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The smaller muscles of our body are often the muscles we forget about training when we hit the gym or go for a run. However, these muscles are the ones that help to stabilise our joints and help prevent injuries.
Many of you may have heard about the deep core muscles that are very important in providing support to our pelvis and lower back. Lots of people are retraining these muscles with their physio specific Rehabilition exercises or different styles of Pilates etc. Often what we lack is “Functional Rehabilitation” which refers to these muscles working in any given activity. Frequently we see examples of injuries where there hasn’t been the cross over into the activities that we really want to do such as running or cycling.
We are often now trying to incorporate these smaller stability activation exercises as a part of our patients warm up before they complete their run or cycle home for example. This helps to ensure that these specific muscles are not only stronger but are also engaged when we need them the most. They are also a nice way of making a warm up more dynamic and specific.
Whilst working with the Melbourne City Youth Team, our Physiotherapist Julia Allan noted it was interesting to see that the exercise physiologist takes the first 30 minutes of training to complete “Pre- Activation”. As you can see in the picture they are soccer specific and involve different muscle group activation where stability and control are the key components.
This concept is really important for everyone. It is a great way to warm up properly and get those smaller muscles working to improve performance as well as prevent injuries.
Feel free to let us know if you need help finding which smaller stabilising muscles are not working well for you or would be good to activate in your warm up routines to keep your performance optimal and prevent niggling injuries.