Speed For GAA Players

Speed is defined as the rate at which someone moves.  We can divide speed into an explosive phase and a knee drive phase. A lot of GAA players spend far too much time developing muscles to move slowler, simply because this is an easier way to train during a gym session. We have to look at the relationship between gym sessions and the game played. GAA involves a lot of acceleration and deceleration, but many gym programs don’t reflect the two patterns.

There is a huge role for both strength and hypertrophy in athletic development but speed is often ignored. Reasons for this include;

It’s Time Consuming

In order to train absolute speed it can take up to 40 minutes to properly warm up and activate the muscles and patterns required. This can be slow and tedious. Quite often this part is skipped or sped up in order to get to ‘the good stuff,’ such as sprinting. Athletes can be resting for up to 4 minutes between exercises which can result in sessions lasting up to 2 hours . These sessions are regularly omitted from training plans because of an already busy schedule.

It Is Perceived As A Light Session

There is a ‘if its not hard its not worth doing’ mentality in GAA. Quite often coaches would rather see teams out of breath rather than doing a pure speed session. Athletes don’t get their heart rates up too high or break a sweat. For coaches and some athletes the temptation to work hard can be too much. Working smarter is better for athletic development.

Too Tired After Heavy Training Loads

Heavy weights, long training sessions and matches make it hard to fit speed work into a training regime. You need to prioritise it in your training week for when you are at your freshest. Typically GAA matches are on a Sunday so a speed session would be optimum on a Wednesday. Pitch sessions and gym sessions are regularly prioritised ahead of this, with pitch sessions regularly on a Tuesday and Thusday and gym sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Joey Boland,

Head Physiotherpaist

www.sportsphysioireland.com

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Podcast 1 – GAA Pre Season

As the GAA pre season gets under way for clubs around the country, Inter County hurler and Physio Joey Boland and Physio Thomas Divilly discuss what they see as the rights and wrongs seen in your usual pre season and how you can improve what you’re doing.

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What are Shin Splints?

 

What are Shin Splints? Shin Splints is a common term used among people to describe a pain in the leg in and around the area of their shin bone. A more specific diagnosis must be made however to successfully treat the symptoms. The traditional clinical use of the term shin splints is to describe medial tibial stress syndrome, pain on the lower inside of the leg. Often people use it as a term to describe pain and swelling of the muscles to the outside of the shin (anterior compartment syndrome) as well.

 

Chronic symptoms of shin splints may lead to stress fractures so symptoms must not be ignored if they continue to persist. Abnormal biomechanics may lead to a greater risk of pain around the shin bone. A high rigid arch effects shock absorption increasing the forces on the bone. In individuals whose arches fall from normal into a flattened position (excessive pronation) overuse, fatigue and excessive pull of the muscles that support the arch can lead to medial tibial stress syndrome, otherwise known as ‘shin splints.’

 

Weakness of the tendons or ankle instability from previous sprains may also contribute to overuse of muscular and tendinous structures leading to shin splints. Tight calf muscles can also lead to shin pain, excessive tightness can prevent normal ankle movement increasing the load on muscles surrounding the shin.

 

A full history and physical examination including biomechanical assessment with reproduction of symptoms is needed to find the true cause of the symptoms, so a progressive rehabilitation programme can be implemented.

 

Treatment may consist of reducing the repetitive training load, stretching and loosening out tight muscles such as the calves and improving strength. If it is a chronic issue, training to improve shock absorption will be required through altering running mechanics. Assessing and treating the origin of the problem is the key to full recovery.

 

Catherine Simpson

MISCP, MSc. Sports Medicine

www.sportsphysioireland.com

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Shoulder Stabilisation

 

Shoulder stabilisation exercises make up a large part of our preventative programmes at Sport Physio Ireland. But what exactly is shoulder blade stabilisation and why is it important?

 

Essentially what we are talking about is the development of good posture during exercise and activity through ‘switching on’ or ‘activating’ muscles around our shoulder blades and mid-upper back. This is essential for the maintenance of shoulder health and for the prevention of injury.

 

The way in which our society has developed means that most of us spend large parts of the day in seated positions working at desks and slouching over computer screens. This can lead to individuals developing what is known as a ‘forward shoulder posture’ as a result of structures around the front of the shoulder becoming stiff and tight. This in turn can cause muscles of our posterior shoulder to become lengthened and become under active.

 

This phenomenon is not limited to those working in offices. Many individuals who spend large amounts of time training in the gym tend to overtrain these muscles at the front of the shoulder such as biceps and pecs and fail to realise the importance of complimenting this training with some stabilisation work. This is often referred to as ‘all show and no go’.

 

Over extended periods of time, in either one of the scenarios mentioned above, means an individual can lose the ability to recognise how to actually utilise these important structures around our posterior shoulder. They then will often begin to compensate by using other muscle groups to carry out everyday tasks that can place unwanted tension/stress on other areas such as the low back, neck, and elbow.

 

This is where we come in.

 

Demonstration of shoulder protraction (left) and shoulder retraction (right)

Demonstration of shoulder protraction (left) and shoulder retraction (right)

 

In order to combat this issue, you must start with the basics first. Learning to engage or activate these muscles in a non-weight bearing situation is the first step. Once this has been mastered you can then begin to introduce exercises such as shoulder blade push ups (as seen in pic above), or lat pull downs in order to strengthen and stabilise further. This will ensure that when you return to your normal everyday lives, you are at a much lower risk of injury recurrence.

Riain Casey
M.I.S.C.P.


 

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The Reaching Lunge

In SPI we use the reaching lunge both statically and dynamically quiet a bit, playing around with it using dumbbell, kettlebell and bands. It’s a wonderful exercise to work with as a regression of the Single Leg Deadlift.
So why do we love it?
Simply, it’s ability to train the hip hinge in a more single leg pattern, to enhance posterior chain strength and control and proprioception of the ankle.
For any athlete, strength of the glutes and hamstrings are vital. So try these easy steps to do the reaching lunge.
Give it a try today.
Thomas Divily

Five Tips So You Can Avoid Injury

Sports Physio Ireland’s physiotherapist Riain Casey talks us through five tips so you can avoid injury.

Many injuries can be easily prevented. Some times small adjustments to our everyday lifestyle can have a big impact in injury prevention.

Simple things like correctly fuelling the body and a good healthy sleeping pattern are key to aiding the body recover from on-field activity. Coupled with a specific warm up to prep the body for the demands on field, good proper movement based training and maintaining fitness levels to meet the demands of the activity can greatly help reduce the risk of injury or re-injury.

Try out the tips and let us know how you get on.

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How To Fix Your Push Up

The push up is one of the most basic exercises that you can do, but time and time again it is technically performed poorly.

We see issues from poor technique contribute to low back pain, knee issues, along with a number of other issues. So technique is vital to keep the body healthy.

So how do I, and the rest of the team in Sports Physio Ireland, see a push up? Simple really, think about a dynamic plank.

Quiet simply, the core should be engaged throughout the total body movement, and 9/10 in most injured or poorly trained clients this is the last thing that is thought about!

So How To Do The Perfect Push Up

• Hands directly under the shoulder, screw them into the ground.
• Squeeze the ass, tuck the tail bone under until you feel the lengthening of the abdominals
• Drive the heels to the back wall
• Slowly and controlled bring the chest to the ground, keeping the elbows close to the rib cage and drive up through the heels of the hand.

Harder than you think, but more bang for your buck!


Reactive Neuromuscular Training


Reactive Neuromuscular Training (RNT), as the name suggests, refers to a type of training that involves the use of both our musculoskeletal and nervous systems. At SPI, we like to use RNT as part of our rehabilitation programmes when treating a variety of conditions, including ankle, knee, hip, back, and shoulder issues. 

RNT. A Fancy Name for a Great Rehab Tool

By adding in resistance to a joint using bands or pulleys, some of the smaller stabilising muscles are forced to ‘switch on’ and engage in order to maintain joint stability throughout the exercise. 
Training and rehabbing with the use of RNT can help to clean up a lot of dysfunctional movement patterns and therefore can help prevent future injury down the line too.


Check out some of the basics I like to use in the video below.


Riain Casey M.I.S.C.P.


I encourage all my running clients to have a personalised and specific 5 minute dynamic warm up.

This method of warming will dramatically decrease your chances of injury during your run, in comparison to your typical 5 to 10 minute light jog and stretch as a warm up.


Most of our clients are time poor so here is a ‘snappy’ dynamic warm up that I think you should try out before you next run.

Joey Boland MISCP