Sports Injury Prevention Exercises

BASEBALL

Pitching, hitting and throwing are three movements that challenge your whole body. Strong legs, a balanced core and shoulder stability are crucial in order to throw a 90 mph fastball or hit the ball for a game winning home run. For strong legs and arms, baseball players usually engage in strengthening exercises like squats, bench presses, push-ups and pull-ups. However, a dynamic training program that emphasizes the rotator cuff, functional strength and overall stability has been demonstrated to help reduce the risk of pain and injury in baseball players. In addition to a gym workout, add these exercises and stretches for a complete training experience.

Pitch Count Recommendations >

Baseball Training Program >

CREW

A vast majority of injuries in rowers are overuse in nature. In addition to improper technique, ramping up your training too much too soon and poor conditioning underlie these overuse injuries. In rowers, knee pain, back pain, shoulder and elbow tendonitis and rib injuries are common. Rowing is a complex exercise involving your whole body in a seated position. This seated, flexed position can put compressive loads on a rower’s lumbar spine up to 5000 Newtons! Along with shearing and rotational forces, a rower’s body is a great risk for injury if not trained and conditioned properly. Follow the exercise guidelines below for a comprehensive training program that incorporates injury prevention principles across every joint in the rower’s body. In addition to ERG training, this conditioning program should be done 3 times per week for at least 6 weeks prior to the rowing season. Good luck and have fun!

Rowing Training Program >

GOLF

The sport of Golf offers many benefits, but improper conditioning can result in lackluster performance and injury. The golf swing is a very complex athletic movement, where a club head speed can reach over 80 mls/hr in under 1.3 seconds. Golfers need to train just as any other athlete needs to train for his or her sport. Physical endurance on the golf course can be achieved by conditioning exercises that incorporate flexibility, core conditioning, balance and more.

Golf Training Program >

 

LACROSSE

Lacrosse, known as "the fastest game on two feet," engages all muscle groups in constant movement. Players must possess strength, power, speed and agility. Playing lacrosse can help build endurance and stamina. To succeed at lacrosse and prevent injury on the field, it is important to have a solid, lacrosse strengthening and conditioning program.

Lacrosse Training Program >
RUNNING

Running is one of the best ways to gain cardiovascular fitness, to burn calories, and to manage stress. In 2013, over 19,000,000 runners participated in and finished a road race in America. The Half Marathon is the fastest growing race among runners, while the 5K is still the most popular. With this runner’s boom, health care practices are seeing a dramatic increase in running related injuries. Most injuries in runners are due to overuse, improper training and simply doing too much too soon. It is a common misconception that all you have to do to be an efficient runner is to run. However, research has proved otherwise. A comprehensive core and leg conditioning program like the one below has been shown to reduce the risk of pain and overuse injuries that many runners complain of. If you are thinking about becoming a runner, or already run but want to remain injury free, follow the guidelines below.

Running Training Program >

SKIING/SNOWBOARDING

Winter is not always thought of as an outdoor sport season, but here in New England, thousands of families head north to hit the slopes at the first hint of snow every year. While a percentage of injuries on the slopes are traumatic in nature, several are due to falls or accidents related to poor conditioning and overall fatigue. A common thing we hear from skiers after an injury was that it happened on “the last run of the day.” Call it quits before it is too late, a majority of injuries occur mid-afternoon and later, when your legs are fatigued and conditions/visibility might not be ideal. Also, stick to the trails. It goes without saying that several ski injuries could be prevented by skiing SAFE and not taking too great a risk like going off the back side of the mountain. When preparing to get in shape for your ski season, follow these exercise guidelines that are based on the latest research in ski conditioning and injury prevention. Perform these exercises 3 times per week for at least 6 weeks before the start of the season. Follow the directions, and enjoy the slopes!

Skiing/SnowboardingTraining Program >

SOCCER

Field based sports like soccer involves running, jumping, and landing in quick bursts, multiple directions and while managing the ball away from a defender. It requires a complex balance of strength, power, agility and endurance to play soccer without pain or injury. It is known that focusing on a proper landing technique and strengthening the core and hamstrings can help reduce the risk of sustaining a non-contact knee injury in soccer players. Also, it is suspected that players with weaker neck muscles are at a higher risk of sustaining a concussion. The exercises in this program have been hand-picked from a global wealth of research into soccer injury prevention programs, including concussion prevention. Perform these exercises 3 times per week for 6 weeks in the preseason and at least 1 time per week during your season. Good luck and have fun!

Soccer Training Program >

SWIMMING

Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints among novice and competitive swimmers. The shoulder joint is inherently a very mobile, unstable joint. It requires a critical balance of stabilizing strength and power production in order to complete the four swim strokes without pain and injury. As with all sports, it is not acceptable to swim just to swim. In order to prevent overuse pain and injury, it is important to engage in a regular conditioning program that focuses on shoulder blade strength and rotator cuff endurance. Also, core and leg strength and flexibility are key in producing the power and drive that swimmers need. The following exercise program is based on the best evidence shown to produce strength, endurance and stability in the swimmer’s shoulder, including core and hip strength to maximize performance. Perform these exercises 3 times per week in addition to your regular swim workouts. Good luck and have fun!

SwimmingTraining Program >

RACQUET SPORTS

Racquet sports uniquely challenge every joint in your body, and give you a great cardiovascular workout too! The forces produced in racquet sports are created from the ground up, in the legs and core, and then transferred to the shoulder and elbow. A comprehensive training program should involve exercises and positions that strengthen your hips and back, as well as your rotator cuff and forearms.

Racquet Sports Training Program >
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ThinkFirst is a non-profit National Injury Prevention Foundation dedicated to preventing brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries through the education of individuals, community leaders and the creators of public policy. Read More >