How To Prevent Common Polo Injuries

polo fitness Dec 10, 2021

Here's a quick video on how to prevent and deal with common polo injuries. Broken riding muscles and tennis elbow are some of the most common which hinder your ability to play polo. 

Transcription: How To Prevent Common Polo Injuries

While I'm asking that the specific injuries, for me, that plague all of us. As a ex professional polo player. I mean, I ended up with broken riding muscles, that I had to put a belt or create a belt to hold them.

And, you know, it was just a whole series of these riding muscles going again, and again, and again, and also the what's the name, the tennis elbow.

And that can be from bad technique. Okay. As well from holding the mallet incorrectly, that, all hammer grip, whatever. And your mallet starts to really work on you.

But are there specific exercises, one can do, and stretches, that can, because those to me are the two most hampering things.

I see time and again, everybody arriving with a band around their arm, you know, and they've got a store elbow. So, from a technique point of view, I can help them.

But what about from an exercise point of view and that old riding muscle that just goes again, and again. Yeah, that riding muscle is a big, is a big problem.

And again, I think it just comes down to years of not warming up, not stretching, not engaging the muscles correctly. And also, thing is with the riding muscle, that area around the hips may not be the actual initial problem.

The problem could be from the back or an imbalance through the pelvis, mis-alignment of the pelvis. So, actually sometimes people say, oh, you know, my hip, I've done my hip in. And then I'm like, right, well, look at the rest of your bio-mechanics.

Where are the imbalances, you know, look at your spine, is it curving? Are you know, you're walking slightly like this. And so it could be a few of other things, but with regards to staying in that area.

I'll just do lots of stretching, lots of mobilizing. So, you know, the side lunge where you kind of dip down, bend one knee, keep the other leg straight, and that would just stretch it out. And again, we were mobilizing when we're warming up.

So, people always think, right, I've warmed up. I've stretched, warming up is not stretching, warming up is mobilizing because you're, you're, you're warming up the muscles. You're getting those joints moving in and out.

So, you're not gonna pull something because you're holding it cold. You're warming it up. Then as it warms up, you push it a little bit more, push it a little bit more.

And that's where you get that increased movements around the joints. So, you want to do lots of things, in your arms as well. Definitely.

You know, even just doing this, you stretch out the fingers, you stretch out the wrist. You can do, you can grab like a towel and you can do things like these twists, just warming up the hand muscles, the wrists, the forearms. Because things like the tennis elbow, you know, it's more like you've strained your tendons.

So, you know, that could be because they're slightly weak or it could just be that, you know, like you said, repetitive strain injury, or, you know, they're not holding the grip properly. So, you can do small exercises as well to help strengthen things like that.

And then to reduce inflammation, you need to have the what's it called? Well, my client has one, where you put it on and it's like, ultrasound and it kind of puts a little vibrations deep in to the area's tendon to reduce inflammation.

But the main thing with these, unfortunately, is no one wants to hear it at best. You know, people keep playing, keep playing, keep playing, and then it becomes unbearable.

And sometimes you just need to rest, look after it, stretch, mobilize, strengthen. And then when it's Bulletproof, when ready, then you go back to playing. But people will just keep going, and going, and going and going. And that's where, you know, then it's kind of almost becomes irreversible.

But going back to the hip one. Just lots of, I do slider workouts. Which are basically these like disks and you slide them across the ground, or you can use towels, and you kind of go in and out in a lateral lunge. And that just engages, you know, the inner thigh muscles from all different angles. And that will just help strengthen the area.

But the main thing is lots of stretching, lots of mobilizing before, lots of stretching after riding, and then you'll just stabilizing and strengthening around the whole pelvis area.

I think that though, from my point of view, just listening to you, most of us polo players, are like dinosaurs. We were living in, we know nothing about this, you know, we're saying, oh, riding muscle, this or our lower back is sore.

And you're saying, well, let's look at, I mean, it's tough. None of us know. And I think it's just so fantastic to have somebody like you. That is so into all of the, you know, the reasons that these things are happening.

And I think it's just going to be amazing for all the polo players out there, if they will get up and utilize your expertise and get on your site and, and, you know, really make use of all this incredible information. Well, yeah.

Well, the thing is, I keep saying to people, it's you warm your horse up, you know, you look after your horses, like they're babies, you know. You'd make sure they're eating the right foods. That they're nicely warmed up to make sure they have enough water and food afterwards. Yes.

Yeah, exactly. But you don't look after yourself! You know, there's no stretching. I see people, they get in the car and they drive two hours home. They sit down, you know, then they haven't eaten for the last two, three hours. And then everyone wonders why they become injured or, you know, they haven't got energy or, you know, it's. Yeah.

But I think, like I said, I think more and more people are becoming a little bit more aware of the fact that they do need to look after their bodies.

And I'm getting more questions actually from people asking, you know, how their training program should differ between the season. And you know, they're becoming, I think people are starting to become more aware of it.

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