A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 7: Training for Mobility 155 Prehab In addition to the various types of stretches, several other techniques can be used to increase flexibility and mobility. For example, performing 10-15 minutes of prehab work prior to a training session can improve ROM, athletic performance, and reduce the risk of injury. The three basic phases of prehab include: soft-tissue work, dynamic stretching and movement specific activation. Soft-tissue work. This phase of prehab involves using a massage stick, foam roller and/or lacrosse ball to help to break up scar tissue and/or adhesions within the muscle tissue. Because it is sometimes difficult to identify the exact cause of the pain or restriction, it may prove beneficial to perform soft tissue work above and below the affected area. For example, pain in the patellar tendon of the knee can sometimes be caused by tight quadriceps muscles. This phenomenon is called referred pain. Soft-tissue work can be performed before and/or after a training session. Dynamic Stretching. As previously mentioned, this phase of prehab involves using various dynamic movements and sport-specific drills in an effort to warm-up the muscles and help improve mobility and ROM. For example, performing several sets of walking toe touches, walking knee hugs, side shuffles and backpedaling would serve as an effective warm-up prior to participation in a game of basketball or other similar activities. Figure 7.10 provides a depiction of some of these exercises. Figure 7.10. Walking Toe Touches (Left), Walking Knee Hugs (Center) and Side Shuffles (Right)