It is the sad fate of our wrist flexors, that they never get a rest day. Every time you hold a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, plate etc. your wrist flexors are working - even if that's not the intention.
Even after the gym, your wrist flexors are working when you type, or ride your bike, or carry your bag, or hold a pen!
All this work with no rest means that forearms can get very tight and VERY sore. To prevent chronic elbow/arm pain,
you must release your tight forearms regularly. These are my tips for wrist flexor release:
Muscle cramps happen when a muscle is "stuck" in a contracted state, unable to retract itself. For a muscle to cramp, two things need to happen first:
1. The muscle must be under prolonged contraction.
2. The muscle must be starved of energy (ATP) and/or electrolytes
Water polo, more than any other, lends itself to both of these conditions. That means that water polo players, more than any other athletes, are prone to lots of serious muscle cramps. Here's why...
If you're not a rower, you might think that most rowing injuries are in the arms, shoulders or back - but you'd be wrong. If you are a rower, you might think that leg and hip strains are most common, but that's also wrong. The most common injury amongst rowers is the low back.
The low back is what connects the upper body and the lower body so, in full-body sports like rowing, there is a lot of movement and pressure put through it which leads to repetitive strain injuries.
The low back can move in almost any direction, owing to the huge number of joints. In rowing, however, there are 2 main low back movements. Flexion - bending forwards, and rotation - twisting.
Rotation can be minimised through using proper equipment and technique, but flexion can't. Flexion is part of normal rowing form, so you have to condition your body to cope with the stress, instead of simply avoiding it.
To condition your lower back to allow for excessive flexion, you have to train the muscles that allow for low back extension - the opposite movement. By keeping the extensors strong, you prevent the flexors from altering the joint shape and axis, and allow for full range of movement.
To strengthen the low back extensors, try adding regular back extensions and super-mans to your regular exercise regime.
If you want more info on rowing ailments, check out 'Common Rowing Injuries' by Luke Nichols and Ebony Dunne from SYSSM, or you can contact the team at SYSSM on (03) 9826 2122
I was speaking to a young man last week who gets mid-back pain after running. He told me that he measures every single run he had ever done with his smart-watch. He said his running cadence was 95spm and his hand/foot synch was smooth, but left-dominant, and he had a fairly long stride length. He was convinced that all of this culminated in a perfect storm that caused his back to become strained.
In truth, the only problem with his running style was his positioning - he hunched forwards as he ran. He didn't need a fancy watch to tell him that - he needed a mirror!
Poor positioning is the number-one cause of injury in runners. Luckily, it's easy to diagnose and easy to correct. There are just 3 areas of the body you need to think about - spine, arms, and legs. Check out this helpful infographic from Gambetta Training:
Dr Mitch Clark