With the right knowledge, performance athletes and those individuals with active lifestyles play better and more safely. Much of an athlete’s performance (and injury prevention) is determined by the “behind-the-scenes” training. Bone & Joint Center staff can help an athlete learn more about the foundation of athletic performance and help create an exercise plan specific to each individual’s needs and goals.
Activity and exercise encourage bone strength by increasing calcium and allowing bones to grow denser. Exercise not only lessens an athlete’s risk of developing osteoporosis later in life but also helps improve muscle strength, coordination, and balance.
Muscle strength is vital in any athletic endeavor. Solid muscle strength and endurance allow an athlete to do repetitive movements against resistance for longer periods of time.
Often while training or competing in a sport, the actual physical activity is an athlete’s top priority. However, it’s important to remember the benefits of stretching. Stretching can help improve athletic performance and flexibility as well as decrease the risk of injury.
Prior to stretching, some light exercise (such as walking) will gradually increase body temperature, heart rate, and blood flow, delivering oxygen to the muscles and helping make them easier to stretch. After completing the exercise or activity, a cool-down period helps slowly return the body back to normal activity. This can be done by stretching or exercising at a slower pace.
While people often think that core strength is interchangeable with abdominal muscles, abs only make up a small part of the core. A strong core improves balance and stability as well as posture. It also can help prevent back injuries.