Rehabilitation Exercises For Athletes
Types of Rehabilitation Exercises
When athletes incur serious injuries, they must refrain from their conventional workout routines. Accordingly, they must craft a rehabilitative regimen, in which they gradually strengthen their muscle groups and build a tolerance for specific exercises. This can be achieved through a select regimen of rehabilitation workouts that target specific regions of the body. There are many rehabilitation exercises reserved for the following muscle groups and areas of the body:
- Shoulder exercises: These exercises are geared toward the rotator cuff and the deltoid, as well as other muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. These exercises are designed to address a number of shoulder injuries, including a dislocated shoulder.
- Arm/elbow exercises: These exercises address injuries on both the bicep and the tricep.
- Workouts for knees, hamstring and thighs: These types of exercises are designed for strained quadriceps and hamstrings, along with injuries in the knee ligament, among other injuries.
- Hip and groin exercises: These exercises are best suited for hip and groin strains.
- Back workouts: This can strengthen the core muscles.
- Leg and ankle workouts: These workouts can address ankle sprains, as well as achilles tendon injuries.
Of course, before engaging in any rehabilitation program, it is critical that you consult with a physician prior to engaging in any exercise. If you engage in these exercises improperly, or without the approval of a physician, you run the risk of exacerbating the issue and prolonging your injury. You also risk the possibility of permanently impairing your athletic abilities. It is also critical to confirm a diagnosis with a physician because if you have a fracture, instead of a muscle injury, this too can lead to extensive damage and a much longer recovery.
Shoulder rehabilitation exercises should occur in a total of three stages. For example, shoulder exercises generally entail early stages, mid stages and late stages. Early stage rehabilitative methods occur immediately after one incurs the injury. Generally speaking, these exercises are painful because the injury has just occurred. Of course, this stage of rehabilitation will prompt the healing mechanisms required to repair the shoulder tissue. These exercises must also be counterbalanced with sufficient rest.
Mid stage shoulder rehabilitation involves aspiring for normal shoulder movement. For example, one may aim to increase flexibility by engaging in wand exercises, or pole exercises.
And finally, rehabilitation exercises that occur during the latter stages of injury involve fortifying shoulder strength. Medicine balls are often utilized for this very purpose.
Arm and Elbow
In terms of arm and elbow exercises, there are beginning, intermediate and advanced stages of rehabilitation. Early stage exercise may involve isometric tricep exercises and isometric bicep exercises. Furthermore, tricep pushdowns can prove especially effective in guiding one’s recovery. These exercises can be applied to the middle stage of rehabilitation, as well. During the more advanced stages of rehabilitation, one may engage in bicep curls, while using a band, bicep curls using dumbbells, and tricep extensions, as well.
Knee, Hamstring, Thigh
These exercises should be divided into early, mid and late stage exercises. For example, during the early stages of rehabilitation, one should perform prolonged knee extensions, heel slides, and even isometric quad and hamstring exercises, if possible. Of course, this hinges entirely on the severity of your injury.
Mid stage exercises include hamstring curls, as well as knee extensions, and squats, as well. Late stage rehabilitation exercises are more intense, incorporating lateral lunges, eccentric squats, and step lunges as well.
Hip and Groin
These exercises are reserved for the hip, groin and adductor muscles. During the early stages of recovery, one should engage in hip extensions, clam exercises, and gravity groin exercises if possible. Mid stage exercises, such as the badge exercise and the straight leg raise, are designed for the intermediate stages of recovery. And finally, late stage rehabilitation exercises include the wide leg squat, good mornings, as well as walking abductions.
Rehabilitative back exercises include upper back exercises, lower back exercises, core strengthening exercises, and pilates exercises, as well. There are also a number of back stretching exercises that one may engage in.
Leg and Ankle
Lower leg and ankle exercises also include early, mid and late stages. Early stage exercises may entail toe raises or seated calf raises. Mid stage rehabilitative exercises may involve heel toe walking, while a late stage exercise may implement hopping exercises.