Basketball players are constantly running, jumping and changing direction. For tall athletes, this can cause muscle stiffness and low-back pain, which can hurt their performance over a long season.
To counter the stresses of the game, add prehab exercises to your training. Specifically, start foam rolling to improve your mobility, reduce soreness and eliminate muscle imbalances that can cause injury.
Foam rolling is a form of self-massage—technically called self-myofascial release—that involves slowly rolling a dense foam cylinder over a muscle group. The pressure from the foam roller breaks up adhesions (tight spots) within muscles, improves tissue quality and increases blood flow.
I recommend rolling your muscles before a workout, practice or game to prepare your body for intense exercise. Start with your lower body and work your way up. Roll each muscle group for 30 to 60 seconds and focus more on sensitive areas.
Foam Rolling Exercises
- Calf: 1x30 seconds each leg
- Hamstring: 1x60 seconds each leg
- Thigh: 1x60 seconds each leg
- Quad: 1x60 seconds each leg
- Glute: 1x30 seconds each side
- Low Back: 1x60 seconds
- Middle Back: 1x30 seconds
- Lat: 1x30 seconds each side
- Chest: 1x30 seconds each side
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock