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Triathlon Physio Tips | A Detailed Home Physiotherapy Guide

Triathlon Physio Tips | A Detailed Home Physiotherapy Guide


– If there were a magic formula that could prevent or at least reduce your chances of injuries then
it would be worth millions. Now, I’m not promising
that magic formula today but, we are going to
be going to the physio to get some top tips to save you money from going there yourself. And I’m going to be heading
to The Pierre Practise to speak to British triathlon
physio Emma Hickson. (upbeat jazz music) So Emma you see and treat triathletes day in and day out. What are the most common problems that you see when people
are trying to combine swimming, cycling and running? – Mainly I see overuse injuries so it’s a case of spike in training load or just not doing enough
around swim, bike, run in terms of strength or mobility. Or what I call being robust enough to take the training load. Mostly lower limb, occasionally shoulders obviously with swimming load. But yeah, it tends to be
mostly lower limb injuries. – Well obviously I know we can’t cover every single injury that we as triathletes are susceptible to. But, how can we make our
bodies more resilient to potential injuries and
stresses that come with the sport? – I say a good starting
point is to be best prepared for the discipline that you’re about to or the training that you’re
about to take part in. So, it’s thinking of those crucial areas that you’re gonna be
loading and making sure that you’ve got adequate mobility, good strength, pre-training. I think a good start is to just learn a little bit about your body. Be able to feel or test
where it might be tight and what to then focus on in preparation for that training session. – Okay so Emma, we’ve
touched on it already that there are too many
areas to focus on everything so, if we say try and
whittle it down to two points per sport to look at and go to
the beginning with swimming, obviously I know that for
swimming to get a good straight you need to be able to get
into that streamline position and for the full range of motion. But what could we actually look for and what points could give
us a good indicator here if there’s anything wrong? – Yeah so, exactly as you said, the biggest things for swimming
are streamline position and actually being able to get kind of a good catch person in the water. And I find the two kind of biggie areas that you want to focus on are going to be your lat length, so kind of tightness down the sides. And also your thoracic, so
your upper back mobility. And there’s like a real
easy test that you can do to actually kind of test
before you get in the water. – First test, what can we do to know if– – So, lat lift test, really really easy. I’ll show it and talk you through it. So back flat against the wall,
slight bend in your knees. So make sure your lower
back’s against the wall. – Okay.
– Tuck in. And then into streamline, so whatever hand you’re comfortable with and then basically your
aim is to keep back flat against the wall and then you’re gonna come as far up with your arms as you can. Now you’re gonna look super flexible. So touching the wall, brilliant, ’cause you’ve got nice
streamline position there so, great.
– Rock it out. – What you might notice
is if you are tight, so if you come up again. So if you come back against the wall, arms together and then come up and if you come up and you’re maybe not quite reaching the wall it shows that you might have a little bit of tightness through
your lats or maybe even a little bit of restriction
through your upper back. So that’s when you might think– – That’s a sign.
– That you might want to do some exercises before you start. – So say I was reaching about here, what can I do to help
me get that full range? (upbeat music) – So one of my favourite,
’cause it gets lats and a bit of thoracic extension. So if you can find yourself
a little ledge to do it on. Kneel down, elbows on, hands together and then just trying to
drop through, then open up and have a hang there like that– – That looks really nice. (upbeat music) So I feel like my lats
are nice and lengthened. What can I do to help
with my thoracic mobility? – So yep, one of my favourite
exercises for people, you probably recognise it as an exercise but I like a little
addition of the roller. So if you come down four point kneeling and then you’re basically
gonna use the roller to just get a little bit
more of a stretch through this way and then as you come up just reaching up and give a twist up. (upbeat music) – Well on to the bike and as triathletes we obviously spend the
largest amount of time in that flex position and some of us spends lots of time sat at a desk as well. So, what are the key indicators here and what do we need to watch out for? – When we’re thinking about bike I think the most important
thing is actually your post bike routine rather
than the prep for this one. Because, as you said yourself, you spend three/four
hours in a flex position and I find the two key areas
that tend to tighten up are again the thoracic
spine and hip flexors, so the fronts of your hips. And then as you imagine,
what you want to then do is then go for a run or even swim and you’re in kind of that tight position. So, there’s lots of things
that you could obviously do but, I can go through
two really key exercises that are just clear to
come and get off the bike, spend a bit of time releasing that off so that you’re ready to go
and do your other training. (upbeat music) So a really good exercise is if you have a lay on your back using the roller. So you can start anywhere
on your upper back and then if you pop your
hands behind your head. That’s it, you’re gonna get a good stretch of your pecks as well, just open up there and then just feeling up there and– – And I’m rolling up and down it, am I? – Yeah, absolutely perfect. It’s just finding your tight spots as well you’ll find where–
– Ooh. – You might get a few little clicks. But just finding where you’re tight. – Nice.
– Perfect and just relax into it. (upbeat music) My favourite exercise just
to kind of reopen the hips, I find TFR, which is a
little muscle down the side, gets a bit tight on the bike
as well, so we’ll aim for both. So if you pop down into a
usual hip flexor stretch. – Okay.
– That’s it. So, what I want is, you want this hip just straight in the line over the knee. So don’t feel like you have to– – So I’m not pushing here. – Nope, don’t feel like
you have to lean into it. You end up really just getting
the range from your back. Try and just tilt your pelvis back by squeezing this glute here. – So I’m kind of moving it this way. – Perfect, yep and you should feel a nice stretch down the front.
– Oh yeah. – Feel that one?
– Yeah, are you kidding. – And then with this arm just come over the top and lean, so you’re
gonna get a good stretch through the front of the
hip there, like that. Perfect. – And finally obviously we have the run and I know it’s the area where
I get the most injured in ’cause obviously it’s weight baring and we’ve already touched on the fact that if you build up thing too quickly. But is there any real key indicators or anything that I can look out for that we can test to make sure that we’re not predisposed
to too many injuries? – So running out of all the three, most important prep for running because you’re putting a lot
of load through your body and it is probably the one that causes the most injuries that I see. Probably the biggest areas to focus on one is ankle mobility, so
we call it dorsiflexion but essentially, flexion of your foot. Really good for, kind of actually, your stride length and actual running mechanic. But also we know that
it’s a big kind of injury risk if you lack that
mobility at your ankle. So we’ll go through a little test that you do pre-run to kind of see you’re a little bit tight there. But also hip extensions,
so if you might imagine when you run in order
to be abele just to get a good stride, you want
to be able to open up through your hips so
again, there’s a little kind of exercises that you can do to make sure you’re opening up but also activating the right muscles that are gonna kind of
help you power through. Really handy little test to just test that ankle mobility that
I was talking about. So really simple, find a bit of a wall. You can use a ruler to
actually test how far away but in reality probably just a test from left to right for you. So aim is to get your heel as far away from the wall as you can and trying to reach your knee to the wall. – [Interviewer] So I need to try and come back a little bit.
– So you come back a little bit and it’s keeping heel down. So I think we’re about there.
– That’s about my limit isn’t it? – Yep.
– Yep and then I want to see if I can get to the
same on the other side. – [Emma] Yeah, exactly so you can compare. – [Interviewer] I’m pretty even. Maybe that’s slightly easier on that side. – [Emma] Right, I was gonna
say it looks a bit easier. – [Interviewer] Yeah it did, didn’t it. – And one thing to watch out for is not cheating by doing a bit of a twist from your hips, so you have to keep that knee coming straight.
– Facing the wall. – Yeah so, headlights
on hips into the wall. (upbeat music) – So actually I found one side was slightly
tighter then the other but, what do I do generally
with that information when I’ve done my test? – So, what I find with the knee to wall, you might find that
there’s a little bit of asymmetry on either side. Like you said, and you might want to focus a little bit of more stretching on one calf or ankle more than the other. But, one exercise that I find,
whether you’re tight or not, pre-running really good
dynamic kind of calf mobility ankle mobility exercise. So, enter like a downward dog position and then I’ll talk you through it. Try and get your knees as
straight as possible to start with and then you’re just gonna pump
from one ankle to the other. So bend you knee in, that’s it and the aim is to get that heel flat down on the floor. (upbeat music) – Okay so finally, you
mentioned wanting to sort of get the hips ready for running. What have you got in mind here? – Yep so again, one of my
favourite little things to do pre-run would be a little exercise that combines a hip
opener, so giving a kind of dynamic stretch but also with
a little bit of activation of the right muscles. So preferably kind of glute
muscles to get the fired up. So, if I show you first.
– Okay. – So I like to start
with a little bit of a nice strong kind of A-frame,
come down into your lunge, make sure that you’re
not just doing that tilt through your back and then
a nice little one to open up through your thoracic
as well at the same time and then coming up, nice and strong. Would you like to have a go? – So starting with the A-Frame, walk into lunge.
– Nice little lunge that’s it, arms out in front and
then you’re gonna turn– – And I’m taking my arm
toward my bent side then. – Aim is to be able to look over your shoulder behind you, lovely. – Now it takes some control, doesn’t it? And again, how many on this? Is it just to feel or– – Yeah, I usually like to kind of set out like a little five/10 metre stretch and you can just do kind
of one after the other. It’s a nice little one to get your running former mechanic started as well. Just spend a few minutes on it you wouldn’t want to kind
of do it for too long. – Cool. Well after all of those
I know that I feel 100% ready to go and train. So I must say thank you to Emma for that professional insight and I would strongly suggest that you advocate some of these tips
into your everyday routine just to help you from having
to visit the physio yourself. If you’ve enjoyed this hit
the thumb up like button and just click on the globe
to make sure you subscribe and get all of our videos here at GTN. And if you do want a bit of
an idea for a mobility routine we’ve actually made a
vide on that just here. And if you’re interested to see where you’re body’s at in
the beginning of the season we’ve got some pre-season tests for you and you can find that here.

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