Warriors athletic trainer responds to questions about health and rehabilitation
Warriors athletic trainer Tom Abdenour is hosting NBA.com's Gonna Make You Sweat: NBA Health & Conditioning
section and will be answering fan questions about health, injuries and rehabilitation through the 2001-02 season.
Here are Abdenour's responses to a selection of e-mails:
What kind of exercises/treatments can I do to cure or reduce jumpers
Jumpers' knee is a inflammation in the tendon between the knee cap
shin bone. We see a fair amount of it in the NBA. Here are a
couple of suggestions:
1. Try to heat your knee with a heating pad or hot
water bottle before
playing. Then, apply a bag of ice or other similar
cold pack when
2. There are many neoprene rubber supports that are
designed for this condition.
Some of these are straps that encircle the knee. We
have had good
success with either the traditional sleeve or
contemporary straps concept.
These supports are probably available at a local
sporting goods store.
3. Be sure to stretch your thigh muscles. Lay on your
stomach and bend your
knee as much as you can, then grab your ankle and
bend it a little more.
You should stretch it as much as you can without
feeling pain. Hold this
stretched position for 10-20 seconds, then relax and
repeat 2-3 times.
4. Strengthening your knee will help also. Check out
one of our earlier
essays on knee rehabilitation and that should give
you something good
to work with.
Michael Jordan used intense pickup games to help get him back into NBA shape. NBAE/Getty Images
I wanted to know the best way to lose weight and get into good cardio
shape for basketball. For example, a former player trying to get back
into the game (i.e. MJ)
Thanks in advance!
There are a couple of things that our players do to get into shape
the season. In general, they try to restore their fitness with
training. This would be include such as distance running or cross
with a stair stepper or elliptical cross training machines.
Anaerobic sprint training is important also, particularly as training
camp approaches. One final piece of
the puzzle is playing basketball pick-up games. In the case of
those games are legendary in Chicago. When Magic Johnson was
he would organize games at one of the local colleges and
many of the NBA players living in the Los Angeles area would play.
A player making a comeback to the NBA or a local YMCA should make
fitness level AND flexibility are both at high levels before playing
at a serious
level of competition.
I am a basketball player for Idaho State University and I have been
struggling with shin splints. I have done everything from ice cups to
getting them taped. They feel okay sometimes, but I feel as though I
never play at 100%. What can I do to make them go away or to lessen the
How are things in Pocatello? As the former Athletic Trainer at
Weber State College, I recall some fond memories of playing at ISU.
I'm sure Phil Luckey and his staff has tried a variety of ice, heat,
arch support, stretching, and rest for your leg. Keep them posted
the pain that you have, in order to rule out a stress fracture.
Shin splints are no fun, particularly during the season. As I'm
you know, this is an "overuse" injury. It also can be associated
a biomechanical breakdown in the arch. We have had some success
before and ice after games & practices and good arch support in the
Good luck and say hello to Phil for me please.
Hi Tom, I'm an avid basketball fan from the Philippines who likes to
play as often as I can. I usually play the one or two spot and I would like
to know if you can recommend any exercises that would help increase my
overall quickness and explosiveness. Also, could you tell me about
VERT- training? Thanks a lot.
Glad you are enjoying your time playing basketball. It would be
in this forum to completely answer your question, but stay tuned.
on this season we will be discussing vertical jump training and
incorporating some agility work to complement your quickness and
I know it's important for a one or two guard to be quick and
surprise the opponent with a dunk, so hang in there.
I was wondering if there are any internship possibilities available for
someone interested in sports medicine. I am studying health medicine at
UC Berkeley right now, and I would like to find an opportunity to
really see what the field is about.
We have an intern working with us this year, but one requirement is
the intern must be a Certified Athletic Trainer. I'd suggest that
meet with Dr. Cindy Chang, the Team Physician at UC Berkeley about
things on their athletic training staff. If you need more
feel free to call me at 510/986-2200.
Good Luck and "Go Bears!"
You can see the fingerbands on Kevin Garnett's two middle fingers. NBAE/Getty Images
I was wondering why some players, like Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson,
wear fingerbands, and also, where do they get them?
It's funny that you ask about finger bands. We have just published
an essay on finger injuries that I'm sure you can review. The
bands come from a company in Chicago called: FINGERS. Their phone
number is 312/616-1322; ask for Al and tell him that I sent you.
Hi Tom. Just curious regarding weight training. What do you usually
recommend with weight training on game day? Is it a bad idea? I find it
affects my shooting. Thanks for taking the time. I look forward to your
response. Go Warriors!
Strength training on game day is an individual choice. Most players
lift weights on our off days, but once in a while there will be one
that does lift on a game day.
When players get a routine they like, they have a tendency to stick
it. If a player did lift weights on a game day, my guess is that
load would not be very heavy and it would only be a "maintenance"
It is likely this would be done in the morning, several hours before
Hi! It´s very good that someone is giving such good tips in
conditioning. It´s amazingly helpful.
Now here is my question:
I have a player with great stamina but a little explosion, and I need
to make him jump better, but he is returning from an ACL injury. How should I
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Abdenour: Thanks for the kind words … I'm having fun interacting with
our domestic and global friends.
One category of exercise that will enhance explosive jumping is the
plyometric exercise. It is important to be VERY CAREFUL with
when using them in a rehabilitation situation. Check with the
about explosive jump training onto and off boxes that are very
Jumping straight up to the rim or backboard is a good exercise that
We will be giving information about jump training in the future, so
Caio from California.
Do you think eating habits are important in keeping athletes in top
condition and if so can you please tell me what types of food should we
avoid and the others we should eat?
We have spent many hours talking to our players about proper
we hope they have learned that it is important. We recommend our
have a diet that high carbohydrates and protein but low in fat. Some
our players will incorporate carbohydrate or protein bars into their