Basketball is a dynamic sport played at high speeds that require the ability to accelerate and decelerate, land, cut and jump effectively. With these conditions comes the risk for injury if our athletes are not prepared. It is no surprise that high school athletes account for approximately 2 million injuries each year. Part of this problem is due to poor training and preparation. Top collegiate and professional programs around the world will capitalize and use services that assess their mobility working to identify areas of deficiencies. They take this information and implement corrective exercise to restore normal function. For example, did you know ankle range of motion directly impacts forces at the knee? If range of motion is limited at the ankle, the knee is vulnerable to injury.
Here are three examples of ankle mobility exercises:
Calf foam roll:
- Place foam roll underneath targeted calf
- Proceed to work from heel to knee
- Hold any area that is tight or feels bound up
- 3×30-45 second hold each leg
- Stand with a staggered stance
- Drive the back knee forward while keeping the heel down (feel the stretch in the lower leg and achilles)
- 3×10 each leg
- Place targeted leg on an incline
- Shift weight onto leg needing stretched ensuring heel contact on surface
- 3×30 second holds
The good news is you don’t have to wait until college to have your athlete evaluated by a professional. If you’re interested in keeping your athlete healthy I highly recommend DynaScreen. DynaScreen is a professional athletic screening service that works towards reducing the likelihood of injury and maximizing athletic performance. They have a team of specialists comprised of physical therapists, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches who screen the athlete via an online platform. The athlete will get a detailed report of their deficits AND a corrective exercise program to improve in those areas.