Injuries put a damper on the lifestyles of both athletes and gym rats, but many people do not dedicate a significant portion of their workouts to injury prevention exercises. A proactive approach can prevent days, weeks or months spent on the sidelines. Your physiotherapist or personal trainer can help you devise a plan.
You’ve read it hundreds of times. Your deeper core muscles take responsibility for spinal stability. Strength and power are impossible without a strong, active core, so don’t neglect the plank and other core activation exercises.
Therapeutic and Corrective Exercise
Many of the exercises used for rehabilitation might also prevent the injuries from ever happening. For example, exercises such as the cat and pelvic tilt mobilize the spine. When performed under the guidance of a personal trainer or physiotherapist, they increase your awareness of your alignment, and help you make the necessary corrections.
Balance and Proprioception
Many injuries occur because you lose your balance, or because you lose spatial awareness. Balance and proprioception exercises, such as one-legged squats with your eyes closed, improve both balance and proprioception. Progression to multi-directional hops and lunges. Gary Gray P.T., who created the video titled “Lower Extremity Performance and Prevention,” recommends this type of exercise for ACL injury prevention.
Self Myofascial Release
While the debate about the pros, cons and limits of flexibility exercise persists, nobody seems to have any real issues with foam roller exercises, also called self myofascial release. This method involves letting the tight point of a muscle group sink into the roller, and gently rolling back and forth to release the tension. Self myofascial release unties knots in the muscles, without adding length. This is important, since excessive lengthening before a game or workout increases your susceptibility to injury. Foam roller exercise also helps you quiet down your over active muscle groups, such as the quadriceps, so that your weaker muscles can do their job.
An imbalance between your hamstrings and quads wreaks havoc on knee stability. Stay away from the leg extension, and choose compound exercises such as the squat and leg press, which engage your hamstrings and quads simultaneously. While you’re at it, give your hamstrings some extra love with the dead lift and the stability ball leg curl.
Gluteus Medius Exercise
Illiotibial band syndrome feels as if someone put a straight jacket around your hips. The condition often results from a weal gluteus medius, the muscle on the upper, outer side of your butt. Side-lying abductor and hip rotation exercises help prevent this syndrome.
There’s no pretty way to say it. Shin splints hurt. Strengthen your tibialis muscles by walking barefoot on your heels for about three minutes each day.
Upper Body Stabilizers and Mobilizers
We know you’re anxious to go pump some iron, but let’s take core of some shoulder mobility and stability first. Place a medicine ball against a wall, and hold it at arm’s distance. Make small clockwise and counter clockwise circles. Repeat with the other hand.
There are many more injury prevention exercises where these came from. Consult your personal trainer or physiotherapist for an injury prevention program designed for your specific sport or workout needs. Call us at (08) 9272 7359 today 🙂