MOBILITY, INJURIES & PREHAB
Unfortunately netball is a sport where we must jump, land, twist and contest with each other for the ball and for space on a hard floor, at pace. This will inevitably lead to injuries therefore it is extremely important to do everything we can to train our bodies to be as resilient as they can to the stresses of our sport.
“There is no wrong movement, there is lack of preparation and lack of awareness.” Ido Portal
Mobility is essentially our ability to move our body through a range of motion. It is extremely important to keep mobile not only for benefits to performance but also for daily life tasks.
Most of us netballers balance working a full time or part time job and netball, so it is extremely important that you keep your body moving, to reduce chance of injury, increase blood flow in your muscles helping to alleviate DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).
'Spending 5-10 minutes doing mobility before a session can help us open-up the range of movement that we are going to use in our training sessions. For example, doing some hip opening stretches before squatting can help you to get into a better squatting position. This allows you to target the muscles you intend to use, so you will therefore get more benefit out of the movement.’ - Tom Morgan (Hy3rid Training). Check out the Tom’s mobility flow on this YouTube link. This flow focuses around hips and spine.
The Royal Ballet maintain that you should aim to stretch daily for minutes equivalent to your age. So if you are 18, you should be stretching for 18 mins per day.
Stretching after a session can help you to ‘chill-out’ after a session and fall back into a para-sympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) state, allowing you to recover from heightened physical exertion and metabolic activity. Check out our 15minute mobility flow on this YouTube Link. This flow focusses on spine, hip and lower body mobility.
INJURIES & PREHAB
"Treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable" Bill Gates
Unfortunately, injuries are part of the journey as an athlete, and the Harris sisters have had their fair share, with an ACL rupture, torn ankle ligaments, stress fractures and patella tendonitis.
Netball has a reputation for its ankle and knee injuries. Therefore the stability of these joints and the strength of the muscles around them is very important and should be a crucial element of your training.
There is a limit to what you can do to completely prevent these injuries when flying through the air and landing on someone’s foot. However, there are many exercises, that if performed consistently, could significantly reduce your chance of injury. Work done before injuries happen is called “prehab”, and here are some ideas of what you can get started with:
It is really useful for your joints, ligaments and muscles to get used to and prepare for the specific movements we utilise in a netball game. Practicing landings in a variety of directions, using 1 and 2 legs and at different speeds will help your brain engage and protect your joints when you do this at full pace in a game. This is also useful for "proprioception" - this is the perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body.
You can practice this away from netball by closing your eyes and standing on 1 foot (we practice whilst we are brushing our teeth!).
A. Broad jumps + stick the landing x 5
B. Continuous broad jumps x 5
C. Double leg (DL) jump to single leg (SL) landing x 5 e/s
D. SL hops x 5 e/s
E. Multi-directional hops x 10
F. Controlled skater hops x 5 e/s
G. Skater leaps x 5 e/s
H. Pogo jumps 3 x 3
I. DL vertical jump to sprint (3 steps) x 3
J. DL vertical jump, SL landing to sprint (3 steps) x 3 e/s
It is boring, but your gluteals are the big muscles at the top of your legs that can help to stabilise the joints below. The gluteals consists of 3 muscles (gluteus maximus, medius and minimus) all of which should activated and strengthened to ensure maximal stability. Much of ACL rehabilitation is glute work, as increasing the capabilities of your glutes, can really take pressure off the knees.
10min Glute Challenge: 1 x 5min e/s - Aim to do this once per week.
We would also encourage that you select any 5 of these exercises to do prior to any training or match play (x8-10 reps e/s). This will get your glutes firing and hopefully reduce your risk of injury.