Movement Prep to Decrease your Chance of Injury and Improve your Performance

Since the decision by the ISAF to include Kitesurfing in the 2016 Olympics, there is no doubt that in the next four years, our sport is going to drastically evolve.   Windsurfing went through the same progression in the Mid 80’s, going from a recreational activity to an Olympic sport.  Over the past 10 years, we have also seen competitive surfing evolve from being a sport known for “beach bums”, to a sport where you need to be a world-class athlete in order to be competitive.  One of the great things about Kitesurfing is that there is so much variation from freestyle, waves, airstyle??, and course racing.  Over the past summer I have noticed more and more people adding a race board or directional to their quiver, and this past weekend was proof that racing fever is very much alive in Belmont Shore.

Just like any other athlete, it is imperative to warm up correctly before hitting the water… especially before racing.  As a former competitive Olympic class windsurfer (in the 90’s), I know how strenuous course racing can be on your body, and how a good dynamic warm up can both physically and mentally prepare you for success.

After posting my last kitesurfing blog on 8/20/12, I had a few people come up to me on the beach and ask for some specific dynamic stretches that they could incorporate into their routine before each session.  Remember, Movement prep, as the term suggests, prepares your body for movement. It is a series of innovative and dynamic movements that increase your core temperature, prepare your nervous system for physical activity and strengthen your body.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

Lateral squat Low – In a wide stance move your weight over one foot, Keeping your knee on squatting side behind toes, Keep weight on midfoot to heel, Keep chest up and back flat, Keep hips low throughout movement, 10-15 reps per side
Goal: stretch groin and activate glutes and quads


Knee Hug Moving –  Lift right knee to chest and grab below knee with hands, Pull right knee to chest while contracting left glute, Step forward and repeat to other side, 10-15 reps per side
 Goal- stretch glutes and hip flexors


Forward lunge with rotation
 – Lunge forward with one foot, Rotate your chest to the side of the forward leg, contract glutes, quads, and core, keep your knee on lunging leg behind toes, step back and repeat, 10-15 reps per side

The best way to prevent injury is to make sure that your body is moving with control, and free of functional limitations and muscle asymmetries.  The way that we assess for this in my office is with a Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

To all “Belmont Kite Friends” on Facebook, I am offering the FMS free of charge.   I look forward to hearing from you all… see you on the water!

MOVE Well… LIVE Well,

Dr. Jack