5 BASIC STEPS TO INJURY PREVENTION FOR THE LIFTER

Posted by Rexius Nutrition on

5 BASIC STEPS TO INJURY PREVENTION FOR THE LIFTER

 

            Contrary to popular belief we are not super human and injuries can and will occur. I am one of the worst offenders when it comes to thinking my body is invincible and until this last year injury prevention was a secondary thought. Within the past year and a half, the damage I have done to my body seems to finally be catching up to me. So, in a last-ditch effort I really began focusing on injury prevention and I have seen massive improvements from taking 4 basic steps to preventing injuries.

 

  1. Stretching
    1. I know this is very basic but stretching is a HUGE activity that most skip, myself included. The best strategy you can do is static hold stretching post workout or during your workout. Make sure to stretch the muscle that is/was worked that day. A good guideline is to do 3 sets of 10 second holds trying to stretch the muscle further with each consecutive set.
    2. DO NOT DO STATIC STRETCHING TO START YOUR WORKOUT. Static hold stretching done before a workout can lead to an increased risk of injury. Your best option would be to do some sort of Dynamic warm-up for the muscle group you are working that day. For example, if you are doing legs you can do walking lunges without any weight to warm your legs up. For those of you who have played sports in the past you normally would start your practice with a dynamic warm-up doing high knees, butt kicks, side shuffles etc.
  2. Mobility Work
    1. Mobility can also be referred to as structural balance. There are two basic ways to improve mobility.
      1. Use full range of motion with compound exercises (i.e. squats, bench, deadlifts, pull ups and push-ups)
      2. Isolate certain muscle groups and work that specific muscle through its entire range of motion.
    2. The other mobility work that can be done is on specific joints. The one that I can think of that causes the most issues for most is ankle mobility.
      1. To help fix this issue see the following exercise in this video: https://youtu.be/GMAunLo0SMs
    3. Deep Tissue Massage and Graston:
      1. Deep tissue massage is not like the massages you get at a spa on a beach in Hawaii. This style of massage is not relaxing but, this is for good reasoning. Deep tissue massage is done to help realign muscle tissue and alleviate muscle adhesions. In order to break through this “scar” tissue there will be pain associated with this process.
      2. Graston is soft tissue work done by using six metal hand tools. This technique is very efficient at alleviating issues that are in very specific areas and at greater depths than deep tissue massage can reach. As you can imagine this will be painful but the benefits far outweigh the temporary pain. This technique has been shown to increase fibroblast in the treated area and increase circulation. This is important as fibroblasts produce collagen which is a main structural material for the body which helps in healing. The increased blood flow will help by transporting oxygen/nutrient rich blood to the treated area.
      3. These two techniques can be used TOGETHER for best effects as both serve a purpose!
    4. Chiropractic Care
      1. Keeping the skeletal system in proper alignment is crucial for the avid lifter. When the skeletal system is compromised and out of alignment this hinders proper function of the nervous system.
      2. With the nervous system not functioning at full capacity this will hinder proper muscle activation. This in itself can alter the ROM on compound movements drastically and lead towards a much higher risk of injury.
      3. Chiropractic care will help to free subluxations and impediment of the central nervous system leading to proper muscle activation and functionality through all movements.
    5. De-load weeks
      1. A huge part of injury prevention is listening to your body and “hearing” when it is time to back-off.
      2. For some this will need to be implemented every 3 to 4 weeks depending on how hard you are training.
      3. A few good indicators for when to implement this are:
        1. Constant fatigue
        2. Constant Joint Pain
  • Progression on weights in the gym halts or digresses
  1. This will be an entire week focused on recovery and controlling/suppressing inflammation.

 

Now listen I am not saying that you need to go all out and implement all 5 of these steps to injury prevention. I am simply saying if you are not currently implementing even one of these steps I would begin with picking one or two you know that you can commit to doing. I also want you to understand that you do not have to implement all 5 of these steps daily or even weekly for that matter. Points 3,4 and 5 can all be implemented when you need them. My main point here is begin taking into consideration your body is meant to be healed as much as it is broken down. Take my word for it that you cannot burn a candle from both ends before your body begins to fall apart and then you have to do like I did and implement all 5 of these steps at once. Do yourself a favor, save yourself some money and begin taking care of your body to prevent injuries from happening in the future!

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