Pre-Season Training: Are you Prepared?

It is hard to believe we are already heading towards March. With the winter sports season rapidly approaching, what are you doing to prepare yourself for the forthcoming season?

The biggest concern to every athlete  is injury, yet it is prevalent across all sports. In fact, according to ACC injury rates are increasing year by year!

ACC STATISTICS

  • 471,980 claims where related to sports and recreation injuries in 2014/2015
  • Claims in the Waikato increased by approximately 1000 more than in 2013/2014
  • Injuries to the knees where most common followed by ankles, shoulders (including clavicle and blade), and lower back.

Injury is often a result of deviations in movement. These deviations can be detected through a variety of different methods, the simplest and most cost effective being a movement screen. There is numerous movement screens the are easily assessable, we have found the most effective to be Grey Cook’s Functional Movement Screening (FMS). The FMS can help identify compensatory movement patterns that are indicative of increased risk of injury.

THE OVERHEAD SQUAT TESTIMG_0255 (2)

One of the seven tests within the FMS, the Overhead Squat, as it is a useful functional screening tool that can highlight motor – control problems and mobility restrictions. Research on the FMS is beginning to show that an individual who scores poorly on the Overhead Squat test has an increased risk of injury. This position combines a deep squat with an overhead press and identifies bilateral symmetrical mobility of the hips, knees and ankles as well as the shoulders. Mobility of the thoracic spine is also highlighted within the test.

How to Test: 

You will need a PVC pipe or a dowel to administer the test as well as a 2 x 6 piece of timber. The test is as follows:

  • Stand tall with your toes pointing forwards and feet shoulder – width apart.
  • Place the dowel on top of your head so your elbows and shoulders are at 90 degrees angle.
  • Press the dowel directly overhead.
  • While maintaining an upright torso, descend down into a squat as deeply as you can comfortably go and hold for a count of one.

Try this test with a partner and have them film you from the front and side. This will help you in analysing the movement.

Common Implications & Deviations:

  • If the foot collapses and your heels rise in the assessment, ankle mobility restriction will be present. This could be in the joint itself or tightness in the tissues of the lower extremities like the gastrocnemius, soleus and the anterior tibialis.
  • If the knees should deviate either in internal or external rotation then we can assume this to be a symptom of both hip mobility and hip instability. This could indicate weak/inhibited gluteus medius/maximus, and a tight adductor complex.
  • If the lower back were to hyperextend or excessively arch in the test, we can identify a lumbar stability issue in being a weak inner and outer core. This could further suggest to us the individual may have a tight iliopsoas or other flexors of the hip. Other possible explanations in the deviation would be poor thoracic spine mobility, which indicates tight latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major and minor.

GET AHEAD THIS SEASON: Two Week Deal!

FREE Functional Movement Screen

The first six individuals will receive a FREE Functional Movement Screen with Nathan. First in first served!