5 Ways to Get Fit—Without Getting Hurt
To do what she does, Falsone has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the human body in motion. While most of us aren't playing 162 games a season, anyone—from triathletes to gym-phobes—could benefit from her tips on easing aches and pains, and preventing injuries in the first place.
Treat Your Feet
Falsone recommends wearing YogaToes (available at yogapro.com)—which are similar to pedicure separators but thicker—for up to 30 minutes a day. She also has her players roll their arches over a baseball. These measures activate muscles that help support your arch and stretch the fascia, the tissue that binds muscles. "Stretching foot fascia releases tension all the way up your legs," Falsone says.
Relieve Tight Hamstrings
Tightness in the backs of your legs may be a sign of instability in your core, as the leg muscles attempt to compensate. The perfect move to both ease the tension and strengthen your torso is the inverted hamstring stretch because it engages your core muscles to help keep you balanced. Do five reps with each leg.
Protect Your Knees
With sore knees, the real culprit can be the hips: When your hip muscles are weak, the knees can end up bearing more stress than they're designed to handle, Falsone explains. To take some pressure off, build your hip muscles by doing three sets of ten reps of glute bridges and band walks.
Do the Minimum
When Falsone doesn't have time for her own workout, she depends on her better-than-nothing routine. "I'll do a few minutes of push-ups and squats because they give you big bang for your buck"—multiple muscle groups in two moves.
Take a Contrast Bath
After games, Falsone's players alternate between hot and cold soaks. Falsone notes that while experts are unsure of the exact physiology at work, the anecdotal benefits are undeniable: "The guys don't feel nearly as tired." You can get a similar effect in the shower by alternating two minutes of hot water with two minutes of cold. (If you have a medical condition, check with your doctor first.)
Next: Sue's 3 injury-preventing tricks you need to know
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