I used to play sports, what happened to me?

I hear this a lot from older clients.  Heck, I’ve heard it from myself when I went through ACL rehabilitation.  Once a high level athlete, always a high level athlete.  At least in our minds we are.  The fact is that muscle takes 1-2 weeks to lose strength if it is not going through a workout program.  Muscle responds very specifically to the strains that are placed upon it.  Unfortunately as we get older, people do not exercise as often as they should.  I’m guilty of this as well.

We tend to forget all the practices and conditioning that we did in order to be prepared to play in these events.  We just remember the games themselves.  Then we skip all the preparatory exercising that is needed in order to perform at that level.  We go straight to playing pick up games.

Unfortunately, our bodies change as we age too.  Without properly exercising, the muscle fibers actually change composition.  The muscles become more use to long term activation.  They get used to just holding us upright because standing and walking are the primary exercises we do.  The muscles we use in sport require more faster activating muscle fibers.  That means if we try to do fast acting movement with slow moving muscles, we’re going to have a bad time.  

This is why it is important to see somebody educated in the performance of muscles to better prepare us for our activities.

Dr. Mark Geise, PT DPT