It’s been quite some time since Lakers fans have seen Lonzo Ball. The former No. 2 overall pick suffered a season-ending ankle injury against the Houston Rockets in January, limiting him to just 47 games, which was five fewer games than he played in his injury-riddled rookie season.
Luckily, that time away from the court has allowed Ball to go into the offseason completely healthy for the first time in his young career. Last year, Ball spent his summer recovering from knee surgery and missed all but two games in the preseason.
However, Ball isn’t fine with just being healthy; he wants to stay that way for a long time. It’s for that reason Ball teamed up with physical therapist Andy Barr, who specializes in injury prevention. In the past, Barr has worked with Pascal Siakam, Paul George, Wilson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony.
Here’s a video of what Ball is doing, courtesy of Barr’s Instagram:
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I, personally, have no idea what Ball standing on a tiny surfboard is doing for his health, so I asked Silver Screen and Roll’s in-house medical expert, Dr. Rajpal Brar (aka @3cbPerformance), to break down what was going on in the video. Here’s what he had to say:
What I’m seeing here is a combination of stability, balance and coordination work. Let’s use the first video as an example: he’s having to hold onto the medicine ball up top, which forces him to stabilize his trunk and core while simultaneously rotating the upper and lower body in different directions — often called “disassociating” the trunk from the hips — on a rotatable balance board which challenges his balance, a key element for preventing ankle sprains. It’s made more difficult by the resistance bands wrapping around his wrists and thighs that are also connecting to his waist, which also add an element of unconscious feedback (the “proprioception system”).
Lastly and certainly not least, the medicine ball between his legs further utilizes said proprioceptive system and motor control via cueing good knee positioning by not allowing his knees to drop inwards into a “valgus” position which has been associated with an increased injury risk for ligamentous and meniscus injuries. Obviously those apply to Zo, as he’s injured both the MCL and meniscus.
Make sense? Good.
Ball has shown he has the potential to be an elite two-way point guard in the NBA, but the lack of reps he’s gotten at this level has hurt his development thus far. Hopefully a healthy summer and a new training regimen will be the key to a breakout junior season for Ball.