7 Great Tips For Injury Prevention
As a fitness professional I constantly see people injuring themselves unnecessarily or preparing incorrectly, so I thought I would put some ideas together in a list. This is not covering everything, but some of the approaches that if followed should minimise injuries and training downtime….
7 Great Tips To Avoid Training Injuries
Maintain good levels of hydration
This maintains the optimal muscle activity and also minimises muscle cramps. Ensure that you take in plenty of fluids in the time leading up to exercise to ensure that you don’t have to continually interrupt your training to take on water, except as an excuse to take a break. Drinking litres just prior to exercise will usually result in a toilet break being required.
Add strength training and stretching.
To keep the stretching effective and safe, hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds and never push your body beyond the resistance point. When stretching always go into the pose gradually and never bounce in the holding phase. Strength training enhances the ‘robustness’ of both the muscle body and connective tissue, enabling it to deal with increased loads.
Know your fitness level and limitations.
Avoid over training. If you are suffering in any discomfort or pain, immediately decrease the intensity and duration of your workout to avoid injury or burnout. If looking to push yourself and you are fairly new to exercise then either train with an experienced person or preferably a qualified instructor. Injuries from over training can set your training and fitness plan back months
Always ensure that you watch your footing on uneven surfaces.
Making a poor foot placement choice can result in ankle, knee, hip or even back issues, let alone muscle strains or breakages from resulting falls.
Never skip the warm-up and cool-down.
Before and after every exercise, it is very important to do some low impact exercises such as biking, walking or gentle jogging.
If it is possible, try and change your training programme and exercises fairly frequently otherwise fitness and strength gains can plateau. This is another reason why utilising a trainer or fitness professional will have added benefits. Bootcamp training is a key example of this. When I run my FitForce bootcamps I have a library of in excess of 150 different workouts (most of them named after Greek mythical figures, as is my little foible) that i can ensure that rarely in a 3-6 month period will anyone do the same programme and sometimes i mix 2 sessions up together to form a third. This ensures that any strength or fitness gains are very broad brush and not specific, which to a degree trains in robustness and flexibility.
Ensure your trainer is aware of any pre existing issues.
It is essential that your trainer is aware of any recent injuries or issues so that certain movements can be avoided. Whilst training any sharp pain or discomfort needs to be communicated to the trainer so that alternates that isolate the issue can be found, thus maintaining your training. You are the ‘translator’ of what your body is saying, then communicating this to your trainer or training buddy.