Funny and Preventive Fitball, Reducing Shoulders, Wrists or Spine Injuries
Read this very interesting article written by Frédéric Juillaguet, Sports Physiotherapist, Canoe-Kayak Instructor, based in Pau (France), showing how as paddlers we can prevent all sorts of injuries with simple and fun workouts.
Starting point: Kayaking can cause injuries to shoulders, wrists or spine.
Technopathic factors: Recurring chronic lumbar pains (lower back) can be caused due to stressed feet positions, constant knee adjustments, leg extensions and various frequent fast rotations and extension of the trunk.
Biomechanic factors : Shoulders and arms allow propulsion and direction whilst the pelvis belt generates propulsion power. A Kayakers pelvis and trunk are constantly stressed on one side, whilst lower limbs on the opposite side work hard to make adjustments.
All these demands can damage to the lumbar sacral hinge, pelvic retroversion, intervertebral disc compression and spinal muscle deficiency. In order to preserve, protect, prevent dysfunction and to improve and optimize pelvic mobility. Attention to pelvic integrity may at some point be necessary with particular attention paid to pelvis specificity and pivotal role and performance.
1 – Antero-posterior (figure 1) mobility work (anteversion/retroversion) is initially addressed by sitting with hands positioned below the ischium (lower and back part of the hip bone). For improving anterior or posterior pelvis movement bearing weight on both hands is required pushing gently downwards. Care must be taken to ensure shoulder immobility whilst the spine should be vertical and straight. The same tasks can be performed on a fitball.
2 – Medio-lateral mobility (figure 2) work is realised with hemipelvis (either –left or right-half of a pelvis) tilting, one hand pushed downwards whilst the opposite hand relaxed. Trunk centered, motionless shoulders. First on fixed support (seat), then on mobile support (fitball).
3 – Several paddlers (figure 3) can join a collective workshop for fun and games including double task ball passes. Each paddler puts feet on same support (fixed or mobile, bench or fitball), whilst sitting on an individual fitball provided with stabilizers on the ground. These can be removed according to individual confidence and progress.
4 – Various innovations can be developed for restoring paddler specific functional posture, such as combining seated positions on fitballs with stabilizers on the ground with feet on other fitball. Each paddler (figure 4) is linked to wall bars with colour coded stretch resistant cords (resistance related to colour). The aim is to reproduce each different operation.
Routine of warm-up learning, either individual or collective, with wall bars/paddle/fitball/elastic resistance device helps decrease superfluous oscillations, scapular and pelvic belts dissociation, better balance reactions in movement management, gestural optimization of the performance and dorso-lumbar spine injuries prevention by pelvis mobility improvement.
(Below the Pau Slalom Youth Training Center athletes applying Fred Juillaguet theories, during indoor fitness sessions.)