Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ankle Sprains Weaken The Athlete's Power Center

Great athletes dominate dynamic movements with the hips, glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. Lateral speed is particularly created and maintained by the strength of the glutes and hips.

An athlete won't compete at a high level when the butt (mainly gluteus maximus) isn't working properly?! It is almost impossible to have a good game when "your butt just isn't in it!"

Research has proven that ankle sprains weaken the neural drive to your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius! Who would have thunk it! Also, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the buttocks, so take care of it!

When it comes to exercise injuries, prevention is critical. And, when injuries can't be prevented, treatment of any soft tissue (tendons, ligaments, muscles) injury during the first 24-72 hours is important to offset any further injury and inflammation. The general rule of thumb is to use the R.I.C.E.R. principle (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION, REFERRAL FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE).

Ankle sprains can be avoided by learning proper landing/jumping techniques and correct running mechanics.

Faulty footwork used during deceleration (such as coming to a sudden stop) also causes many ankle sprains. If you are moving to your left during a lateral shuffle, the left leg must be in a position wide enough to stop momentum (just wider than the hips).

This is commonly known as the athletic position. The left foot should also be pointed straight ahead and the ankle should be pointed upward (with weight on balls of feet). Pointing the ankle upward will help avoid sprained/rolled ankles and make the push off powerful. The knee should also be aligned inside the plant foot to avoid ankle rolls and to take pressure off the hip.

"Cover your butt" by not spraining your ankles!

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Other things being equal, a muscular, powerful athlete will outperform a fat, slower or skinny, weaker athlete. Sports Fitness Hut's Fat Blaster Athletic Power Training System will give you your "lean and mean" athletic machine!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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  1. We hear some about heat. Do you recommend heat for muscle problems?

  2. Thanks for the comment! Use ice and rest for the first 3-4 days to controll inflammation. After that, ice and heat is usually effective.


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