Keeping the Nordic Edge
In this week when the heroes of Icelandic football have left some big reputations in tatters, a fellow Nordic international reflects on his Movement Health and TPM Pro experience.
Mikael Forssell & TPM Pro Clinic SUF
Capped by his home nation over 85 times, Mikael Forssell is the second all-time leading goal scorer for Finland, hitting the back of the net 29 times at international level. Domestically, he initially made the headlines in the English Premier League with Chelsea, Crystal Palace, and Birmingham City, before moving to Bundesliga side Hannover 96; Forssell is now knocking the goals in for HJK Helsinki as they pursue another Finnish title.
Here, the highly experienced international striker, talks about the movement and performance training he and HJK are working on with TPM Pro clinic, SUF’s Tony Elomaa.
As a highly experienced international who has been exposed to many different training approaches, what do you feel is the difference in the approach you are doing with Tony and The Performance Matrix (TPM) testing and retraining?
‘First of all, I want to say that I’m very pleased with the method Tony has introduced to me and us (HJK Helsinki). What I like the most about it is that it is not time-consuming nor is it a high physical stress to the body. As footballers, we all have high intensity training and many times I see footballers, when given their ‘own’ programs, neglect them as they might be too "hard" and time-consuming on top of all the normal training. To me, Tony is an excellent clinician. As an ex-footballer himself, he understands really well what is important for me, that I’m required to have certain skills and movement patterns in my body, to be able to move in the box and on the pitch more efficiently; especially at the age of 35.’
How do you feel this has changed a specific aspect of your movement?
Tony quickly learned, that after having had a few bad knee-injuries a few years back my knees were not working quite as they should, which meant the range of movement was not as wide as it could have been. After Tony gave me the TPM movement retraining to do on a daily basis, I felt the difference after only 2 weeks. I was able to turn much more comfortably, actually having less pain and more movement in my knee-joints. Also, Tony found out, that even though I have good muscle mass in my glutes, this power was not efficiently distributed to my running performance. After doing the exercises I felt I had a more solid stance on the pitch and I felt it had also positively impacted my running. Generally, I feel more in control of my body and also I feel like I can move more freely on the pitch without being scared of turnings and twisting.
Of course, I know it is an ongoing process and I have to keep on working with the exercises to enjoy the benefits but I can genuinely say that I’m happy to be part of the new training approach, especially the way Tony has customized it for me. I believe all my team mates at the club are also happy with it. It’s great to see "the lazy footballers" actually doing their movement retraining on a daily-basis. I believe it’s the right approach and like I said earlier, it is low-impact and not time-consuming. That’s what all footballers want!
We are seeing more players continue their careers in to their mid-thirties and beyond. How do you feel this approach may help other players give more longevity to their careers?
After many injuries the head starts protecting the body while now I feel the movement retraining have unlocked those blocks. I still feel great at 35 and believe that this movement retraining will keep the range of motion in my body. I believe that is the key for the more senior players that want to prolong their careers. Tony and the TPM movement retraining are definitively helping me do that.
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