fbpx

Tag: seniors

A hand grips a wooden pickleball paddle and bounces a white whiffle ball upward in front of a black background.

Pickleball injuries can be avoided, and fitness is the best way to do it.

Common pickleball injuries include muscle strains and knee and ankle sprains. The good news is that you can reduce the risk dramatically with fitness training. 

Injuries are common when people start doing any activity following a period of inactivity. Imagine lunging for a ball when you haven’t performed a lunge in years and aren’t used to moving quickly. Injuries can also occur due to overuse or repetitive strain. Think of constantly using one side of the body to swing a pickleball paddle without training the opposite side of the body for balance.

Our Legends fitness program for people over 50 is perfect for preventing pickleball injuries. We train the entire body to build up overall fitness, and by increasing the strength of your muscles, your joints are protected. 

To prevent injuries to the ankles, knees and hips, we use a number of lower-body exercise, but one is superior to all the others: the squat.

Click here to learn more about how our program helps pickleball players! 

Prevent Pickleball Injuries With Squats

A properly performed squat builds strength in the entire leg and creates stability around each joint. Proper performance of the squat leads to increased range of motion (flexibility) and improved movement mechanics in sport. To say it another way, if you can squat properly in the gym, you’ll be much more prepared for athletic movement in sport. For example, if you lunge to swing at a ball, your strong leg muscles will stabilize you, protect your joints and provide a foundation for your swing,

The squat works many muscle groups in the lower body: the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and even calves. With appropriate loads, the squat also improves core strength.

An older woman in black pants and a blue top performs squats as part of a program that can prevent pickleball injuries.
This is a beautiful squat! Note that the hips are lower than the knees, and the lumbar curve of the back is visible.

How to Squat

If you have not squatted in a long time, please perform your squats near a stable object you can use for support if you lose your balance. Some people will perform squats to a stable chair as they build strength. You should not feel any joint pain as you squat, though your muscles might feel like they’re working.

Here are the steps:

1. Put your feet at shoulder width with your toes turned out slightly.

2. Slowly send your hips back and down. Avoid the tendency to send the knees forward like a back catcher in baseball. Send the hips back and down.

3. Make sure that your knees are moving directly in line with your ankles. If they start to roll inward, actively push them back in line with your ankles.

4. Try your best to keep your chest upright. For many people, this is a challenge at first. Do your best to sit tall. In a perfect squat, the lumbar curve in the back is maintained just as it is when standing tall. For some people, it helps to squat with the arms extended in front.

5. Descend until your hips are slightly below the top of your knees unless you are too weak to do so. If so, stop short of full range of motion, but make it a goal to squat just a little bit lower next time. When you squat to full depth, you engage more muscles that stabilize the knees. 

6. Stand up.

Here’s a video demonstration:

And here’s a link to a woman performing squats from a chair: CrossFit.com

Without knowing anything about you, it’s hard to tell you how many squats to perform. Those who haven’t squatted might be tired after a single rep, while others might not be tired after 10. Other will need to add some weight to build strength.

The important part now is just learning how to squat properly, so practice every day—even when you rise from seated after dinner! If you do, your leg strength will increase dramatically, which will improve your speed, power and agility. More than anything else, you’ll dramatically reduce your chances of injury and joint pain, leaving you free to enjoy pickleball.

If you’d like to learn more about how our program can help you or someone you know, click the button below!

Book a Free Consultation

Our Legends athletes!
Our Legends athletes!

If you’re looking for information on the 204 Legends program, we’ve collected it here. We’re thrilled that you’re interested, and we’ve laid everything out below to help you learn more about the program.

Location: 483 Berry St. between Silver and St. Matthews, two minutes from Polo Park. We’re right beside d.a. Niels Kitchenware, and its owner is one of our Legends clients. There’s one-hour street parking in front, and we have a lot in the back.

Phone: 204-880-1001 (If we can’t answer the phone because we’re coaching a class, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we can)

Email: Info@CrossFit204.com

Training sessions: Weekdays at 10 a.m.  Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. (with a membership, you can come to any Legends training sessions on the schedule and are not limited to one slot or day).

Introductory cost: $105-$210 for two or four one-hour one-on-one intro sessions ($52.50 each) in which a qualified coach will learn about you and your goals while teaching you everything you need to know to get started. Some clients are ready to go after two sessions, but others really appreciate a few extra hours getting comfortable with the coach and the movements. We evaluate each client and recommend the path that will best help that client accomplish his or her goals, and we never rush people into group classes. We want you to feel totally confident and comfortable. Additional sessions are available if a client prefers personal training.

Legends monthly rate: $105 (GST included) for 2 classes per week or $126 (GST included) or 3 classes per week (Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday)

Credentials: All our coaches hold a wide variety of well-regarded fitness credentials. You can view the biography and credentials of each coach on our Staff Page.

Availability: We currently have space available, and we will add more coaches as needed to preserve a low coach-to-athlete ratio.

Video: CrossFit 204 Legends

Introductory Sessions Description

To begin, an athlete spends two to four sessions one-on-one with a coach to learn movements and address any mobility issues or other concerns. A bit of stiffness or an old hockey injury are common at this age, and we can work around them as we learn about the athlete.

When necessary, we work with athletes’ health-care providers to ensure all activity is safe and reasonable. We’ve found doctors are ecstatic that their patients want to be more active, which helps them improve quality of live and positively affect health markers including blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. If your doctor has made recommendations about your activities, please let us know. We always defer to your care provider and work closely with doctors, physiotherapists and athletic trainers to ensure you’re getting all the attention you need.

Training Session Description

Make no mistake: the members of our Legends crew certainly care about improving and getting stronger and faster, but it’s all about fun, vitality, community, and long-term health and function. We are looking to add vigour to your life and help you do the things you want to do.

We use functional movements with our athletes, meaning we teach them how to move properly. You’ll learn how to stand up and sit down using the correct muscles. We’ll teach you how to brace your core when picking something up. We’ll safely elevate your heart rate to improve your cardiovascular system. And you’ll have a good time.

If a client has an old injury or a mobility concern, we simply modify movements and apply very moderate amounts of intensity. Intensity might be slowly squatting to a box with only body weight as resistance to start. That level of intensity might slowly increase to include a small dumbbell as resistance, and we might remove the box at some point. Then we might add a light barbell, and then a heavier one after that.

The idea is progressive overload with strength work, and we take the same approach with conditioning. Walking briskly might become running, which might become pushing a sled or using a rowing machine.

The overall goal is safely improving both strength and conditioning. And “intensity” just means “a little further than yesterday.” We are not taskmasters. We are fitness professionals who are 100 percent invested in your long-term health and fitness. Is the work challenging? Yes, but it’s tailored to your needs, and the results will make the work very worthwhile. We apply these same principles to the mobility and flexibility work that’s included in every class.

An example of an entire session is below. Don’t worry if you don’t know what the movements are. You will learn them in your introductory sessions. All workouts are led by a qualified coach. You will receive constant instruction and supervision.

      • Rowing warm-up
      • Core work: 3 sets of 10 lying leg raises
      • 10 minutes of various hip-mobility work
      • Back squat: 4 sets of 6 (modified as needed)
      • Group shoulder prehab including work on the deltoids and external rotators
      • Conditioning circuit: 3 rounds of a 250-m row, 15 ball slams (12 lb.) and 15 Russian kettlebell swings (15 lb.)

Interestingly enough, this workout could easily be scaled up to provide a challenge to our top athletes. That’s the beauty of CrossFit: it can be tailored to any athlete.

The best part of all is that the body of a senior athlete responds like the body of a younger athlete, if slightly more slowly. We can improve levels of strength and conditioning, and we hope to help our older athletes retain muscle mass, increase bone density and improve their cardiovascular systems—all things that will help people live a healthy life and avoid injury.

Results

Results don’t come instantly, but they will come steadily in you attend regularly. You can speed up the process by addressing your diet. Very simply, reduce the amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates in your diet and eat more vegetables. A person’s diet is more complicated than that, but we’ve found that simple advice helps bring about dramatic changes. We advise you to track your sugar intake for a week, then identify places where you can easily reduce it.

You can expect a little initial muscular soreness as you start the program, but know that slightly sore muscles are normal and to be expected. You’re “waking them up.” Should any joint pain occur due to old injuries or a lack of flexibility, we will adjust the movements for you and work with your care provider. We never push through pain and will always make you comfortable with every movement.

As you train, you can expect strength levels to increase, and we’ll keep track of them so you can see for yourselves. These gains are steady, and in some cases they are dramatic. You’ll also improve your conditioning. Very quickly, a flight of stairs will be no problem, and you’ll notice the walk to the car with groceries is easier. Grandchildren will feel lighter. Posture will improve.

Your doctor may also notice other improvements. Our clients generally see improved blood work, and weight loss is common. Osteoporosis can also be prevented through regular strength training, and risks of heart disease and other ailments can be reduced through fitness.

But don’t take our word for it. Ask our current clients. They will tell you exactly why they train with us, and their words should carry more weight than ours. We base our reputation on the satisfaction of our clients.

See you in the gym!

If you have any questions, please call Crystal at 204-880-1001, or email Info@CrossFit204.com.