With the anticipation of Manitoba basketball athletes returning to the court for competition and gameplay shortly, we should take some time to educate ourselves and prepare for a safe return to full contact and gameplay.

Once the Covid-19 health situation improves to the point that we can get back to playing games, there will be a feeling or push to play “catch-up” and try to make up for the lost time by playing as many games as possible.  The reality for many Manitoba basketball players is that their bodies and minds will not be ready for a full return to play and doing so may lead to an increased rate of injury.  With game competition will come expectations that our bodies and minds may not be ready for.  These increased expectations will lead to anxiety and other stressors that may affect the mental health of our athletes.

During this extended Covid lockdown here are some areas of focus for basketball players waiting to return to the court in a healthy manner;

1) Joint Health - Ligaments & Tendons -  Inactivity and being off the basketball court will lead to weaker less pliable connective tissue.  Maintaining your joint range of motion, strength, and force absorption capabilities are imperative to a healthy return to basketball.  Plan to maintain tendon and ligament health with jump and agility training that can be done in your house, basement, or garage. 

2) Conditioning Levels - Cardiovascular fitness loss may occur as soon as 4 weeks of detraining with an overall loss of 10% loss for each week of total inactivity.  Simple ways to maintain cardiovascular levels would be to alternate between hill runs and graduated jogs/runs/interval sessions, trying to complete 40 minutes of cardio work 4 times per week. 

3) Muscle Memory - Basketball is a fine motor skill sport.  Maintaining your fine motor skill is very important during these extended lockdown periods.  Athletes can work ball handling and shooting routines in their own house.  If finding enough space to shoot the ball is an issue, daily ball handling routines will go a long way towards maintaining your shooting touch and improving your ball handling skill and confidence.  If you can find a little space in your basement, garage, or a room with hard flooring in the house - then you can work on your ball handling.  There are a lot of very good 5, 10, 15-minute ball handling videos available on YouTube.  The daily goal of 30 minutes of ball handling a day will do wonders for your game.

4) Mental Health - Be realistic about your performance as you ease back into competitive practices and games.  Everyone has been in pause mode for almost a year now, it is going to take some time for players to feel comfortable and perform at the level they left the court a year ago.  Set longer, process goals (step by step - practice and training goals) vs. outcome goals.  Enjoy the basketball journey and the work that goes along with it.  That work will see you improve over time and will be rewarding.

Here is an example of a 3 month, 3-phase physical preparation program to help you in your return to basketball.  It was designed by Sherwin Vasallo of AP Baller/Acceleration Performance - a strength and conditioning professional and basketball skills trainer.

This program can be done with body weight and simple equipment.  It was developed to target these 3 areas;

  1. Restore muscular endurance and mobility 
  2. Restore muscular strength and general conditioning 
  3. Restore general power, sport-specific strength and conditioning

The program is descriptive and has links to YouTube-based tutorial videos that will walk you through the exercises.  We hope you can take advantage of this information and take the time to plan and train for your safe return to basketball when the day arrives!




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With the impending return of basketball, many of us are beyond eager to return to the sport that we love. We must be cautious however, as a return to full game play without physical preparation increases the risk of injury. Parents, players, coaches and supporting staff should be alert for potential injury risks during the return to basketball phase for the following reasons:

  1. Almost 60% of noncontact injuries have been reported during periods in which collegiate athletes transitioned back into training following a period of inactivity (e.g. after vacation).1 
    1. National Football League (NFL) lockout (2011): Resulted in a significant increase in Achilles tendon ruptures in the following shortened preseason.2 Twelve Achilles tendon ruptures occurred in 1-month, with 10 over the first 12-days of the preseason.
    2. National Basketball Association (NBA) lockout (2011): Experts warned of similar lockout injuries following the 149-day NBA lockout.3 Games resumed Dec 25, 2011. By Jan 8, 2012, 19 key players across the league had already lost time to injury.
  2. Cardiovascular fitness loss may occur as soon as 4 weeks of detraining;4 with overall ~10% each week of total inactivity can be generally expected;5 and
  3. Loss of lean mass and muscle strength represents an important injury risk factor.5 As a simple rule an increase of training load of more than 10% per week more than doubles the injury risk over smaller increments in training load and represents 40% of the entire season’s injury risk.6

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Ideally, each participating player should come down for a Functional Movement Screen to identify functional and structural dysfunction and for further individualization of this RTB program. The FMS will be conducted by our Physiotherapist at Total Rehabilitation and Sports Injuries Clinic. For more information please email us at info@totalrehabcenter.org or click here to book your appointment.

Build a 3-phase physical preparation program to return to basketball

  1. Restore muscular endurance and mobility
  2. Restore muscular strength and general conditioning
  3. Restore general power, sport specific strength and conditioning  

DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY. Injuries of all types can occur when participating in exercise, physical fitness and training programs, hence AP BALLER/ACCELERATION PERFORMANCE (APB/AP) strongly encourages all participants to obtain a Functional Movement Screen by Total Rehabilitation and Sports Injuries Clinic and comprehensive physical examination by a licensed physician PRIOR to undertaking any exercise or training demonstrated on this program, and/or any of videos, MP4s, MP3s and training manuals offered on this website, you fully assume the risk of any resulting injury. Such injuries include but are not limited to:

  •      Bruising, cuts and general soreness
  •      Muscle and tendon injuries
  •      Ligament and skeletal injuries
  •      Fractured or broken bones
  •      Concussions
  •      Heart attack

APB/AP DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS, INJURY OR DAMAGE SUFFERED BY ANY PERSON AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR MISUSE OF ANY INFORMATION, VIDEOS, MPSs OR TRAINING MANUALS MADE AVAILABLE ON THIS PROGRAM.

In consideration of performing or participating in these types of activities, you hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless APB/AP and its officers, directors, shareholders, members, employees, and agents, and their respective successors and assigns, against any loss, liability, damage, cause of action, cost, or expense of any nature whatsoever, including without limitation reasonable attorneys’ fees and other legal costs.

This content, information, videos, MP4s, MP3s and training manuals offered and made available on this website are for informational purposes only. 

USE THIS INFORMATION YOUR OWN RISK

___________________


Here is your basketball specific hip mobility warm up routine. The exercises/movements are specific to the movement demands of basketball so I encourage your to pay attention to the movement details for enhanced athleticism and performance. Limited mobility will express itself as a poor quality of movement. If you are finding that there are other areas of your lower body that are feeling tight or less mobile, feel free to add that to this program (e.g. Calf stretch/ankle mobility).

With enhanced mobility, expect:

  • Improved movement patterns,
  • Increased athletic performance and awareness,
  • Minimized risk of injury,
  • Enhanced agility an reactivity
  • Increased muscle and connective tissue elasticity,
  • Increased speed
  • Improved power output

PERFORM THE FOLLOWING IN SEQUENTIAL/CIRCUIT FASHION:

 


1. LyingHip Rotations

This exercise starts the sequence as an easy first movement to warm-up and build toward the rest of the series.

Key Points:

  •      Lie on back with both knees bent.
  •      Cross one ankle over the opposite knee.
  •      Move in and out of the stretch by rotating the hip in and out.
  •      For the hold, use your hand for assistance to press into the knee.

Modified Version: Sitting on chair or bench, elevate your legs on to a stool or chair (the higher the surface, the more challenging it will be), and externally rotate one leg at a time. Then, play around with crossing one ankle over the other leg and externally rotating from that position. You can have the bottom leg bent fully, or straightened a bit more.

REPS AND SETS: Push your knee down and hold for 5 sec. Repeat for 10 reps/leg x 1-2 sets

 



2. Frog Stretch

At this point in the sequence, we are ready for a bit more intensive stretching for the hips, adding some more weight bearing into the exercise.

Again, take it slow and easy and don’t force a range of motion you may not be ready to achieve. The action here as you move in and out of a stretch is squeezing the knees together as you rock backward and relaxing as you rock forward. After a few repetitions you can sit back and relax into the stretch for upwards of a minute.

Key Points:

·       Start on hands and knees, bringing your knees as far apart as is comfortable.

·       Rock back and forth in that position.

·       Keep the balls of your feet on the ground, with toes pointed outward.

 

Modified Version: Similar to the butterfly stretch, you’ll start sitting in a chair with your feet up on a chair with your knees splayed outward. This time, though, your feet won’t be touching, and you’ll focus on leaning backward so that you can open your groins as much as possible.

REPS AND SETS: Push yourself into the ‘pocket’ for 5 sec, then rock forward and push back into the pocket. Repeat 10-12 times. 1-2 sets

 



3. Kneeling Lunge

This exercise is somewhat deceptive in terms of how it can affect your hips.

You may need some trial and error to find the best front foot positioning, which happens when your shin is upright when you lean forward, rather than being angled down or back. Keep your hips square and your upper body tall, and you’ll be in the right position. Don’t be afraid to adjust the back leg positioning to get the most out of the stretch to release your hip flexors.

Key Points:

  •      Get into a lunge position, with knee and foot about hip width apart from the elevated leg.
  •      Keep the chest tall and the hips square.
  •      To make the stretch harder, you can pull the back knee up off the ground.
  •      Put a pad or mat down below the back knee for cushioning.
  •      If you do not want to hold your back foot, you can use a wall to push your foot to butt.

Modified Version: Sit with just one leg supported by a chair, with your other leg bent behind you. Keep the knee lifted off the ground if you can, and try to square up your hips as much as you can. Emphasize opening your rear hip flexor by squeezing your rear glute.

 




4. Squatting Internal Rotations

This is another dynamic movement like the traveling butterfly, which I’ve put toward the end to encourage blood flow and circulation after all the previous stretches.

Don’t hold the end position very long at all. Just keep moving and give yourself some time to work through the movement.

Key Points:

  •      Start in a deep squat position (as deep as you can go).
  •      Rotate one knee inward, down toward the ground.
  •      This stretch can be done sitting on a small stool if you cannot get into a comfortable squat position.

Modified Version: For this modified exercise, you’ll use a chair (or any sturdy object that’s the right height for you) to support you as you lower into a squat. Then go through the internal rotations while holding on for support. This way you can adjust your depth and range of motion as much as you need to.

REPS AND SETS: Tap your knee down to the ground for 10-15 reps per leg, hold for 1 sec. 1-2 sets per leg.

 



5. Pigeon Stretch

The pigeon stretch is another classic stretch that can help you work on, not just your hip mobility, but also your hamstring and spine flexibility.

Key Points:

  • Start with your front knee bent to a 90-degree angle. The back knee can be as bent or extended as is comfortable for you.
  • Rotate the back hip toward the front heel, and then toward the back foot.
  • Keep the chest up tall, and only bear as much weight as you can comfortably.
  • If you feel comfortable with the knee bent, you can work on straightening out the back leg into the full pigeon pose.
  • Bring chest to ground.

Modified Version: Sitting on a chair, lift one leg up on to another chair with the knee bent in front of you, allowing your rear leg to fall comfortably to the side. Use as many supports as you need to to make the front leg as comfortable as possible. Lift your chest and hinge from the hips to lean forward toward your front leg.

REPS AND SETS: Hold the position for 20-30sec each leg. Repeat 1-2 times per leg.

NOTE: Do this program daily to improve hip mobility as quick as possible. Be patient as it will take time before permanent tissue changes noticed.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

 

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Phase 1 - 

  • Building the work capacity of the muscles and cardiovascular system in preparation for progressive workload. Increasing joint mobility and muscle flexibility
  • Equipment – body weight; choice exercises will be compound movements (aka multi-joint exercises) for improved coordination and functionality.
  • Exercise frequency should be 2-3x/week. Sets: 2-3; reps: 10-15 (unless otherwise specified)
  • Training block: 4 weeks

Day 1 – upper body focus. Choose from the following exercises:










  1. Push ups (full or modified)
  2. Pull ups
  3. Towel Rows
  4. Reverse planks (1 sec hold at top range)
  5. Dips
  6. Side planks (hand or elbow – reps; 1 sec hold at the top)
  7. Planks (hands or elbows – reps; 1 sec hold at the top)
  8. Supermans (3 sec hold at the top of the movement)
  9. Prone Y,T,W (1 sec hold at each position)
  10. Pike push ups

 

Day 2 – Lower body focus. Choose from the following exercises:










  1. Sumo squats
  2. ATG split squat (1 sec hold at end range)
  3. Toe walks
  4. SL RDL
  5. Hip bridge (double or single leg; 1 sec hold)
  6. Heel walks
  7. Side plank with leg raises
  8. Lunges
  9. Side lunges
  10. Poliquin step up (3 sec down, 1 sec up)

 

Day 3 – Combo day (optional) – choose 2-3 upper and 2-3 lower body exercises from the list

  1. Week 1 pick 5 exercises for each workout day
  2. Week 2 add 1 exercise to each workout day
  3. Week 3 add 1 exercise to each workout day
  4. Week 4 add 1 exercise to each workout day

NOTES:

  • Stationary ballhandling and form shooting permitted

 


Phase 2

  • Build muscular strength in preparation for higher intensity workload and improve general fitness and conditioning. Choice exercises will be compound movements (aka multi-joint exercises) for improved coordination and functionality.
  • Exercise frequency should be 2-3x/week.
  • Equipment – body weight, bands or light weight. Sets 3; reps: 10-12 (Time under tension – TUT), unless otherwise specified
  • Training block: 4 weeks


Day 1 – upper body focus. Choose from the following exercises:





  1. Push ups (full or modified – time under tension; 1-2second tempo)
  2. Pull ups
  3. Towel Rows (tempo 1-2 second or 1 arm)
  4. Reverse planks (3 sec hold at top range)
  5. Dips (long legs or feet on a chair)
  6. Side planks (elbow – 20sec/side)
  7. Push up planks (30-45sec)
  8. Prone towel lat pulldowns (1-1-1 tempo)
  9. Prone Y,T,W (if light weight available - 1 sec hold at each position)
  10. Iron cross (20sec hold)
  11. Band pull apart (1sec hold at the end)
  12. Pike push ups (elevate feet)

 

Day 2 – Lower body focus. Choose from the following exercises:






  1. Sumo squats (2 sec pause)
  2. ATG split squat (2 sec pause)
  3. SL Chair squat (2sec down; 2 sec up)
  4. Toe walks (keep on balls of your feet for 20-30 steps/leg)
  5. SL RDL (1-1-1 tempo)
  6. Bench or chair Hip bridge (double or single leg, 1 sec hold at the top)
  7. Heel walks (keep on heels of your feet for 20-30 steps/leg)
  8. Side plank with leg raises (1-1-1 tempo)
  9. Walking Lunges (stay low)
  10. Cossack squats (stay low)


Day 3 – Combo day – choose 2-3 upper and 2-3 lower body exercises from the list

  1. Week 1 pick 5 exercises for each workout day
  2. Week 2 add 1 exercise to each workout day
  3. Week 3 add 1 exercise to each workout day
  4. Week 4 add 1 exercise to each workout day

NOTES:

  • Stationary ballhandling and form shooting permitted
  • Introduce conditioning – skip rope, stationary bike, in-place jogging. 1-5min intervals

 



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Phase 3 -

  • Reintroduce power development exercises, improve tendon quality. Introduce simulated basketball movement patterns and conditioning. Choice exercises will be compound movements (aka multi-joint exercises) for improved coordination and functionality.
  • Exercise frequency should be 3x/week. Sets 3-4; reps: 8-10 Lower body (unless otherwise specified) 10-15 Upper body (unless otherwise specified)
  • Equipment – body weight, bands or light weight
  • Training block: 4 weeks

 

Day 1 – upper body focus. Choose from the following exercises:





  1. Basketball offset push ups
  2. Pull ups
  3. Towel Rows (tempo 1-2 second or 1 arm)
  4. Reverse planks (30-45sec hold)
  5. Dips (long legs or feet on chair)
  6. Side planks (elbow – 20-30sec/side; 3 sets)
  7. Clap push ups or power push ups
  8. Quadruped DB row or band row
  9. Contralateral plank (20-30sec/side 3-4 sets)
  10. Iron cross (30sec)
  11. Band pull apart
  12. Long plank (45sec)

 

Day 2 – Lower body focus. Choose from the following exercises:





  1. Squat jumps
  2. Ankle hops
  3. Pogo jumps
  4. Speed skaters
  5. SL RDL
  6. Banded lateral steps
  7. Heel walks (20-30 steps/leg)
  8. Side plank with leg raises
  9. Walking Lunges (stay low)
  10. Cossack squats (stay low)

 

Day 3 – Combo day – choose 2-3 upper and 2-3 lower body exercises from the list

  1. Week 1 pick 3-4 exercises
  2. Week 2 add 1 exercise each workout day
  3. Week 3 add 1 exercise each workout day
  4. Week 4 add 1 exercise each workout day

 

NOTES:

  • Stationary ballhandling and form shooting permitted
  • Cardiovascular work: gradual weekly progression. Frequency 1-2x/week, Distance run:
    • 1 mile, do not exceed 2.5 miles. Bike 2 miles – 5 miles. Alternating paces – walk, jog, sprint.



 


References:

1.   Caterisano A, Decker D, Snyder B, et al. CSCCa and NSCA Joint Consensus guidelines for transition periods: Safe return to training following inactivity. Strength Cond J. 2019; 41(3):1-23

2.   Myer GD, Faigenbaum AD, Cherny CE, Robert S. Heidt J, Hewett TE.   Did the NFL lockout expose the achilles heel of competitive sports? J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011; 41(10):702-705.

3.   Arguello L. Injuries are costing NBA stars lots of playing time during shortened 66-game season. Business Insider Australia, Jan 11 2012. [cited May 16 2020]. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/injuries-shortened-66-game-nba-season-dwyane-wade-2012-1?r=US&IR=T

4.   Pedlar C, Brown M, Otto J, et al. Temporal sequence of athlete’s heart regression during prescribed exercise detraining: Diagnostic implications.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017; 69(11Supplement):1414.

5.   Eirale C, Bisciotti G, Corsini A, Baudot C, Saillant G, Chalabi H. Medical recommendations for home-confined footballers’ training during the COVID-19 pandemic: from evidence to practical application. Biol Sport. 2020; 37(2):203-207

6.   Gabbett TJ. The training-injury prevention paradox: should athletes be training smarter and harder? Br J Sports Med. 2016; 50(5):273-280

 

 For a more comprehensive RTB program, please contact us directly at info@accelerationperformance.ca or visit www.accelerationperformance.ca/apballer


PLEASE FOLLOW AND TAG US ON YOUR WORKOUT POSTS ON INSTAGRAM.  @ap_baller

SUBSCRIBE TO THE ACCELERATION PERFORMANCE YOUTUBE CHANNEL FOR INSTANT ACCESS TO THE BASKETBALL MANITOBA EXERCISE INDEX

HIP BANDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT TOTAL REHABILITATION AND SPORTS INJURIES CLINIC/ACCELERATION PERFORMANCE – UNIT M 390 PROVENCHER BLVD. LIMITED QUANTITY.

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