Controlling lower body movement is essential in physical exercise especially subsequent injury. The loss of proprioception and kinaesthesia can result in poor dynamic stability, neuromuscular control, and muscular imbalances and may increase future injury.
The importance of implementing neuromuscular control exercises within a training program is vital to return the athlete to full fitness and keep them away from the injury room.
At ESS Performance ADP we follow certain guidelines when implementing stability exercises within a rehabilitation program to ensure maximum benefit to our athletes. These guidelines involve;
· Training slow and controlled
· Recognising the need to fail to succeed
· Training reactive and anticipatory control
· Being a ‘slave driver’ with coaching.
These guidelines allow for an appropriate progression/regression of exercises that will continue to challenge the athlete and their postural integrity and control without causing setbacks.
Looking across all types of training environments, often see stability exercises that are;
· Way too advanced for that particular athlete at that time
· Coached without a focus on technique
· Employing exercises that are not challenging enough to cause a stress adaptation response to the body
· Employing exercises that do not integrate the athletes sporting demands for stability.
Yes we all want strong athletes but it is far more important that they are resilient and with resilience comes endurance. So often the aforementioned elements are miss-managed and we wonder why as practitioners we are right back where we started with an athlete with a reoccurrence of the same injury or a new one.
We believe proprioception/awareness training needs to be utilised more often especially in adolescents due to their lack of kinaesthesia and stability which in turn leads to altered motor control and compensatory movement patterns further down the track. The implementation of ‘stability training’ within a well-structured program is vital for retraining movement efficiency and re-stabilising control. A well-structured program will use certain guidelines to advance or reassess training principles that will allow appropriate progression/ regression of exercises that will continue to challenge the athlete’s integrity and control without causing setbacks.
In short when prescribing stability, keep it simple, keep it progressive, keep it real & keep it live.
Jenni joined ESS with a wealth of experience as a professional athlete having won a silver and bronze medal at two Olympic Games In 2008 and 2012 respectively. As part of one of the most successful sporting programs in Australian history, Women’s basketball, better known as “The Opals”. In 2006 Jenni was also a member of the same team that won the first senior World Championship for Australia. She has played professionally for 14 years both in Australia and abroad in Italy and in that time has amassed over 400 games at professional level.Throughout her impressive professional sporting career, Jenni continued her educational pursuits and in 2013 completed her Masters in Strength And Conditioning and Is currently undertaking her Masters in Exercise Physiology.