4 Things to Do Every Time You Walk in the Gym

By Kelsey Grosulak

They say it takes 2 weeks build good habits. I don’t know who they is but if you have ever stuck to something for a solid 2 weeks, it appears that “they” are correct, because that action does become a habit and easier to stick to.
There are a few gym habits that would be beneficial for every athlete to get into and to implement into their routine every time they walk into the gym

1) Core. I can’t stress enough how important having a strong core is, not just for sports but for every aspect of life! But specifically looking at the benefits for sports a strong core correlates with fewer injuries, greater stability, and better form. A good core routine has multi-plane exercises and has a mix of isometric and isotonic

  • Planks…30 seconds side plank…1 minute front plank…30 seconds side plank on the other side
  • Superman-laying on stomach, lift legs and arms off ground and same time hold for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Straight Leg Lowers-only lower legs as long as you can keep your lower back on the ground, once it starts arching stop and bring those legs back up to starting position!
  • Bicycle-bicycles are sometimes a misunderstood core workout. They are often done fast, when they really should be done very slow and deliberate so the proper form can be kept and no momentum is used for the exercise. Think of it as going the speed of biking up a huge hill, not doing a sprint.

2) Prehab. While nothing can 100% prevent injury, some injuries can be prevented by working on form and technique. The most common injuries are ankle sprains, groin pulls, hamstring strain, and knee injury (ACL tear most common knee injury). If you pick one prehab exercise to do a day and get into a rotation where you do a different exercise a day you will be able to hit and strengthen all vulnerable areas each week.

  • Knee
    – Heel Taps
    – Single leg squat
  • Ankle
    – Band flexion and extension
    – Calf raises
  • Hamstring
    – Foam roller-roll out hamstring
    – Hamstring stretch
    – Fit ball circuit
    Feet on ball, legs straight, lift hips off ground
    Feet on ball, lift hips on ground, and do hamstring curl
    Feet on ball, legs bent at 90 degrees, lift hips off ground
  • Groin
    – Foam roll-roll out groin
    – Butterfly stretch
    – Seated band hip abduction

3) Balance. The more control and balance your player has the lower the chance of injury, the harder it is to push them around, and the more quickly they’ll be able to move and change direction on the court

  • Bosu single leg balance-athlete stand on bosu on one leg, give your athlete a slight nudge from different directions making them keep their balance on top of the ball
  • Cone touches-standing on a disc put 5 cones in front of the athlete and make them squat down and touch each cone with hand.

4) Flexibility. A stretch a day keeps the strains away. Before leaving the gym, after they’ve cooled down your athlete should always get in a good stretch. Whether it be a band stretch, rolling on the foam roller, or just a good old fashion sit down on the floor stretch.

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Certified Exercise Physiologist, Former Division 1 Basketball Player, Wannabe Runner

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