Sunday, December 20, 2015

How to be Sporty and Not Fuck Up your Joints By Peter Baker

We need to talk about your joints. They’re getting the shit kicked out of them on the rink floor. You keep playing because you want to, because you need to, and because your team needs you.Despite the increasing pain, you still manage to shine.
This won’t last long. As is the way with contact sports, you will get injured. Either in training, or something else.
While you can’t stop an injury completely, you can prepare for it (and speed up your recovery time).
Let’s start at the beginning—one possible beginning anyway.

Your legs move me (and you)
Your legs are big. They entail some of the biggest muscles in your body. The obvious big movers are your thighs, hamstrings, and butt. But there’s a little bit more to them. You have your shins and your ankles too. Thinking of your legs in that light will give you a lot more options in your training as far as your joint health goes.
That said, let’s take a look at how they can move.

Hip motions

So if you’re standing tall and neutral, imagine a line dividing you in two halves, one left, and one right. That’s your midline. Your legs can move away from the midline, or towards the midline. That’s called hip abduction, and hip adduction.
If you were to knee someone in the gut, that would be hip flexion.
Kick the person standing behind you and that is hip extension.
Standing like a duck (toes out) and we have hip external rotation.
Standing pigeon toed and we have hip internal rotation.

Make circular motions and we have circumduction. Simple, right? It gets more useful as time goes on.

Knee motions
Unless you do standing calf raises all the time, your tibia/fibula bones probably don’t get much thought. But they can move in four ways.
To knee someone in the gut, you have to bend the knee. That’s knee flexion.
Point the foot out to outright kick someone in the gut and you have knee extension.
But you can also rotate your knee (when it’s flexed, that is).

Like the hips, you have internal and external rotation.
External tib/fib rotation
Internal tib/fib rotation

Ankle Motions
Your feet are part of your legs too. And while they are capable of many motions because of the toes, I will bypass that for brevity. Suffice it to say, you can strengthen your toes and the results are worthwhile.

At any rate, your ankles can Dorsiflex and Plantarflex.
The ankles can also move into inversion and eversion.
           This is where the fun stuff happens.