Earlier this week I wrote about ways we start to help prevent hamstring strains in soccer players. These “pulls” are disappointing to the athlete and can happen more than once. There is nothing more debilitating to an athlete than recovering from the first injury only to rehab, strengthen, and return to play and find themselves back on the rehab table once again. There is no better feeling than an athlete telling us how strong, quick, and powerful they feel, all while not having suffered any setbacks to injury. Feeling great and moving well has a tremendous impact on confidence which can carry over to better performance. In recent months I had the opportunity to work with two of the teams for the South Jersey Elite Barons. Most of the time is spent towards teaching them how to properly warm-up along with a few miniband walk variations that reinforces pelvic stability, hip strength, and core control. All of them are with soccer players. Beyond the beginning slideboard variations that I included here, are other things that we need to incorporate on a daily basis to help them out.
If you do not have access to slideboards, which more than likely you won’t, then I would advise warming up by including glute bridges and miniband walk variations.
Lateral Mini-Band Walk: Progress band from below knees to ankles (shown in video)
Backward and Forward Monster Walks : Think of walking back on railroad tracks, knees should stay out, and feet should not get closer as you move
These movements look easy but are often performed incorrectly. Typically, you will get a holy s*hi* lateral hip firing feeling when you do these for 20-25 yards.
- The hips to “hike” while driving off the feet. A good indicator of this is the shoulders “rocking up” and down. Keep the shoulders level (they should slide right across as you move.)
- Knee or arch collapsing inward: The more I see these exercises done in socks the more I see the arch of the foot collapse. Check both. It is a great assessment to see how stable their hips are. Poor pelvic stability (hips)—>leads to poor knee and foot function.
These are movements that I would try to incorporate as warm-up (before soccer practice) or as movements paired with our single leg variations and hip dominant patterns training.
Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day,