Moderate muscle stiffness is a blessing to a basketball player

Moderate muscle stiffness is a blessing to a basketball player

If you are suffering from muscle stiffness, then it is considered to be a negative aspect. You may wake up in the morning and complain of your back being stiff and in that case, doctors may advise you to do some yoga, take aspirin or take some hot bath. In the general world, stiffness of muscles is considered to be an unpleasant condition and can be the reason for limit of physical activities. Many people suffer from this condition and they consider it to be a curse in their life and want to come out of it as soon as possible.

On the other hand, you will be surprised to know that to a professional basketball player, stiffness of the muscle is considered to be a superpower and is a blessing. A physical therapist who works with the National Basketball Association players is of the opinion that in case of basketball players, stiff muscles lessens the risk of injury of the basketball players and helps to maximize their performance in the game. So, understanding muscle stiffness is very important when you are playing the game of basketball.

Though basketball as a game was recognized at the London Olympics in the year 1948, slowly it started becoming popular and is now considered as the second most popular sport in the world. With the advent of Internet, many online betting sites came into existence and with the increase in the penetration of Internet in different homes these online betting sites started getting more visitors. Surprisingly, basketball is the second most popular sport among the bettors also. There are many sports betting Thailand websites available which offer lot of opportunities on betting in the game of basketball. Many betting take place in the sport of basketball, especially in their most popular event National Basketball Association or popularly known as NBA.  

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Coming back to the point of discussion, basketball is considered to be a vertical sport where a player needs to jump and land 46 times in a particular game. If you consider the jumping needed in a football or volleyball game, you can observe that basketball game needs landing and jumping twice than those games. Being a multi directional sport, a basketball player on an average changes their direction or activity in each 2 or 3 seconds, leading to constant deceleration and acceleration of body movements.

In the medical term, muscles are known as biomechanical springs. Stiffness describes how springy a particular muscle is. It shows the extent to which a muscle can be lengthened in response to an applied force. It plays a major role in the landing and jumping movements of a person. The strength needed to lengthen a muscle is directly related to the springiness or to say, stiffness of the muscles. Though physiotherapists consider strength to be a very important factor, stiffness can help the basketball player to generate more power. 

Going into the details, stiffness at the lower part of the body muscles is very important for optimal performance in the game of basketball. If a basketball player is suffering from stiffness of muscles, he can take advantage of elastic energy which the stiff muscle generates. If the muscle is suffering from stiffness, it can strengthen up to a certain limit. It is like a rubber band or the spring. When they are stretched, they help to create a form of elastic energy. This energy can be used very easily along with muscle contraction and it helps the player to jump on the court or to run smoothly and freely. The stiffer is the muscle, the easier will be for the player to jump and freely on the court. It is a strange phenomenon for the basketball players and hence many people find it hard to digest without getting deep into it.

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A classic example of this fact can be demonstrated from the statistics obtained of the player named Russel Westbrook. With stiff muscles, he can leap into the air and stop on the dime and then can accelerate down the court for a fast break. With a swift movement, he takes 3.36 seconds to run from one baseline to the other. Just imagine how effective is his stiff muscles to him.

However, in stiffness pain, there is a point which is known as diminishing returns. If the muscle pain and stiffness becomes too acute, then the ability of the joints to absorb shock decreases to a great extent. Putting greater pressure when there is muscle stiffness can lead to osteoarthritis or fractures causing the player to take rest for a longer period of time. If the condition is too serious, then it may cause wear and tear to the cartilage and it may lead to massive pain in the joints. Hence the basic concept that some amount of muscle stiffness is necessary to a basketball player, but excess of it may cause damage to the player and may hamper his sporting career in the long run.

At the same time, a basketball player needs mobility of the joints and flexibility to a certain extent as it will help in the elongation of the tendons and the muscles which in turn, will help in the proper range of motion of the player in the basketball court.

There are some muscle fibres which are fast twitched and are mainly accountable for sprinting and jumping, the activities which are very much necessary to a basketball player. Incidentally, these muscles have a higher tendency towards stiffness and proper training is needed to make these muscles optimally stiffed to get the best performance on the basetball court.

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Physical trainers who are associated with the physical fitness of basketball players must keep in mind the continuity level between compliance and stiffness. Certain knowledge involving the exercise like bounds, hops and jumps are also very important. The trainer must know the right dose – it means how much to strengthen or stress. The combination of springiness versus the stiffness needs to be rightly balanced for the basketball player to get the best performance.

Ayhan Fletcher

"Subtly charming zombie nerd. Infuriatingly humble thinker. Twitter enthusiast. Hardcore web junkie."

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