Get The Athletic Edge

Functional exercises work on correcting and/or restoring various components for optimal on-court performance.

Published November 23, 2011 12:00

Get The Athletic Edge
Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska

The way you train today is very different from what you were doing 10 years ago.
• Are you at the leading edge of modern athletic training?
• Maybe you are now regularly in the gym doing cardio and strength training.
• You understand why you should do "CORE" work, but are a few situps and static trunk exercises going to give you the edge?

How do you compare in your physical preparation to other athletes?? They have embraced new tools and dynamic training routines and their confidence, performance and results show it!

The Missing Link

• Take your gains from the gym onto the court.
• Give your body the finest athletic tuning.
• Improve performance and results by adding a vital link that other elite athletes ARE doing and it shows!
• This is the "missing link" in many athletes' training.
• It is CORE (trunk) strengthening and proprioceptive (balance and coordination) training.

• The day before a downhill race, World Cup downhill ski racers often prepare by doing light cardio, core and proprioception drills, mostly using the Swiss ball.
• Swiss ball exercises that may be performed are standing on it, tucking, jumping and playing games. Balance boards are used to fine-tune balance, core stability and motor skills for the next day's event.
• They were NOT exhausting their bodies with a weights session or many hours of actual downhill ski drills, (the equivalent of drilling balls on the practice court) AND, they were having FUN!
• Ok, so you do not ski down slopes at 120km/hr but what about the extra split reaction time, force and power for important tennis shots?
Could this type of training help you with tough set or match points?? Yes, absolutely.


Important Body Areas
• 3 areas are very important and are often weak in athletes:
1. Core (Trunk)
2. Shoulder
3. Gluteal muscles (hip/lower extremities)

Progressive Individual Program
• A Primary Health Care Provider, Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer specifically evaluates your level for each area and designs your individual exercise program to follow
• As you improve, they will advance the exercises to keep you progressing.
• This includes a specific timeline to review and progress your exercises.
• When you stick to your program as recommended:
1. You will progress faster.
2. You will see your performance improvements sooner.
3. The exercises become more fun!

How Functional Exercises Helps YOU

Muscle Imbalances are abnormal patterns of flexibility and strength between connected muscles and will put you at risk for getting injured.
Recovery and Rehabilitation after injury is critical.
• When you have an injury, the body's receptors in that area, the mechanoreceptors are also damaged.
• This decreases the feedback to your brain, slows your reaction time and reduces your precision.
• If you do not fully re-train the area, this remains a deficit and will cause problems in the future again.
The kinetic chain (the connection between all your body parts) is compromised by any residual weakness, imbalances or damage to mechanoreceptors.

Functional exercises work on correcting and/or restoring all of these components for optimal on-court performance.

Start Now
And read the previous topic "Get to the Core"!

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