Friday, August 5, 2016

Olympic Sports Therapist on How Athletes Can Take Care of Their Body While Training

Since the Olympic Games start today, I wanted to share how Olympic athletes train with such intensity without suffering any injuries. Mark Alexander is a professional Sports Therapist and trained the Australian Olympic team from 2002 to 2008. He clinically serviced the team to prevent injuries and provided treatment to the Olympic Triathletes. {Product provided for review/feature consideration}

Mark explains that to recover like an Olympic athlete, people need to do more than just cool down and do some recovery activities. The warm ups and intrinsic shape you are in is key to a good recovery.

Below are his five points for a good workout and recovery:

1. Warm-up: It is important to warm up effectively with 10-15mins of light exercise to get a sweat up and target those specific areas of tightness and stability before exercising.

2. Flexibility: General and specific flexibility are key to injury prevention and recovery from intense workouts. Specific flexibility is relative to your activities and sports (e.g. Overhead athletes, swimmers, and throwers need to have mid back thoracic flexibility).

3. Stability : Abdominal / pelvic and hip stability is essential to be able to recover effectively from running sports and shoulder stability is critical for shoulder athletes

4. Strength: Sports specific strength is critical as well to be able to effectively perform in given sports and activities and recover well from sports. Examples are quads / glutes and calf strength and strength endurance for running sports

5. Recovery activities:

a. Cool down: This is key to be able to recover fast. 10-15mins of light exercise after an intense workout helps athletes to recover faster.

b. Ice baths: Leg (running athletes) or full body (contact and full body sports) ice baths are helpful for fast recovery from intense training sessions.

c. Massage: Massage 1-2 a week can make a big difference to injury prevention and recovery to become aware of the tight areas and work on them to prevent injury

d. Sleep: This is a crucial component to recover from intense workouts. The Olympic triathletes would sleep (or at the least rest) every afternoon for 1-2 hours to allow the body to recover

e. Specific treatments: If there are any issues that arise from workouts or from the massages, specific Physical Therapy treatment may be required to treat issues and prevent them from becoming injuries.

In addition to helping the team with injuries, he realized there was a need in the marketplace for a product that athletes could take with them and continue self-treatment at home in between professional sessions so he invented an effective, portable, and inexpensive product called BakBalls.

BakBalls is a clinically-proven, effective, portable, inexpensive, self-treatment back product easily used by everyone who suffers or experiences back pain. It was developed by Mark Alexander, an Olympic Sports Physiotherapist who realized the need in the marketplace for a product that patients could take with them and continue self-treatment at home in between professional sessions. BakBalls is specially designed to mimic a medical massage and be used comfortably from any location. After our roundtrip road trip from Georgia to New Jersey and back - they really came in handy to sooth my sore muscles. Until next time...

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