With the sporting season well and truly underway many of us have already picked up niggles, knocks, tweaks, sprains, pains and everything in between. The recreational athlete or hobbyist in us thrives when we are doing what it is we love most. So it shouldn't come to any surprise to us that we need to look after ourselves,
With Osteopathy and Sports Therapy involving an array of manual techniques, from manipulations to facilitated stretching. We are not exempt from the previously mentioned sprains and pains. To look after ourselves we receive treatment from the other therapists at Body Solve.
Since opening Body Solve in 2016 we have bee lucky enough to work with some elite level athletes. Three of whom are still currently back and forth Body Solve to maintain, fix, improve or prepare their bodies for their chosen discipline. Over the next three weeks we will be writing about each of the three elite athletes and how we are helping them achieve their targets at Body Solve.
Jo Morris is a local surfer from Aberavon, Port Talbot. He has surfed locally around Wales all over the UK and abroad for many years. With his vast knowledge of the ocean and abundance of energy all whilst still growing into a very powerful young surfer we decided to bring Jo into Body Solve to see if we could improve his surfing.
Session 1 - Assess Jo's Movement patterns.
We took Jo through a series of basic movements at the clinic to see what exact areas Jo's mobility was holding him back. Mobility in surfing is of major importance, it plays a role in every single part. From paddling out into the line up, paddling into a wave, popping up to stand on the surfboard, gathering speed and then unleashing a powerful manoeuvre. Every single one of those areas requires a different level of mobility in a completely different area of the body.
To highlight the importance of mobility in surfing let us give you an example - when Jo attempts a backhand bottom turn into a top turn - the muscles of his neck, shoulders, chest and lower back must all rotate easily so that he can look up and over his shoulder to the steepest part of the wave. If for example his head can't rotate to look over his shoulder because his neck is stiff in certain parts of the motion then he will not be able to easily see the critical part of the wave. With that he will likely do a lower scoring top turn and ultimately lose points.
The same notion applies to many other areas in surfing, cutbacks, aerials, floaters, and so forth. With poor mobility comes poorer surfing.
So his initial session was a global look at most areas of the body. From Neck rotation, neck flexion/extension. Thoracic mobility, pec and shoulder mobility, lumbar mobility right down to the basic squat mechanics.
We highlighted that Jo's squat mechanics were quite poor due to his anterior chain being highly worked through sitting a lot at school, the unilateral aspect of surfing and ultimately effecting his posterior chain.
We looked at improving that with soft tissue work through his hamstrings, lumbar erectors, thoracic erectors right up through to posterior cervical muscles. Then we added length to his hip flexors and quadriceps group. To tie everything together we finished that area with Muscle energy technique (MET) style stretching to really open up his anterior chain and give a fighting chance to his posterior chain. At the end of the session his squat mechanics looked far better and it was noticeable easier for Jo to get into the squat position.
We worked with Jo's rotational aspect along side the squat improvements. We began with MET's to the cervical region, followed by thoracic mobility and lastly lumbar rotation mobility. With the session coming to an end Jo was easily able to rotate from the cervical spine down through the thoracic spine to the lumbar spine.
The extra mobility here accompanied by the improved squat mechanics and extra mobility exercises to practice whilst on tour or at home ensured Jo was well prepared for the upcoming surf trips to Portugal and Hawaii where he was faced with serious surf conditions that are not for the feint hearted. Stay tuned to see Jo in action and find out how he got on in some of the heaviest surf spots in the world.
Thanks For reading - Body Solve | Pain Free Living™