Lower Body Prehab

By: Joel Younkins

One of the most over looked reasons of why we train, not only as racers but all athletes as well, is to minimize the risk of injuries.  I wanted to write this article on some different things to do to help prevent injuries.  These are only a select few exercises or movements that can be done to incorporate into a prehab portion of your workout.

First things first, go buy yourself a foam roller and learn how to use it.  This is not exactly considered a prehab exercise, but it is a deep tissue massage that will eventually help prevent injuries by lengthening out your muscles and will make your body more pliable.  This is a game changing piece of equ ipment for a reasonable price!

Now let’s start with the ankles.  When you look at the kinetic chain, the ankles are a mobility joint.  So let’s make them mobile!  Now you’re probably thinking, if they need to be mobile, why do we wear boots that support our ankles if they need to be mobile?  Well it’s true that boot companies today are making really good boots, but your ankles do move when your boots are on, and if they didn’t move, then you would never be able to shift or stand on your pegs.  Also ankle savers wouldn’t exist.  You need to be able to have ankle mobility.  Another good tool to use for not only flexibility, but strength too, is the use of resistance bands.

Next, let’s talk about the knees.  The knees are meant for stabilization.  So to help stabilize them, a great prehab exercise is terminal knee extensions (TKE’s) for developing strength and stabilization in your knees.  TKE’s can be a band TKE or standing knee touches.

Lastly the hips are meant to be mobile, most people have really tight hips and have limited range of motion that can lead to back pain and knee pain.  For motocross, you need to be able to open up hips as the same with many other sports.  Another area of the hips that I think get over looked in motocross are the hip flexors.  When riding in an attack position, your hip flexors are shortened, so when training it will be essential to stretch your hip flexors back out.  Not only do they need to be lengthened, they also need to be strong.  When sitting down in a turn or rut you need to pull up your knees and feet wi th your hip flexors and often time your hips can become fatigued by doing this continuous movement.

Now this is just a very basic overview on some prehab exercises that can be done to help reduce lower body injuries.  The way I incorporate prehab exercises into my program is through the warm up portion of the workouts.  So if my guys are doing lower body exercises for that day, then I will use some of these movements to not only help prevent injuries but get their joints ready for the workout.

I only focused on the lower body in this article but there is also many other prehab movements that can be done for the upper body as well.  Maybe another time that can be discussed.  And also remember that we have only scratched the surface with this article on lower body prehab exercises, I wanted to introduce it to people that may be unfamiliar with this concept.

My name is Joel Younkins, I am from Hubbard Ohio.  I am an Exercise Science Major at Youngstown State University.  I played football at YSU until I hurt my back last summer which ended my career early.  After my injury and rehabilitation I began my own training business Joel Younkins Training.  You can look me up on Facebook (Joel Younkins Training) or Twitter @j43y.  I train motocross racers, all athletes, and general population.  Also since I am done playing football I am now a student strength coach for the university in which I work with all sports.

Posted on Apr 04 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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