USA Women’s Rugby; Powerful, Tough Women Need Ankle Mobility and Core Stability Too

Today I had the pleasure of working with a member of one of the USA Women’s Rugby Teams. I won’t say which one to keep client confidentiality, but there are more more one team and many women on the team scattered around the US. She was referred to me for some manual therapy for a back injury she had. I performed a complete kinetic chain assessment using; the overhead squat test, prone and supine postural analysis, goiniometric (range of motion) and manual muscle testing techniques.

Yes she had some issues with her low back as she already knew, but she had significant issues with range of motion in both ankles and her left big toe…yes the big toe is a BIG deal when it does not move well. Her ankles moved less than 1/3 of what they were supposed in the sagital plane (toes coming up towards the nose) to and the same with her left big toe. In addition to work she needs on her low back, pelvis and hips her ankles and left big toe are now in the mix. I am always amazed when high level athletes have these issues and they go unnoticed. I feel bad for anyone who is experiencing pain, tightness, soreness not reaching their true potential because someone in my field has not identified what their true performance inhibitors are. We need to find them and reduce or eliminate them to give our athletes the best chance to succeed. This goes for desk jockeys and recreational athletes too, but I have expectations that the higher level athletes will be taken care of. I ma so glad her strength coach, who is a sharp guy and hard worker, referred her to me. Kudos to him for taking care of his athletes like a true strength coach and performance enhancement specialist should.

A bit of a rant today, but the lesson for the day is the pain/tightness we feel is often a symptom, not the true problem. Find a corrective exercise specialist, manual therapist or licensed health care practitioner that can complete a full kinetic chain assessment and then develop a sound exercise program from flexibility to core stability and beyond.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Beard
Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist

ps; I am filming my new video on Training the tennis shoulder this Sunday! I can’t wait to share it with you!

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