EXERCISE WITH PURPOSE
Shaun Torbati P.T. CSCS

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Youth Fitness
PROGRAMS:

  • Functional mobility testing to determine injury risk
  • Youth weight loss and conditioning programs
  • Speed, agility & power training

In the United States there is an epidemic in increase of youth obesity and sports injuries which were previously occurring only in adults. Injuries such as tendinitis in elbows, shoulders and knees are now common depending on the sport.  The culprit assigned to these problems is two fold.  In many cases coaches and parents are pushing their kids too hard beyond what their bodies can handle. Secondly studies show that kids today are poorly conditioned, obese & have poor musculoskeletal balance.

Just a generation or two ago, kids spent hours playing sports on their own with out such problems. In fact a study on hall fame pitcher Nolan Ryan shows that because he pitched so much as a kid, his humeral head developed a natural “twist”  which has decreased his injury risk. Why was he able to  pitch so much as a kid without injury? Is he a freak of nature? The answer is yes and no, the fact is that now days kids play only a few sports with higher intensity. Kids today are not as well rounded athletically as kids a few generations ago when they would spend 3–4 hours a day outside playing a variety of games and sports. In many cases today’s kids might have soccer practice 3 days a week for a total of 6 hours, but the rest of their time spent on the couch in front of game console or TV. Because of this, they are at risk for developing muscle imbalances that generally effect adults. It is imperative to have your young athlete assessed functionally to determine their risk for injury and what to do in order to avoid it.

In order to better understand how we can help, a case study is presented. Although in this scenario we have a baseball player, athletes in many different sports suffer from dysfunctions that resemble the scenario below.


CASE STUDY:

Johnny is a 12 year old little leaguer who's parents want to  improve his pitching and avoid injury. He is well built for his age with no history of injury. Via functional screen assessment it is determined that he lacks appropriate mobility in his upper back and has some weakness in his hip musculature. For a pitcher these findings are critical. Lack of rotation in upper back and weakness in hip musculature will place added pressure on the shoulder, low back & knee. In time this added pressure can result in overuse and tendinitis. If Johnny is left untreated there is a good chance he will never reach his full potential because of injury. With a few exercises and stretches we can restore proper mobility in his upper back and strengthen the hip. Not only will he avoid overuse injury, he might become a more effective pitcher with increased power, control and endurance.


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