Injury Prevention Tips

A short little message for you today to remind you of some basics to keep you healthy, because no one likes being injured! 

1. Ensure adequate rest and recovery

Rest and recovery can have multiple factors including actual rest time, sleep, hydration, and nutrition.  ACSM guidelines suggest we should have 48 hours between working the same muscle group, so make sure you have a day in between working the same exercise/muscle group at the gym.  You can still go to the gym every day if you want, but just vary the muscle group you’re working!  

Recover properly by getting the full 8 hours of sleep…trust me, I learned the hard way, but this makes a huge difference not only with how your body feels, but with how your brain functions.  

Get enough water.  Very general guidelines are a 0.5-1 ounce of water for every pound of bodyweight, so if you’re 150 lbs, you should have 75-150 ounces.  This is a huge range due to many factors such as physical activity, environment, etc. so you can play around with how you feel, but this range can give you a goal to start with.

Fuel your body appropriately.  Get adequate protein and fiber, have your veggies, listen to how your body responds to your diet and adjust accordingly!

2. Don’t do things you’re not ready for

When you’re progressing to a skill, break that skill down.  Look at the motion and strength it requires then assess if you have that motion or strength.  If you don’t have it, work on where you’re lacking before attempting it.  For example, a handstand requires 180 degrees shoulder flexion (aka getting your arms overhead).  If you can’t stand against a wall with your mid back on the wall and bring your hands overhead, work on that prior to working on handstands.  When looking at a muscle up, can you do dips and high pull ups easily?  If not, work on those things before working on combining them!

3. Ensure muscle balance

Have you ever looked at your pushing vs. pulling strength, strength on your right vs. left side, or strength moving side to side vs. forward or back?  Trying to maintain balance in different planes and between different muscle groups can help reduce injury by ensuring one group doesn’t get neglected. 

4. Have a movement diet

Just like you want to have variety in your nutrition, you want to have variety in your movements and movement patterns.  No movement is inherently bad, but not being able to get into or out of positions can have the potential to become issues down the line.  Think about sitting at a desk all day versus being able to work sitting, standing, laying and cycling through these positions throughout the day.  You may be sitting with “poor posture” but since it isn’t a prolonged posture and we are allowing our bodies to get into and out of the position, our bodies can tolerate it.  

5. Listen to your body

Our body is always trying to tell us something, whether we are getting stiff and need a bit of movement or what we just ate didn’t make us feel good.  Start listening to these cues and consider making changes based on what it is telling you.  It may take some practice and even writing things down about how you are feeling with what you ate or what workout you did, but then you can start to notice the cues and the patterns with practice.  It’s just like going into the gym after a really hard workout the day before, plus a stressful day at work, and not sleeping well.  You may not feel like crushing another workout, so maybe go a bit lighter on weights, cut out a few exercises, or work on lighter movements like going on a walk, stretching, or light strengthening targeted toward smaller muscle groups.  

Hope you took something helpful away from this message.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions, comments, or thoughts about it!  

If you need assistance creating a program that helps improve your muscle balance, provides a diverse movement diet, and progresses you appropriately toward your goals, you can find more info on my individualized training programs here!

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