How Stick Training Can Make You a Better Athlete

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When you exercise on a regular basis, the last thing you want is to get hurt. Everyone wants to stay injury free, but when you’re an athlete you can’t afford to miss out on training. That’s why recovery/injury prevention programs that compliment sport specific training are a must for any athlete.

Athletes have been using various recovery methods for decades

  • Massage
  • Ice baths
  • Sauna
  • Sleep

As we learn more about the specific effects of a particular sport on the human body, recovery techniques have become more sophisticated. 

Athletes now employ a variety of recovery modalities including

  • Cryotherapy
  • Floatation Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Mobility training

Mobility training helps athletes maximize their movement potential. Increasing range of motion will allow them to execute the dynamic movements needed for their sport more efficiently. It also helps them stay injury free. One particular form of mobility training we love sharing with athletes at Tampa Strength is Stick Mobility.

All Athletes Should Play with Sticks

You’ve seen athletes warming up on the field before a game with a series of active & static stretches. These movements/positions are beneficial and have their purpose but the mobility training provided by Stick mobility is much different.

The creators of Stick Mobility use the following equation to describe the mobility training their modality provides:

Joint range of motion (articulation) + joint stability + neuromuscular drive = mobility

(source)

The stick allows athletes to move their joints to new ranges of motion. Once there, they can create muscle activation to enhance stability & strength of that joint. Let’s take a closer look at two particular type of athletes & how they could benefit from working with sticks.

Pitchers

Throwing a baseball is a total body movement that requires multiple muscles groups and joints. All baseball & softball players need to maintain a certain level of mobility in their throwing arm.

Pitchers need to be extra diligent about maintaining mobility in their shoulders. One Stick mobility exercise that can assist pitchers in maintaining shoulder mobility is the Kayak.

Kayak – Place hands at the opposite ends of a 4 ft stick. Create tension in your arms & shoulders by pushing hands into the ends of the stick. Begin making alternating arm circles forward. After 10-20 seconds, begin reverse alternating arm circles

MMA Fighters

Throwing a punch or kick also requires the utilization of multiple muscle groups/joints. Hip mobility is critical for any fighter that wants to throw a powerful strike & execute a proper takedown. One Stick Mobility exercise that will increase a fighter’s hip mobility is Single Leg Foot Taps

Single Leg Foot Taps – Grab two long sticks at shoulder level & place them at 11 and 1 (slightly outside both feet). Create tension in the core & upper body by pushing the sticks into the ground. Lift one leg to waist level between the two sticks, sole of the foot pointed towards the ground. Externally & internally rotate the thigh bone, touching the inside & outside of your foot to the sticks. Execute each movement 5-10 times each then repeat on the opposite leg.

If you’re interested in adding Stick Mobility to your training routine, you can schedule a free intro workout with one of our trainers. We also have group mobility classes twice a week that feature Stick Mobility. Contact us today to schedule your first visit.


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