Although it may be hard to believe spring is finally here given the harsh weather we had this past winter, it’s now time for the spring sports season to officially begin! With each sport, it’s important to remember to include a proper warm up and cool down routine each time you practice and play. In our PT Minute series, to get back into the ‘swing’ of things, Dr. Ray Moore, PT, DPT, OCS, OMPT highlights four of his favorite warm up exercises targeting your shoulders and upper extremity, to incorporate into your warm up routine for sports such as tennis or baseball:
- Door Way Pec stretch
- May also be performed at a corner of a room.
- Position elbows just below the shoulder and lean forward until you feel a stretch.
- Hold for about 30 seconds.
- Perform 3-4 repetitions.
- Towel Stretch
- Targets internal rotators of the shoulder.
- With a towel in hand, bring one arm behind the back and with your other hand, grab the other end of the towel and lift your arm upward until you feel a stretch in the shoulder.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Perform 3 sets.
- Foam Roller Exercise #1
- Lay on a foam roller perpendicular and bring your arms overhead.
- You should feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders (it should not feel uncomfortable).
- Hold for about 60 seconds.
- Perform 2-3 repetitions.
- Foam Roller Exercise #2
- Perform shoulder flexion overhead at a comfortable pace, alternating arms, and going as far as your shoulders feel comfortable.
- Stretches the latissimus dorsi (lat) muscle.
- Complete 20 repetitions.
- Perform 2-3 sets.
Another important part to your training routine is proper nutrition and fueling your body with healthy, nutrient-rich foods. For this blog post, we will focus on carbohydrates, which are the main source of energy for your body. Carbohydrate needs vary from person to person depending on individual factors (i.e. age, gender, weight, type of sport), but as always, it’s beneficial to maintain variety in your choices and also to include whole-grain options in your diet. One reason to include whole-grain foods in your diet is because these foods contain dietary fiber, which in turn, will help keep you feeling full. Examples of whole grain foods include rolled oats, whole-wheat toasts and pastas, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals. If you find that your diet is lacking in whole grains, one way to easily include them is by replacing white flour with whole-wheat or oat flour when making foods like homemade waffles, pancakes, or breads.
Make sure you watch the PTtip video to learn how to properly perform the above stretches, and if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our physical therapists, give us a call today at 1-855-PT-FIRST!
*As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your own health and dietary needs, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.
American Heart Association. (2015). Food as fuel: before, during, and after workouts. Retrieved from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Food-as-Fuel—Before-During-and-After-Workouts_UCM_436451_Article.jsp#.VvAsUByCa0Y
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). (2015). Nutrients and health benefits. Retrieved from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/grains-nutrients-health
USDA. (2015). Tips to help you eat whole grains. Retrieved from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/grains-tips