The PGA has returned. The NBA and NHL have committed to returning this summer. And you’d better belief that nothing that will stop the NFL from kicking-off in time for the fall season. One by one professional leagues across the continent are coming back from the COVID 19 “layoff” to the delight of fans. Yes, adjustments have been and will continue to be made, but in the end the world needs sports and we are getting it back. This fact is even more true at the community level.
Throughout Burnaby and Greater Vancouver we are finally seeing the reopening of baseball and soccer fields, tracks, tennis and basketball courts, ice rinks, and more. As a result community athletes are also preparing for their return to competition. But just like with their professional counterparts, precautions and preparations need to be ramped up like never before. If you’re among this group of people returning to sports after the COVID 19 lockdown there is one essential step that you need to take – a consultation with a local physiotherapist. Yes, there are the obvious reasons to do so, as a physiotherapist can help you avoid common sport injuries and improve performance naturally. You already know that. The purpose of today’s article however, is to look at how your body has changed during the COVID lockdown and how a physiotherapist will directly address these concerns before you return to action.
Two Key Reasons You Need to See a Physiotherapist Before Returning to Competitive Athletics After the Lockdown of COVID 19
Brace for Impact
As an athlete you’ve probably been keeping in-shape throughout the last three months. But despite all of your pull-ups at the local playground monkey bars your system of muscles, ligaments, tendons have acclimated in the wrong direction when it comes to sports at a competitive level. It is not ready for a sudden collision from a charging player much less the impact of falling on the ice, court, turf, or other surface. Your body has not been tested in this way for quite some time. To effectively return you need to redevelop (or develop) rock solid core stability, especially if you are not gifted with a low center of gravity.
To accomplish this you need more than traditional core-building exercises. You must also mix “unstable” exercises into your training regime by the means of stability balls, balance trainers, and more. However, “unstable” movements introduce risk of injury without strict guidance. For this reason you need to have a physiotherapist devise your core building regime while providing explicit guidance on how to use equipment and perform movements and exercises. Then, and only then, will you achieve true core fitness and be braced for impact.
Get Those Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers Back in Action
Endurance activities (jogging, hiking, etc.) depend upon slow twitch muscle fibers, and those can be adequately trained even during COVID closures. However, most competitive sports require short yet powerful bursts. No matter how you look at it, time-off from a competitive environment is a killer of fast twitch muscles. Your body is not able to quickly move and shift as it was over three months ago, no matter how many “shadow” opponents you faced in your recent training. It is not ready to pivot unexpectedly was a defender comes to make your ball away. It is not ready to leap further than a competitor or sprint passed those who want the trophy just as much as you do – perhaps more.
A physiotherapist will assist not just with strength training and core stability, they will ensure that your fast-twitch muscles return (or improve upon) to the form they boasted prior to COVID 19. These fast twitch muscle fibers are critical to powerful bursts of movement required in most sports, but they fatigue faster and if left unchecked (as the have been) make you more susceptible to injury.
Training programs can influence the size, strength and capability of fast-twitch muscle fibers. However, every athlete has a unique genetic composition when it comes to these muscle fibers. Unlike most trainers and coaches, a physiotherapist is fully qualified to assess this distinct composition and can prescribe specific (to you) exercises and movements tailored towards improving fast twitch muscle performance.
We know you’re eager to get back in action. But just little more patience will go a long way to ensuring sustainable success in your preferred sport. All you need to do, is schedule a consultation with Absolute PhsyioCare. Our clinic is open for in-person visits and operating with enhanced safety measures. Call us at 604.558.2273 to get started!