Returning to basketball following Quarantine life
- Why after quarantine, returning to sports like basketball requires gradual retraining, focusing on sleep, exercise, mobility/flexibility, single-leg strength, plyometrics, and cardiovascular endurance.
- Why proper sleep is crucial for optimal performance, and dynamic warm-up and single-leg exercises help prepare for basketball’s cutting and jumping demands.
- Why maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and gradually increasing physical activity are important for better performance and reducing the risk of injury during the return to sports.
For the past two months plus we have all been limited to quarantine life, but it finally appears that things may be taking a turn for the best. As our towns, cities, and country re-open and we get back to our respective sports and daily activities it is important that we prepare our bodies for these familiar stresses. Two months off from any activity would lead to de-training and it is important we understand that our bodies and performance may not be quite up to par with where it was prior to lockdown. So this blog is for all our weekend warriors and specifically our basketball athletes out there who are itching to get back after it. If you have not been able to participate in your “normal” workout routine I caution you to be sure to start back slow and trust and embrace the process. Our bodies have a funny way of remembering how to move the way we wish it to but it takes time and it is important not to go 0-1000 in one day.
I hope that all of us have referred to our previous blog about the quarantine opportunity and have done a little something each day to make the most of our new-found “free” time. We discussed the importance of sleep, exercise, and diet in our daily functions. These three variables are a foundation that we will expand upon here.
As Chris had mentioned in our previous blog, we are a chronically-deprived society that lives off of 4 hours of sleep and 5 cups of coffee to get us through our days. I hope that many of you took advantage of working from home and were able to attain the recommended sleep of 6-8 hours without having to deal with the daily commute. I am not sure about everyone else but I know if I am not sleeping well the night before I am not myself the next day. In order to be able to function at the highest level and continue to push ourselves in sports and exercise, we need to be getting the proper amount of sleep. If you need tips on how to sleep better please refer to our previous post.
With limited access to the gym and parks over the lockdown, I know it was difficult for many to get out there and stay active, especially at home. I hope that some of us have referred to our Myokinetix Youtube page for some home workout ideas. For our basketball players out there I know that many of the local courts have taken down the hoops and nets so I hope you got some shots up in the backyard. As the courts start to open back up I know I just want to get out there and run but there are a few things that we can do beforehand to make sure that we can potentially reduce the risk of injury.
We will discuss the importance of mobility/flexibility, single-leg exercises, Plyometrics, and cardiovascular endurance.
Mobility is important for any sport but specifically, basketball which requires constant cutting, jumping, and change of direction. If you are getting outside for the first time in months be sure to participate in some form of a dynamic warm-up. Whether it be an easy jog up and down, Frankensteins, or walking lunges with a twist, make sure you get things moving in a controlled manner. Single leg strength, control, and plyometrics would be next on the list of importance. Basketball is spent jumping, cutting, and running one foot at a time. Single-leg exercises can easily be performed in the home setting with body weight as for most that is a challenge in itself. Also with repetitive jumping and running it is important to work on force absorption whether it be jumping rope, repetitive single-leg hopping over a line, or two legs hopping over a line we need to re-introduce our tendons and joints to plyometric activities so they are prepared for a return to basketball. If you’re looking for ideas on some single-leg and plyometric exercises please refer to our youtube page as well. Lastly would be cardiovascular endurance. With parks opening and the weather getting nicer I hope that many of you are taking advantage and getting outside for a walk, jog, run, or bike ride to stress the cardiovascular system. As we return to these activities we will see how quickly we all become fatigued and this can affect our performance in many aspects. When we are fatigued and unable to catch our breath everything becomes difficult. So simply going for a walk, jog, run or bike can help us extend our “wind” and allow us to play for longer periods of time without requiring rest.
Hydration & Diet
Eating healthy is important and can vary from person to person. Eating healthy and “clean” does not come easy and typically is not the cheapest option as well but can help us feel more energized and potentially lighter on our feet. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day may be a good option for some who feel sluggish after a meal. Also making sure we eat something for breakfast can help kick-start the day, and no coffee for breakfast will not cut it. In fact, if you are like me and rely on one coffee or multiple coffees to get through your day you need to be sure to be consuming water regularly. Coffee and soda are not a substitute for water or sports drinks. Our muscles require water for optimal performance, especially higher intensity and higher-level activities such as basketball. It is important to not just hydrate while playing but prior to participation. Many guidelines recommend that we consume 0.5oz of water per pound of body weight a day. As we have all been in quarantine and most likely less active and not participating in a vigorous activity our water intake is probably down.
The rest is up to you! Get outside work on some handles, get some shots up, have fun, and appreciate that we are still able to play the game we love after these tough times. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to reach out we are here for you! And remember
Dr. Matt Fung
Dr. Matt Fung
Director of PT Development & Continuing Education
PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, cert-DN
I grew up around the corner in Livingston NJ before earning my Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015. I then earned my Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in May of 2018. I recently completed an Orthopedic residency through the VOMPTI program and got boarded as an Orthopedic Certified Specialist.
I enjoy creating individualized plans of care for each patient and watching them grow and obtain their goals. My interests in sports injury prevention training for athletes. I believe that through education and proper exercise technique and prescription, many injuries can be prevented. I love learning and applying new manual techniques.
I am excited to be joining the Myokinetix team and am looking forward to providing care to the local community. In my free time, you can catch me playing basketball and rooting for the Knicks, the Yankees, and the Giants