Today’s athletes continue to surpass one another, as they get bigger, faster, and stronger. Often times athletes play with muscle imbalances, poor core strength, and inflexibility. This can increase the risk of injury. Muscle Imbalance: A muscle imbalance is when there is a strength deficit between the muscles acting on a joint. That muscle may work effectively during a specific movement, but it can fail when doing functional movements like running, Pilates, Strength Training, or even Yoga. It is difficult to determine your own muscular imbalance, but the first sign is usually a troublesome pain or occasional discomfort. By training every muscle group, not just the ones required for your sport, one can avoid muscle imbalance injuries. Inflexibility: Inflexibility is a decrease in range of motion. This can cause unwanted stresses at certain points throughout the joint, since that body part cannot move through a complete range of motion. Consequently, injuries can arise from those unwanted stresses. A majority of our patients, with back injuries, tend to have tight muscles including hamstrings and quads. Flexibility can be improved through a daily stretching routine. The daily routine should include stretching specific muscles groups, both statically and dynamically. Poor Core Strength: The core, including the abdominal and lower back muscles, is your body’s pillar of strength. Poor core strength can lead to weakness in any muscle group. It affects your overall body mechanics and how well you can execute a movement. Poor core strength can also affect your power in many sports from tennis to basketball or from running to cycling. Working from a strong core, extremities are able to produce an increase in power. Proper conditioning plays a key role in injury prevention. You can keep yourself healthy and injury free with a good conditioning routine. If an injury does occur, give us a call for a free assessment so we can get you back in the game.