Dallas Cowboys Using Ballet To Combat Hamstring Injuries
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
The Dallas Cowboys are looking for any advantage that will help them get back into the playoffs.
According to ESPN, in an effort to decrease the number of players missing games and practices due to hamstring injuries, the Cowboys are turning to ballet for help.
The team has installed ballet bars outside the locker room at three different heights for players to use for extra stretching.
Associate athletic trainer Britt Brown, “told me, ‘You know, that’s going up for you,’ and he started laughing,” safety Matt Johnson said. “If they work, we’ll do whatever it takes.”
Hamstring injuries have plagued the organization and among those missing games or practices with hamstring injuries last season included: Miles Austin, Morris Claiborne, Dwayne Harris, Justin Durant, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Lance Dunbar, Danny McCray, Gavin Escobar and Barry Church.
The Cowboys have placed more emphasis on stretching and have changed their pre-practice stretching routine, as well as adopting a “dynamic warmup”, similar to what the New England Patriots currently use.
“Typically we’ve done kind of the old team stretch, and we’re experimenting with dynamic warm-up — stuff that I’ve done, other coaches have done in the past,” Garrett said. “You try to be innovative, you try to evolve, you get feedback from players, feedback from coaches, we’re just trying to help our players get themselves more ready to practice and hopefully stay healthier over time.”
I would seem like ballet and football just do not mix, but this is not the first time ballet has been utilized by the NFL to bolster performance.
Former Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker and Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann have both been known for practicing ballet and it has been proven that ballet adds flexibility and strength that can add years onto a player’s career. Believe it or no it is not just for receivers and running backs.
“It’s harder than anything else I do,” McLendon told the Pittsburgh Post Gazzette.
He also credits ballet for strengthening his knees, ankles and feet so much that he can tell the difference when he hasn’t taken a lesson in a while.
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