE-GAME
1) Karaokes. For about 20yds
2) Bounding for about 20 yds
3) Butt kickers for about 20 yds
4) Quick Feet drills for about 20yds
5) Double leg high jumps standing in place 3 sets 6 reps
6) Moving lunges at least 10 per leg.
Stretches to be done POST-play( Each stretch hold 15-20 sec)
1) Hamstring stretches standing and seated
2) Quadricep stretches stand and side lying
3) Figure 4 Gluteal stretches
4) Calves standing and on all fours.
5) Chest stretches for pectoralis major and minor
6) Neck stretches
These gentle stretches will help increase flexibility and decrease injury. Also a muscle which is more flexible means a muscle that is strong and faster.
Second is hydration:
The following is an excerpt taken from an article written by Dr. Terry Weyman which gives great information on how much hydration one should have and what are the possible side effects.
… Your body needs about 1 ml of water for every calorie that you expend. For example, if you burn 4,000 to 5,000 calories per day (moderate to aggressive athletic workouts), you would need between 4 to 5 liters of fluid to replace what was lost and to keep the biochemistry in proper balance. Monitoring body weight before and after training is the best way to keep up with your body’s fluid needs, which sweating increases.
Although a 2% weight loss due to dehydration may not cause any “symptoms”, it does decrease physical and mental performance.
Water Loss as % of Body Weight
2% – Difficulty in controlling normal body temperature
3% – Reduced muscular endurance time
4%-6% – Reduced strength, power, endurance and heat cramps
6% – Severe heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke
During exercise, especially in the heat, some of the water that naturally circulates through your body is used by your sweat glands. Inadequate fluid balance can result in a chain reaction that can be severely detrimental to your health. The first step in this reaction is a decrease in blood volume, which increases the heart rate in an attempt to get the fluids to the vital organs. The body’s next reaction is to constrict the blood vessels in order to maintain proper blood pressure. However, this reaction will cause the body temperature to rise due to the heat produced by the working muscles which can’t be transported to the skin’s surface. This leads to heat illnesses such as heat cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke.
Too avoid these symptoms make sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after all practices and games. Drinking before the game is not enough, you need to start several days prior and continue throughout the season.
The next order of business is to make sure that your body is ready to start your training. All athletes have to go through a physical to get cleared for sports. As we all know this is not an extensive physical and leaves a lot to be desired. So my opinion is all should see there Chiropractor or physical therapist and have a full body range of motion and joint stability exam performed. These only take 10-15 minutes and will show areas of the body that are weak and need to be worked on. By addressing these areas NOW we can prevent further more serious injuries down the road. The last thing we all want is to get injured in the middle of the season and not be able to compete.
This is just a brief article on some of the more important things one shoulder think about before starting your football season. If there are any questions about what was written or you want to come in and or your bring your player in for a sports evaluation, please call our offices.
We here at CSI wish all our athletes and all competitors the best in this upcoming football season.
Dr. Ed Green is a Certified Sports Chiropractor and is the clinic director of Chiropractic Sports Institute in Moorpark. A College Football player himself he understands the athlete, especially the football player. Dr. Ed has many tips for the player not only on how to compete at your best but how to avoid injury. He can be reached at the Moorpark office, 805-531-1188