How to improve movement - flexibility and mobility

How to Improve Mobility through Movement in Various Planes of Motion

A Full Body Multi-Planar Mobility and Stretching Guide using Gary Gray’s 3D MAPS

Are you active and healthy but looking for new ways to improve your flexibility and mobility?  Then follow along to enhance your performance with these eight movement exercises! Join Stella Fusani Shaba, PTA as she introduces Gary Gray’s 3D Movement Analysis and Performance System. Accomplish increasing your mobility, stability, and the relationship between your body’s movement through the three planes of motion. Give yourself a chance to address any aches and pains before they negatively impact you. There is no better time to start than right now, so let’s jump in and see how you can improve your mobility and feel your best!

1. What is Gary Gray 3D MAPS?

Gary Gray 3D MAPS (Movement Analysis and Performance System) is an assessment tool using three dimensional planes of anatomy. The three planes included are coronal (frontal), sagittal (longitudinal), and transverse (axial) planes. The coronal plane separates the front and back of the body, while the sagittal separates the left and right side of the body. The third plane of motion is called the transverse plane which separates the upper and lower half of your body. 

2. Why should I perform these movements? 

This assessment is conducted to improve flexibility, mobility, and stability through all three planes. Gary Gray’s 3D MAPS is also a great way to decrease risk of injury as well as improve overall performance. These movements can be done as a warm up or cool down for a game, workout, practice, and any other form of physical activity. 

“It’s important to diversify your movements, because in life we are not linear. We move in different directions.” – Stella Fusani Shaba, PTA 

According to Stella Fusani Shaba, PTA there’s a chain reaction force that occurs when the foot hits the ground to get the joints moving up or down the chain. We want to ensure that things are moving correctly through the kinetic chain which is another reason why to incorporate multiplanar mobility and flexibility. Activities in our daily life require us to be able to move efficiently through all planes of motion. 

Here’s a video tutorial on Enhancing Motion Across Different Planes of Movement:

The exercise routine consists of a series of movements designed to improve flexibility, mobility, and strength in the upper and lower extremities as well as the total body. Each exercise consists of 10 repetitions.

Upper Extremity:

  • 3D Thoracic Spine Matrix @ Wall (10 reps)
  • UE Open Books + Windmill @ Wall (10 reps)

Lower Extremity:

  • 3D HS Stretch (10 reps)
  • 3D Calf Stretch (10 reps)
  • 3D Hip Flexor Stretch (10 reps)
  • 3D Piriformis Stretch (10 reps)
  • 3D Adductor Stretch (10 reps)

Total Body:

  • 3D MAPS with Bar (10 reps)
  • 3D MAPS without Bar (10 reps)

Note: It’s important to consult with a certified fitness professional before starting any new exercise routine to ensure proper form and technique, as well as to determine the appropriate weight and intensity for your individual fitness level.

Ready to take the first step towards achieving your goals? Book an appointment with our expert team today and get started on the path to success.

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swing speed - level up your power in golf

Level Up your Swing Speed and Power

Ready to level up your golf performance and swing speed? Increase your swing’s strength and power with these seven exercises! Included in this routine are jumps, slams, swings, and more to really get a well rounded workout. These exercises incorporate power development, core sequencing, controlled rotation, and energy transfer. Let’s get you started so you can show off your skills! 

“Core control and rotational stability are imperative to proper sequencing in the golf swing. This allows for the most efficient approach to power development.” – Jack Davis, PT, DPT

How can I improve my core strength? 

Simply put, the core is where all the power comes from. The initial movement all comes from the core creating a chain reaction up the torso, into your shoulders, and to your hands. There are many different ways to develop strength and stability in the core that don’t include sit ups. For example, incorporating rotational exercises such as the chop and lift will not only strengthen your obliques and deep core muscles but also teach your torso to move independently from your pelvis. Anti-rotational exercises, such as the pallof press, will build your stability and resistance to force, an essential quality for controlling your swing. Both approaches will ensure your abdominal corset to be strong and stable allowing you to perfect your swing speed. The power and speed you create naturally wants to go in every direction, but with core strengthening that will eliminate the likelihood of shanking.

What does power development do for my swing speed?

Strengthening the core alone won’t provide you with the momentum needed to hit the golf ball with control, precision, and power. Therefore, incorporating explosive exercises to teach your body how to properly transfer energy into the ball will maximize your drive. Exercises such as a medicine ball slam will develop this power in your downswing, whereas a landmine press will do the same in your upswing. Double leg jumps are a great way to strengthen your glutes in the prep and jump phase, as well as teach you how to control your power during the landing phase. As previously mentioned, all the power comes from your core; therefore, strengthening your glute muscles will allow for independent torso movement from your lower extremity.

Now that we’ve gone over how to strengthen and stabilize your core, as well as how to control and develop your power, let’s get into the golf exercises to increase swing speed!

Rotational Core Stability

Power Development (swing speed)

Claim your free PDF now to gain further insights into these exercises.

Download Explanation PDF 

Ready to take the first step towards achieving your goals? Book an appointment with our expert team today and get started on the path to success.

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6 Tips To Improve Sports Performance This Spring

6 Tips To Improve Sports Performance This Spring

To improve sports for amateur and recreational athletes planning to participate in summer sports such as marathons, and triathlons, and perform their best this season, the goal is to maximize strength, speed, performance, and optimize recovery.

Trying to improve sports performance can be confusing, and it’s far more complex than simply training as hard as you can all the time. To be at your best at your race or on game day, you need to ensure all aspects of your life including sleep, nutrition, and even your psychology are right.

At Prep Performance Center, we work with young athletes, right through to people in their 50s who want to play hard, and remain injury-free.

6 Tips To Improve Your Sports Performance And Remain Injury-Free

Here are six vital tips from our experts, that will help you reach peak performance and avoid nasty injuries that leave you stuck on the side lines:

Start Early With Training

To get the most out of sports season this summer, you’ll need to start preparing now. Begin with a thorough assessment of your current fitness level and adjust your training accordingly.

Increase the intensity and duration of workouts gradually over time to build up your endurance, strength, and agility – this will also reduce the chance of picking up injuries that wreck your season.

Use Recovery Strategies After Workouts (to improve sports)

After a strenuous workout or race, it’s important to use recovery strategies such as stretching, massage, compression garments, foam rolling, heat/cold therapy, nutrition, etc., to aid in muscle recovery and reduce the risk of sports injuries.

The right recovery strategies for you depend on a lot of things including your previous injury history (such as an ACL injury), your training volume, and your preferences.

Follow The Right Training Programme For You

To stay on top of your sports performance and sports injury prevention, it’s important to follow a well-planned training program – like our Prep Performance Academy or Youth Sports Performance Program.

This training program should be tailored to you such as your sport, your goals, and your training background.

It should include stretching, strength training, cardio exercise, sport-specific training, recovery activities, nutrition advice, and rest days.

Failing to get any one of these aspects right can drastically reduce your sports performance, and leave you unable to play as well as you could.

Stay Hydrated

This might sound obvious, but it’s essential – Dehydration can have serious consequences on sports performance so make sure that you stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after sports.

Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and remember to replenish lost electrolytes with sports drinks or coconut water.

Get Adequate Sleep

The body needs rest to repair itself and rebuild energy stores so make sure that you get enough quality sleep each night.

Aim for 7-9 hours per night depending on your age and activity level, as well as how hard you are pushing yourself in training.

If you are training really hard, and you feel tidier than usual, then this is a simple, but pretty reliable indicator that you aren’t recovering enough, and your body is struggling to keep up. This will usually happen during a time when you are ramping up your training intensity, increasing your training volume, or you’re coming off the back of intense games.

Speed Up Recovery With Physical Therapy

If you’re experiencing an injury, ache, or pain that is affecting sports performance physical therapy is a great, natural way to a fast recovery.

Physical Therapy at Prep Performance Center, Chicago can provide targeted treatment for sports-related injuries and help you recover quickly so that you can get back to performing your best.

At our clinic, we offer a wide variety of options including Kinesio Taping, Massage Therapy and Joint Mobilization so you are able to get the most effective treatment that’s right for you, and your particular situation.

By following these tips from our physical therapy team, amateur, recreational, and even professional athletes should be able to maximize their performance for the upcoming summer sports season.

Protect your young athlete from preventable injuries with our free guide. Download now and get expert advice on how to keep your child safe while playing sports. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take action today and give your young athlete and even seasoned players the best chance for success.

Download our Guide to Preventing Injury for Young Athlete

Hit Your Peak Performance In 2023

If you’re struggling to get stronger, can’t keep up with the competition, and keep coming up against the same niggling injuries, our team are here to help you.

We would love to see you at one of our Free Peak Performance Assessments where you can speak to a member of our team 1-1, and learn about the most effective ways you can improve your sports performance without getting injured.

Due to high demand at our clinic, we only have a limited number available right now, so click the link below, or call us on (773) 609-1847 now.

Arrange My Free Peak Performance Assessment

More Free Resources To Improve Your Sports Performance

Read Our Blog – How Athletes Can Loosen Tight Lower Back Muscles Fast

Read Our Blog – How To Prevent Knee Pain When Running

Follow Us On Social Media – Prep Performance Center Facebook, Prep Performance Center Instagram, and Prep Performance Center YouTube

Book an Appointment Today

Improve footwork for Soccer Players

6 Exercises to Improve Footwork for Soccer Players

Do you want to improve your footwork? Need assistance moving your feet faster? Take a look at the videos down below of 6 basic exercises to help! Start off slow and build up your speed over time. You can also use a training ladder to do these exercises if a box is not available. For more of a challenge, have a timer going and count the number of steps in a selected amount of time and try to beat that score each time! Let’s take a look at these exercises!

6 Exercises:

  1. Foundations
  2. Toe taps – Ball
  3. Toe taps – Box
  4. Alt Lat Step Over
  5. SL Box Ankle Hops
  6. Up Up Down Down

To improve your footwork you will also need to work on your hips and ankles. Doing exercises to increase mobility, strength, and balance will help tremendously! Hip and mobility is essential for soccer players as it allows for improved agility, increased speed, and lighter feet. Check out the links below to see how you can improve your mobility!

  1. Strike the Ball with Power! Hip Mobility Exercises for Soccer Players
  2. 10 Exercises to Improve Ankle Mobility and Stability

Know someone who’s had knee surgery or recently gone through one yourself? Our FREE e-book on Soccer Return to Run After Knee Surgery is the perfect resource for getting back on the field safely and confidently. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll also receive our top 6 exercises to improve footwork for soccer players!

Don’t let an injury hold you or your loved one back – click the button below to download now and start your journey to recovery.

Download Our Soccer Return to Run Calendar

Ready to take your footwork to the next level? Book an appointment with our expert physical therapist today and get personalized guidance on the top 6 exercises to improve your soccer footwork! Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out, we’re here to help you reach your goals and achieve your best performance.

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How Athletes Can Loosen Tight Lower Back Muscles Fast

How Athletes Can Loosen Tight Lower Back Muscles Fast

Lower Back Muscles 

It can be extremely difficult to keep up with your favorite sports when you have a stiff and tight lower back – and it’s very frustrating because we know that playing sports and keeping active is more than just a hobby – it’s a passion.

Lower back problems can make it painful to move, reduce your speed, power, and strength, and ultimately mean you aren’t able to pay as well as you could.

Some people try to put on a brave face, power through the pain and hope it gets better on its own.

Others have to stop playing sports and exercising entirely until the tightness goes away.

Then there are the people who get the right help from experts and quickly loosen their stiff backs. This allows them to get back to playing the sports they love – be one of these people!

Why Do I Get A Stiff Lower Back When Playing Sports?

Your lower back pain and stiffness can be caused by a number of reasons.

As an active person, it’s probably not caused by a lack of movement or sitting for long periods of time.

But it could be caused by overtraining, muscular imbalances, weak core muscles, or poor movement patterns. One, or a combination of these reasons, could leave your lower back unable to cope resulting in the muscles tightening up, and pain flaring up.

There could also be sports injuries that you haven’t fully recovered from, and are still taking a toll on your body – this is a common reason, and why it’s so important to get an injury managed properly so it doesn’t become a long-term issue that lasts months, if not years!

Our physical therapy team regularly works with amateur, professional, and elite-level athletes and sportspeople and there is rarely just one factor that is leading to a stiff lower back.

That’s why it’s so difficult for you to treat it yourself, or why it goes away for a day or two before coming back worse than ever.

How Athletes Can Loosen Tight Lower Back Muscles Fast_Prep Performance Center

Common Sports Where Lower Back Tightness Is A Problem

Certain sports have a higher chance of causing lower back pain and stiffness such as golf, baseball, and tennis.

These sports involve a lot of twisting and turning motions that are done in an explosive manner which can place a lot of stress on your lower back.

Weightlifting, CrossFit, and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) classes also have high rates of low back pain. The heavy weights combined with high levels of fatigue during a workout mean that a safe lifting technique is often compromised, and your lower back suffers.

Ease A Stiff Lower Back Muscles At Home

For some immediate relief from lower back stiffness, using a foam roller or doing certain stretches – particularly those that relax the muscles in the hips and glutes can be helpful as they have a big impact on your lower back – can help.

However, the right stretches or foam roller movements for you will depend on the underlying cause of your lower back pain.

That’s why it’s so important to get expert help, and why you’ve struggled to get any long-term benefit from stretching or foam roller yourself.

How To Loosen Tight Lower Back Muscles Fast

If you want to loosen tight lower muscles fast quickly and stop it from coming back the next time you work out, or play sports, there are a number of proven, natural treatment options available at Prep Performance Center, Chicago – all without having to resort to painkillers, injections, or resting for weeks!

Cupping, Massage Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy are just three of the powerful treatment options available to ease a stiff lower back, and our team have seen incredible success with lower back pain sufferers – even if they’ve had the problem for years, and feel like they’ve tried everything!

To find out what the best treatment option would be for you, and to discover how to get long-term relief from a stiff lower back, arrange a Free Discovery Visit.

Speaking to a member of our expert team, who has worked with thousands of back pain sufferers in Chicago can give you hope of a life without back problems, and allow you to play hard, exercise as often as you want, and perform better than ever before!

Right now, the demand at our clinic is very high, so arrange your Free Discovery Visit or call us on (773) 609-1847 now – we would love to help you.

Are you looking to improve your athletic performance and reduce your risk of injury? Look no further than the Dynamic Warm Up!

This comprehensive warm-up routine is designed to activate your muscles, increase your range of motion, and prepare your body for exercise.

Download Dynamic Warm Up Guide

Other Free Resources To Stop Lower Back Pain And Stiffness

Read Our Blog – How To Prevent Sports Injuries – 5 Proven Strategies

Read Our Blog – Improve Your Performance & End Your Lower Back Pain When Playing Golf

Follow Us On Social Media – Prep Performance Center Facebook, Prep Performance Center Instagram, and Prep Performance Center YouTube

Book an Appointment Today

Man Playing Golf With Lower Back Pain

Improve Your Performance & End Your Lower Back Pain When Playing Golf

Want to end lower back pain when playing golf? Lower back pain is a common problem for golfers, and we work with lots of golf lovers, and even golf pros here at Prep Performance Center Chicago.

Golf takes a big toll on your lower back muscles when swinging the golf club.

These muscles can get sore from all the repetition, rotation, and force and for some, this can start to hurt after a while.

While lower back pain from golf can be a nuisance, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your time on the links.

It’s important to take steps to reduce your risk and to end lower back pain correctly so you don’t cause more damage or become chronic.

The good news is that there are some easy things you can do to help prevent lower back pain from golf and reduce the severity of existing lower back pain.

How To Prevent or End Lower Back Pain When Golfing

Proper Golf Swing

First, make sure you use proper form when swinging the club. This means that you should keep your spine in an upright position throughout your golf swing and avoid any sudden jerking or twisting movements.

Keeping a neutral posture while playing golf will help reduce the strain on your lower back. If you have trouble with your lower back, you might find that you are playing with a modified swing – to avoid your normal movement pattern which has become painful.

In the short term, you might think that this solves the problem, but actually, it’s just going to make your lower back pain last longer and become worse over time.

Golf Clubs

Another simple way to prevent or to end lower back pain when golfing is to use a golf cart, or use a golf bag with wheels instead of carrying your clubs if possible.

Carrying your clubs for long periods of time can put undue pressure on your lower back and create more pain. If you have to carry your clubs, try to alternate sides to balance out the work for your muscles, and avoid creating imbalances.

Add A Warm-Up (end lower back pain)

Finally, add a warm-up before you play golf. Warming up helps to loosen your muscles, which can reduce the risk of lower back pain. If your lower back muscles feel tight and stiff, recognize that they need some loosening up before teeing off.

A simple 5-10 minute dynamic warm-up with stretches and light jogging or walking is all it takes to be ready for the course. This will not only reduce the chance of lower back pain, but will also give you greater movement and help you play better.

Should I Play Golf With Lower Back Pain?

If you have lower back pain, it’s important to speak with one of our expert physical therapists before playing golf. Golf can be a great way to stay active, but it can also exacerbate lower back pain if done too often or with a poor swing pattern.

Your physical therapist can help you come up with a plan to manage your lower back pain and keep playing golf in the short term, and help you improve your golf performance in the long term.

Depending on the severity of the pain, this might mean limiting rounds, taking time off, or modifying your swing. However, we understand that golf is important to you, and we do everything we can to keep you playing as often, and as well as you can.

The warning signs to look out for can be a burning sensation in your lower back, numbness or tingling in your extremities, or sharp pain with certain movements. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, our advice would be to seek urgent medical attention.

End Lower Back Pain So You Can Play As Much Golf As You Want

If you want to relieve or to end lower back pain without painkillers, injections, or the risk of surgery, so you can get back to enjoying your time on the golf course – we can help.

To find out more, start with a completely Free Discovery Visit where you can speak to a member of the team who has worked with thousands of back pain sufferers in Chicago.

Right now, the demand at our clinic is very high, so arrange your Free Discovery Visit or call us on (773) 609-1847 now to avoid having to wait.

Attention all golfers! Do you want to improve your swing, increase your power, and prevent injuries on the course? Our ACL Bike Conditioning Program can help you achieve your goals! Click the button below to get started. Download Now!

Download ACL Bike Conditioning Program

Arrange Your Free Golf Performance Assessment

At Prep Performance Center, we work with golfers who want to take their golf performance to the next level – hitting further off the tee, reducing your handicap, and being able to handle multiple days back to back at golf competitions.

For a limited time, we have 8 Free Golf Performance Assessments available which give you the chance to discover where your golf game is lacking, and where you should focus on to improve your game.

Call us on (773) 609-1847 now, and request to arrange your Free Golf Performance Assessment today.

Other Free Resources To Improve Your Golf Performance

Read Our Blog – 7 Exercises to Increase Trunk and Hip Mobility in your Golf Swing

Read Our Blog – 6 Exercises to Increase the Strength and Power of Your Golf Swing

Follow Us On Social Media – Prep Performance Center Facebook, Prep Performance Center Twitter and Prep Performance Center YouTube

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