Basketball Series Part3: Injury Prevention

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Basketball Series Part3: Injury Prevention

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An important tenet of both injury prevention and rehab in athletes is unilateral training, working on one side of the body at a time.  Rarely in sports such as basketball are athletes actually on both legs at one time; instead, they spend the majority of their time running, jumping, and cutting on one leg.  From an injury prevention standpoint (or just performance enhancement), most people have a dominant side of their body.  Unilateral training to the non-dominant side can help reduce the risk of injuries (or improve performance).  From a rehab standpoint, the injured limb tends to not function as efficiently as the non-injured limb creating a deficit between the two.  Unilateral training can help close this gap.    
Single Leg Hops are a great exercise for unilateral training in basketball players.  Some keys to watch for when performing Single Leg Hops are:
  • Avoid excessive movement of the trunk
  • Soft Landing (allow the knee to bend)
  • Avoid side-to-side movement of the knee (dynamic valgus/varus)
  • Avoid excessive forward movement of the knee past the toes
  • Avoid over pronation/supination of the foot (rolling too far in or out)
Single Leg Hops can be performed in a variety of ways, check out this video for how to best land on one leg: