Given that most of us who follow the WFTDA season are currently on some form of an off-season, now seems like a GREAT time to do some pre-hab for the upcoming season’s smashing-each-other-around. If you’re not one of the 320 skaters hitting the decks in Milwaukee this weekend for Champs, then now is your chance to crush your old weaknesses and get your body oiled up, limber, and ready for what’s next.
With that in mind, I bring you a re-post of my lower limb pre-hab routine from earlier in the year. And if you want more ideas on how to rock your off-season, you can read last year’s post here, too. Happy Off-seasoning! And happy derby-watching this weekend too.
Before you go – got a good ankle exercise for me? Leave a comment below!
Today’s workout isn’t exactly a workout to get your heart rate up and your sweat on. It’s a PREHAB session – a routine to help prevent injuries and keep your body in kick-ass shape for kicking ass on the track. This is the preventative work we should all be doing to keep REHAB at bay.
For the premiere of the Roller Derby Athletics Prehab workout, we’re targeting feet and ankles. We’ve all seen a scary/nasty ankle injury on the track, complete with grisly before-and-after X-rays showing splinters and bolts, respectively. Naturally we all want to avoid that! Not to mention the usual sprains and bumps, after-party injuries, and general foot pain and discomfort many skaters experience. This prehab aims to provide the strength and flexibility you need to avoid most injuries, but will also improve your skating through increased calf and foot strength.
Try doing the whole session through the first time – then find ways of incorporating these simple exercises into your normal daily routine. You can do calf raises and alphabets while you brush your teeth, and the band exercises while you watch TV or wait for your water to boil. Easy! Just don’t try doing the eyes-closed balance on the bus…
Here’s the drill:
gear: a resistance band or tubing, a hand towel, a lacrosse ball (tennis or golf ball if you can’t get your hands on the lacrosse ball).
Pre-hab: Do 30-60 seconds per foot of each of the following:
- Towel pulls
- Towel inversions
- Towel pick-ups
- Foot flexion + Extension
- Foot circles
- Calf raises
- One-foot calf raises
- Proprioception exercise
- Eyes closed one-foot balance
Finish up with the three stretches (hold each for 30 seconds): Calf Stretch 1 (straight leg) and 2 (bent knee), and Rolling with the ball.
Watch the video for the technique and explanations.
Do these exercises regularly, and your foot and ankle stability, strength and resilience will see huge improvements. Feel free to measure how long it takes you to get tired for each exercise the first time through. Make some notes, then check back again in a month or two and see where you’ve made some improvements!
Pre-hab not Re-hab! Happy Skating!