As football (soccer) approaches the medals round in Rio 2016, Arthritis Olympic Village wants to share some tips on how to prevent injuries and build muscles in this sport. The first component is to observe your form while you warm up. It will help to record yourself warming up, such as jogging for a couple of meters.
Sports Without Injury suggest you observe the following:
- Watch to make sure your hip, knee and ankle are in a straight line.
- Don’t let your knee cave in or your feet whip out to the side.
- Don’t let your toes point toward each other.
- You may also want to learn to strike the ground with the front of your foot, but it’s important to build up your calf strength first.
- Shuffle sideways and run backwards and observe how you bend at the knees and hips
In the video above, former U.S. national midfielder Cobi Jones demonstrates proper backward and forward running form.
It is important for a football player to develop muscle strength in their quadriceps, hamstrings, hip muscles, gluteus and core muscles. These muscle groups will help protect your knees, ankles, groins, feet, calves, shins, Achilles tendons and everything below the waist.
Sports without Injury provide a good example of exercises you can do in the respective muscle.
- Hamstrings – This exercise, called the Nordic (or Russian) hamstring exercise not only strengthens the hamstrings, it strengthens their ability to do the eccentric contractions they make to balance the concentric contractions the quadriceps make.
- Core – An advantage of these core-building exercises is that they strengthen the muscles in the trunk without stressing the lower back.
- Hips – Hips move in multiple directions, and these exercises capture most of them.
Doing muscle strengthening exercises two or three times a week will make physical activity easier and more enjoyable. Please note not all of the above exercises may be suitable for someone living with arthritis. Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise treatment plan.
James J. Braddock, “The Cinderella Man” is an Irish American boxer who held the world heavyweight championships from 1935 to 1937. Braddock was famous for his powerful right hand and persevering through personal ups and downs, which included having to work at the docks during the Great Depression and having to switch his technique due to arthritis that developed in his hands as a result of injuries throughout his career.
Although Braddock eventually retired due to his arthritis, he never once gave up. When pain and stiffness became especially bad in his dominant right hand, he retrained to make his left arm the stronger one. Braddock’s career highlight includes winning the fight with John “Corn” Griffin, the “Ozark Cyclone” and heavyweight contender, Art Lasky. On June 13, 1935, Braddock played one of the most memorable matches in boxing history – winning the heavyweight championship of the world against the then World Heavyweight Champion, Max Baer, as the 10-to-1 underdog. Above is a video recap of the boxing match captured by BoxingMemories.com. Continue reading
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010. At first, his joints ached and then one day, he could barely get out of bed due to agonizing pain. While he waited for test results from his rheumatologist, he played in the 2010 U.S. Open and landed a fourth place finish.
If untreated, psoriatic arthritis can affect Mickelson’s golf game. The swelling of the hands and toes can affect his ability to stabilize his swing and stance. Swelling in the hands can also affect how he grips his club. With the help of medications, Mickelson is back in the game. Off the golf course, he is a vocal advocate of raising awareness for arthritis. Continue reading
In the Arthritis Olympic Village today, we’ll be talking about weightlifting! Dave Prowse, the actor who wore Darth Vader’s famous black mask and cape in the original Star Wars trilogy, is a former bodybuilder and British Heavyweight Weightlifting Champion living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Did you know that lifting weights is actually one of the best ways to care for arthritic joints?
A journal published in Geriatric Nursing indicates that lifting weights can improve strength, flexibility, and balance for people with arthritis. When joints become stronger, the pain of arthritis is often reduced. Continue reading
The results for Rio 2016 Men’s 100m sprint in Athletics are in! Congratulations to reigning champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica on his gold medal, Justin Gatlin of the United States on his silver medal and Canada’s Andre De Grasse on his bronze medal. In celebration of the track and field events happening this week in the Olympic games, the above video is an interview between the Balancing Act and USA track and field champion Carl Brown about the athlete’s fight with rheumatoid arthritis. Brown works with the Arthritis Foundation to keep Americans with arthritis in motion. Continue reading
Venus Williams, despite life with Sjögren’s syndrome, and teammate Rajeev Ram takes home the silver medal for mixed doubles in tennis in the Olympic games. Though Williams was denied the gold medal by fellow Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock, she will always be a hero to the arthritis community for her battle against Sjögren’s syndrome.
Sjögren’s syndrome is an inflammatory autoimmune disease (like arthritis) in which white blood cells—the body’s immune system—attack moisture-producing glands. Most often, this results in dry eyes and mouth, although it can also affect the joints and muscles, and organs including the liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, stomach, and brain. Continue reading