More than 229 million people across America spend time participating in sports — every single day! This is not completely surprising, considering that sports are not only a great way to keep yourself fit and healthy, but they can also benefit your mental well-being. Physical activity gives you the perfect way to take some time for yourself, decompress and even get outdoors.
It is, however, vital that you play your sports carefully if you are going to “ safeguard” your body while exercising. This is where physical therapists can help. On top of this, they can help you get better at the sports you love, even while you’re away from the playing field!
Whether you are looking to improve your athletic performance for America’s best sporting events or want to nail your leisure-time technique, a physical therapist can help you become a better athlete.
So exactly what does physical therapy help and how does it improve athletic abilities? Read on to find out more!
- Better Coordination
During your sessions with a physical therapist, you will learn all about the muscles that you are not using properly in your body.
Often when we exercise or move around at work and home, we become reliant on dominant muscles. As a result of this, certain parts of your body can become stronger than others. This means that they are well-worked and in good shape.
However, coordinating these muscles with ones that you use less can become difficult over time. By exploring all of the muscles in your body, your therapist will promote body awareness so that you can coordinate all of your muscles easily.
This can be especially helpful for sports such as tennis, soccer, and swimming.
- Improved Balance
In addition to improving your coordination, better body awareness can also make a world of difference for your balance. This means that your positioning during sport will be much stronger.
You will find it easier to:
- Hold challenging positions
- Stand your ground in contact sports
- Try more complex sporting techniques
Getting the basics, like balance and coordination, is essential if you are going to build a strong foundation for developing your athletic ability.
- Lower Risk of Injuries
A lot of people think that one of the main reasons to go to physical therapy is for support when recovering from an injury. While it is important to get professional support while doing this, physical therapy can also help to prevent injuries in the first place.
This is because regular physical therapy, especially when you first start out, helps you optimize your body’s mechanics. As a result, the muscles that you use during sport will be as strong as possible.
This means that they will be less susceptible to injuries. On top of this, you will be less likely to use weaker or inappropriate muscles while exercising. So physical therapy will protect your body as a whole.
During your sessions, your physical therapist will share some techniques with you. These techniques are designed to be used throughout your sporting career. These will help you to warm up your body and train it properly, as well as protecting you during sporting competitions.
- Increased Mobility
If you want to be at the peak of your athletic performance then mobility is key. This helps you safely push your body to its absolute limit while you are competing.
For example, a runner’s stride will always be limited if they only have a certain amount of hip extension available. And a pitcher without proper shoulder range will only be able to get the baseball to a certain speed. Unlocking these limitations helps you reach your full athletic potential.
In order to do this, it is important to get training from an experienced physical therapist. They will take you through a range of exercises that help to increase your mobility over a period of time. It is important not to rush this process otherwise you could do more harm than good.
Working with your body’s specific mobility requirements, your physical therapist will help you to reach and sustain maximum mobility. Depending on your preferred sport, they can help you focus on certain areas. Or they can improve your mobility as a whole to benefit your overall sporting prowess.
- Reduced Pain
Last, but by no means least, we have pain reduction. This might not seem like the most important factor when it comes to improving your sporting performance but it makes a world of difference.
While “no pain, no gain” might be a popular motto in gyms around the world, this isn’t always the case. In fact, trying to continue exercising or playing sports through pain can have a huge impact on your performance.
Not only will it limit your body’s abilities but it can also be distracting and throw you off your game. You can even find yourself accommodating the pain by using different muscles in your body. This can result in serious injuries if you aren’t careful.
Physical therapy focuses on helping you reduce pain from intense games or training sessions so that you can feel like yourself on the sports field. It does this by using exercises to help accelerate your recovery time between exercise sessions.
These are great practices to use in the gym or after a match while you are cooling down. This means that you will come back stronger to the activities that you love!
Improve Your Athletic Performance With the Help of Physical Therapy
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to physical therapy. It can help you to improve your overall sporting technique and protect your body while exercising. As a result, your athletic performance will improve in leaps and bounds.
Ready to make the most of everything that physical therapy has to offer you? Then make an appointment with a member of our expert team today! We’re here to help.