Joint pain is not a joke; it is painful and can flare up as weather changes or with a little too much activity. You don’t have to suffer, with many joint-friendly exercises out there that can reverse, rehabilitate and speed up joint recovery. Here are a few of the best joint health exercises for soccer players.
The Importance of Joint Health in Soccer
If your joints are not strong then you can face many difficulties while playing soccer. As we age, it becomes clear that joint health is essential; most people are familiar with the groans that come from achy joints. An excellent way to think of it is to remember your joints will carry you through life. Strong and healthy joints can help you have a better quality of life.
Arthritis doesn’t discriminate and can occur at any age, making it vital that you get the right kind of exercise to help minimize and ease the aches and pains in your joints. It might seem counter-intuitive to exercise joints paralyzed with pain; however, it is the secret to getting your quality of life back.
Kinds of Joint Pain Soccer Players Experience
Not all joint pain is from arthritis; sometimes, joint ache can stem from stiffness and tightening of the muscles surrounding the joints. That is why it is essential to stretch and warm-up before and after any form of exercise.
High-intensity exercise such as running and sprinting can impact your joint health, which is why it is important to wear supportive shoes while running to reduce the impact on your joints. Preventing further injury is vital.
Hip dysplasia is another common joint ailment. It is vital to talk to your doctor if you have hip dysplasia. Strengthening and supporting those muscles are integral to alleviating pain surrounding the hip.
Strength Training for Healthier Joints
One of the best types of exercises for joint health is strength training. Also known as weight or resistance training, strengthening exercises are not just for Bicep-bros that want to get big. Strength training benefits go a little deeper than getting strong; it helps improve your bone density and creates healthy, strong bones.
Stronger muscles and bones are all critical factors in helping people with arthritis improve their joint health. Studies have shown that resistance training has helped improve and increase the growth hormones responsible for joints, bones, and connective tissues involved in strong joints. Resistance training helps lower your weight, which eases some of the strain placed on your joints.
Read more posts on health and wellness in soccer:
- 3 Out-of-Training Habits that will Improve your Soccer Performance
- “Too Old to Play Soccer”: Why You Should Play Soccer In Your 50s And Beyond
- A Soccer Player’s Guide to Building Muscle
Try these strengthening exercises for healthier joints:
- Resistance band stretching: Warming up with a set of pull-up bands (like the Victorem range) is vital to preventing strain and pain on your joints.
- Knee extensions: This is an excellent exercise for strengthening and stretching the hamstrings to alleviate pain surrounding the knee.
- Glute Bridges with a resistance band: Perhaps one of the best exercises to give your hips a little extra care and strengthening the muscle surrounding the hip joint.
- Bicep and concentration curls: for supporting joint health in the arms.
Aerobic Workouts for Aches and Pains
Preventing and relieving pain caused by arthritis is sometimes as simple as getting moving. Aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up is excellent for joint health. Experts recommend that individuals get approximately 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.
Low-impact exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming are some of the most supportive joint health exercises you can add to your routine. Keeping active and slowly increasing the intensity every week is essential for injury prevention.
Try these excellent aerobic exercises:
- Water Sports: Swimming for 30 to 60 minutes a week can help relieve stiffness and aching in the joints. Swimming is low-impact and is not harsh on your physical body. It is an excellent way to support your joints while offering pain relief.
- Walking – Walking at moderate intensity at least 3 or 4 times per week is another great choice for exercising sore joints, especially in the leg.
- Light bicycling – A quick bike trip at low to moderate intensity is another exercise that is perfect for your joints.
The Secret to Healthy Joints – Yoga
Yoga is the sport of flexibility and joint function. A good yoga practice can help improve strength, flexibility, and lower joint pain and body fat. It is low impact and helps to reduce cortisol levels within the body. Yoga can help relieve some of the aches especially found in the knees, shoulders, and wrists. There are many easy sequences and practices that strengthen for prevention and relieve tension for pain relief.
Another benefit of yoga is reduced stress and tension levels. Tension found in the body can contribute to added pain and stiffness in joints. By decreasing that tension, your joints may benefit. Balance and supportive tissues surrounding your joints are also improved: lowering your risk of injury. Try this yoga sequence for some relief.
Consistency is Key
It is essential to stay consistent with your training for you to see the benefits. Sticking to 150 minutes of exercise per week is the recommended amount; you can train for longer if you feel like it. You can split the 150 minutes up into 30-minute blocks per day or smaller segments.
Another consideration is getting a personal trainer or speaking to your doctor about the kinds of exercise they can recommend for your specific needs. They will assess your levels of physical activity required to improve your joints or maintain healthy joints.
Whether your joints are already stiff and sore or if you want to preserve them and prevent aches and pains, getting a slight sweat on is the answer. From swimming to a light cycle with a few weighted exercises between, the science says getting active is the best way to beat joint ache.