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Exercises for every age

Emily Tamberino

Howard Head Sports Medicine is known for being the best in helping people recover from an injury. But what you may not know is that they also specialize in injury prevention (not just rehabilitation) through exercise. In fact some of the world's best athletes train with Howard Head in hopes of avoiding the wear-and-tear injuries that sports often cause. We worked with Howard Head's Philip Galloway to learn what general injuries are common among age groups and what exercises can be done to combat those injuries and keep you active and healthy.

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The 20s and younger are about feeling indestructible but you are still certainly at risk for injury from moving incorrectly during activity. By working on the positioning of your lower body while performing athletic moves you can reduce the likelihood of many common knee injuries.

While at home or in the gym practicing correct form in squats — double leg single leg or plyometric will improve your form and carry over into your sports. It's all about alignment: Keep the hips and knees aligned over your feet and keep your chest and shins parallel deep into the squat. For single leg squats keep the same form as double leg squats but you also need to keep your hips level as you lower into the squat. For plyometric squats maintain the same form again but you will have the added challenge of 2.5x the weight which your muscles will
have to control and still keep your body aligned.

If you made it out of your 20s without any knee problems (or even if you didn't) it may be
time to start thinking about your back. The core strength you had leftover from your college
days is likely fading. By keeping yourself strong through your midsection you'll also decrease your chances of hurting your lower back.

For a V sit with legs lifted sit on the ground with your feet elevated keeping your spine straight and hold the position for 10-15 seconds. For a flat plank prop up on your elbows and toes with your back straight. Fora side plank prop up on one elbow and the side of one foot keeping your body in a straight line. For increased difficulty add a leg lift or unstable surface such a ball. For bridge lie on your back digging your heels into the ground. Lift your hips until your body is in a
straight line. For increased difficulty
only use one leg and rotate legs.

In your 40s your rotator cuffs will tear easier than they would have in your 20s and 30s. But
preparing your body to withstand that shoulder stress is as easy as picking up a theraband from a
sporting goods store and fastening it to a wall in your house.

With your elbows flexed to 90 degrees rotate away from your body and then return to the start
position. Make this more effective by placing a rolled towel under your armpit to hold the form. For the shoulder internal rotation turn around and do the reverse of the previous exercise.
For added challenge take the rotation exercises above and add a 90-degree bend in your elbows.
Next try shoulder extensions using the theraband. Start with your arms out front thumbs pointing out and elbows locked. Pull the bands to your pocket area and squeeze shoulders back and down.
Keep in mind what your mother
always told you — no slouching.

Balance begins to deteriorate as you enter your 50s and 60s. The loss of balance can impact your fun and the likelihood that you'll stay on your feet when challenged by an icy patch. By practicing
balance exercisesyou can fight those forces of nature.

Begin by focusing your gaze on a fixed point. Keep your eyes glued to that point and lift one leg.
Increase the difficulty by standing on something soft (like a pillow or towel) or an unstable surface.
Make this exercise more dynamic by balancing on one foot and reaching as far to the front back left and back right as possible. Repeat on the other leg.




Howard Head Sports Medicine has nine convenient locations to serve you in Avon Beaver Creek Eagle Edwards Frisco Gypsum Silverthorne and Vail. Contact them at (970) 476-1225.