During lockdown when we were all stuck at home, many of us had limited exercise. But now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting and a lot of us are getting back out there and into community sport, there is risk of injury because you’ve been out of the game for so long. So we asked Osteopath and Exercise/Sports Scientist, Dr. Paul Hermann (who’s partnered with Elastoplast) to share his tips on the seven simple exercises that will help you get ready for a return to sport, minus the injuries.
This dynamic exercise helps mobilise your hips, hamstrings, gluteal and hip flexor muscles. It also gets your heart rate up and helps increase blood flow to these muscles getting them ready for whatever exercise you choose.
Thread the Needle
One of my most prescribed exercises helps increase the mobility of from your head to your tail bone. It also works to lengthen and warm up your chest muscles, and trunk muscles. While on all four’s, reach your hand through space under your arm, then back up again reaching towards the roof.
Resistance Band Kick Backs (Glute burner)
This one is for the all-important gluteal muscles, whilst challenging your trunk muscles. On all four’s, wrap a resistance band around your foot and hold both loose ends in your hand of the same side. Kick back slowly until your leg is in line with your spine to feel those glutes squeeze!
Overhead Side Bends
It’s common we focus on body movements going forward and back and also rotation (twisting) but forget about side bending. By holding a wooden bar overhead and leaning to each side, we warm up and mobilise our spine, and lengthen and strengthen muscles on the side of our trunk.
Bent Over Resistance Band Row
This will help strengthen your upper back, arms and glutes. These may weaken when sitting all day. Stand on a resistance band with a loose end in each hand. Then take a half squat/bow position with your head and spine in their neutral normal position and ‘row’ both hands up towards your armpits.
The benefits of basic squats should never be understated. I teach my patients and athletes to imagine sitting down on a chair behind them whilst keeping their arms out in front and looking forward. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and ideally facing forward. Go for depth as able. For a challenge try using just one leg to lower yourself then both legs to get back up.
Another underrated fundamental strength exercise. Push-ups can be done at any age and ability. From standing wall push-ups for beginners to one arm decline push-ups for the most advanced. At every level, they build overall trunk, shoulder, chest and arm strength. How many can you do?
With these simple exercises you can set yourself up for some winning form and leave the injuries well on the sidelines.