If you’re feeling inspired after a stellar first season of Australian Football League Womens and you’re keen to have a crack at footy – whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a social player or even on the School football team – we’ve got the top five tips to stay in shape from the experts at the Chiropractors Association of SA.
WARMING UP IS KEY.
It is important to warm up properly before commencing training, making sure to include a dynamic stretch after a walk/run to get the blood flowing into your muscles and prepare them for activity.
Static stretching should be used post-training, as studies have shown that stationary stretching can decrease performance and power, but increases your recovery – so save it for after!
The start of the season usually results in people trying to impress friends, secure a spot on the team, or impress the coach – but pacing yourself through the first few sessions is very important – no one wants to be sidelined straight away with injury!
Depending on your amount of pre-season, it is very important to gradually build up your fitness, and listen to your body. You can’t go from 0-100 in one game!
FUEL YOUR BODY.
A nutrient-packed diet and adequate hydration are key during both preparation and recovery. Your diet is crucial to your energy levels, and also to aid in your recovery. Ensure you are getting enough of each food group, and try to decrease your intake of alcohol, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
While cardiovascular fitness is important, strength training can help you tolerate a higher volume of exercise if done properly. Building stronger muscles and increasing fitness will increase your performance levels overall, and assist your body in managing the physicality of football again, reducing the chance of injury.
Get a check-up before you start your season. A study of professional football teams has shown that athletes who received chiropractic treatment during the season and before games performed at a higher level, as determined by their coaches. Treatment can be essential in making sure your pelvis and low back are moving right and can aid in the prevention and treatment of hamstring injuries, which in the case of Football, is the most common soft tissue injury. Coming into the Football Season it is very important to look after your body. Chiropractors are taught a wide range of techniques to help athletes manage injuries, prevent injuries and perform at their best.
Good luck out there!