So, Rio has come and gone! The Olympics were fantastic for Team GB and the Paralympics will be well underway by the time you get this.
We’ve all been left quite amazed at the achievements of these fantastic athletes; their commitment
is incredible. What has it actually left us with? A desire to ignite a passion for a sport we stopped after school? A drive to work harder at the sports we do? A ‘leave no stone unturned’ attitude?
‘MARGINAL GAINS’ is a term commonly used around the sporting arena these days, thanks to
British Cycling, when athletes are competing at the highest level, but it’s also a term that can be
applied to the day to day weekend athlete who just wants to run a faster time at the park run or get
through a full game of hockey rather than run out of energy and legs, or just serve better on court.
A desk based/car based athlete who strives to achieve such improvements at the weekend or
evening after work starts from a massive problem of muscle weakness. Those cushions we sit on,
otherwise known as gluteals, should be a massive source of power and support when you run, turn, or climb but they are constantly flattened and stretched out when you sit on them. Those
muscles behind you that slouch forward over a screen or a driving wheel are losing strength so
they can’t support your neck, shoulders or mid back – the posterior chain.
The ‘MARGINAL GAIN’ that you can apply to your daily life to help your sporting active lifestyle
when you have the time is to move more at your desk or at your driving wheel (see examples of exercises you can do at the end of this article).
One other point worth making at this stage (I can hear the comments about knowing what to do
and having heard this all before) is based around another comment made about these successful
athletes at this games in Rio: talent is one thing but attention to detail and having an internal
driven desire to succeed is another.
The Hunger Index
At a recent sports medicine conference I attended the new theory is based about a simple principal, simply ‘THE HUNGER INDEX’. Where does yours rate when it comes to wanting to enjoy your weekend sports/activities?
We are spending more time on computers or mobile devices – all day and into the evenings too. This is having a negative input on our skeletal system. Shown below are a few exercises you can do at your desk, sitting or standing.
Enjoy achieving your ‘MARGINAL GAIN’ and if your desire to success on the field of your play is
strong enough you can be disciplined enough to do them!
Please note: these exercises should feel good and helpful and shouldn’t hurt. You might feel stiff
but don’t push into pain. If you want any specific exercises to suit your musculoskeletal problems we can help. There are plenty of other exercises you can do… these are just a safe select few.