WE are back! Every club team in Ulster – well the North anyway – has began their journey for the 2021 season, but there is a long road ahead to the first round of the championship.
This is stage where teams and players will lay out the stepping stones towards their goals.
First and foremost, the goal for every club is to get off to a good start within their respective league. They hope that this will form solid foundations for an unforgettable championship run.
Over the next few weeks, players will be trying to build on current fitness levels and brush up on the fundamental skills of our games. As players, it is important that we keep ourselves injury free to ensure we are on the field of play when the first round of the championship comes arrives.
As everyone is aware, one of the most common injuries which GAA players sustain is the dreaded ‘hamstring pull’. This injury can put a dampener on so many athletes seasons. Hamstring injuries are quite common for athletes such as GAA players who, during the course of a game or training, are involved in a variety of runs at varying speeds. These injuries can be difficult to shake off.
Ultimately, prevention is better than can cure. So by including a number of pre-hab hamstring strengthening exercises into your routine, you can try and avoid this injury.
When a hamstring injury occurs, it is normally due to a lower back or glute weakness, as these muscle groups are connected and work in conjunction. The glutes are one of the largest muscles in the body and they are meant to take the brunt of the work when we are accelerating and running at high speed. It is important to get the glutes firing when we are running to ensure that they are operating efficiently and effectively, to take the bulk of the work.
It’s best to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to hamstring health, or any muscle group which has historically caused you problems. Before we participate in any form of activity, we should complete a warm-up. An effective warm-up should include mobility and injury prevention exercises to help activate the muscles you are about to work.
Top Glute and Hamstring Exercises
Two exercises which you can incorporate into your routine are:
Glute bridges are the best way to improve glute strength and to activate the muscle. There are many different variations of the glute bridge. If you want to use this exercise to activate the muscles, you can perform it without using weights, instead use only your bodyweight.
If you want to increase strength, you can use a barbell, and by progressively increasing the weight on the bar, you should see an increase in your strength.
Nordic curls are seen as the go-to exercise for injury prevention for hamstrings. During this exercise, you are lengthening the hamstring, increasing eccentric strength and hypertrophy.
Ultimately, this exercise can be a vital tool at your disposal.
CLUB PLAYER FOCUS
Too often, players are flying high and peaking in pre-season, but when it comes to the business end of the season, they have fallen off the wagon, or picked up that niggly injury.
As an athlete, you are continually breaking your body down when you train. You need to look at ways to speed up your recovery so you can continue to train and push yourself. Some of these methods include regular massage, massage guns (purchase yours today @ www.coreperformancegym.com) Acupuncture, Physical Therapy ,Ice Baths, Stretching.
A lot of clubs have increased the training load over the last week. Some clubs will go to three or four sessions per week, rather than giving their players time to adapt to getting back onto the pitch. Players need to give their body time to adapt to training and should be allowed time to recover correctly.
Now that pitch sessions are taking place, do not neglect the strength work in the gym. Players should aim to complete at least one or two strength sessions every 10 days. In these sessions, you should focus on compound movements. These exercises are (1) Squat (2) Deadlift (3) Bench Press.
For more training advice feel free to drop us a message on social media or email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org.