Tips for preventing basketball injuries

By Jesse Haines, CSCS

Tips to Prevent Basketball Injuries

The high school /college basketball season is quickly coming to an end. At the same time, teams at the professional level have just recently reached the midpoint of the season. One thing that all levels of play share in common is the fact that an injury can occur to any player at any time. The most common injuries in the sport of basketball are rolled ankles, knee injuries, muscle strains or over-use injuries. While there is no way to prevent 100% of all injuries, athletes can follow these tips to stay on the court.

StiemsmaPOWERStay Hydrated

Staying properly hydrated can help prevent strains and cramps. This happens because muscles use fluids and electrolytes to function properly during exercise. When an athlete is dehydrated, the supply of fluids and electrolytes is depleted. This is when an athlete could experience muscle pain.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Utilize a proper warm-up before games and practices as well as an active cool down session. The thought process of a dynamic warm-up is simply movement preparation. It should raise the heart rate and a proper warm-up will increase core body temperature. Even a little something is better than nothing.

When the game/practice is completed the players should go through a cool down process. This is the lowering of the heart rate and followed by some static stretching. Foam rolling could also be included in this process.

Strength Training

In-season strength training is as important as strength training in the off season. Doing so is said to contribute to a reduction or injuries. Injury reduction is made possible by strength training correcting muscle imbalances and the improvement of joint stability. In-season performance is improved with strength training by increasing stability, mobility and overall strength. Strength training also contributes to increased speed and endurance.

Prehab Exercises

Another way to reduce injury is to incorporate “Prehab” band exercises into any routine. Prehab is getting ahead of a problem area before an injury occurs. These movements are meant to improve ankles stability to avoid ankle sprains. These simple band movements will improve hip strength which will lead to improved hip and knee stability.
Two band exercises are:
1. Band Squats – Place a resistance band around your knees and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes forward. Squat while keeping your knees wide, pushing against the bands. Return to a standing position.
2. Band Walks – Place a resistance band around your knees. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart in an athletic position and take small steps laterally in both directions while maintaining your athletic position.