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5 Steps to Prevent Injury

5 Steps to Prevent Injury
Published: 19/06/2017

If we move the chance of injury occurring increases. Injury is even more likely when we attempt something with little knowledge of correct procedure or participate in something that is inherently high risk. Injuries are a part of life, as kids we constantly pick up bumps and bruises along with the occasional bone break because we have little fear or what may happen. As we participate in physical activity, whatever form that takes, the chance we could sustain an injury increases. There are some important steps to take to ensure you limit that risk, we utilise these at Ariston and you can apply them to any sport you participate in.

 

Limit your chance of injury by:

 

  1. Listen to your body and inform your coach or trainer about any issues you have. No matter how small the issue by telling your coach or trainer you give them the opportunity to keep you safe. If you have had a tender achilles tendon and are about to engage in a run we would advise modifying your run for a row or ride to limit load through the tendon. Your coach's job is not to diagnose you (that should always be referred to a medical professional such as a physiotherapist) but by not telling them you are only setting yourself up for a problem since you may not be able to see how a workout could aggravate your problem. We train for healthy and strong lives, training with injury and not working around it will only lead you closer to stopping physical activity and possibly the surgeon's door.
  2. Warm up, activate, open and prepare. A common thought about warming up is that we need only get the core body temperature warm. While this does increase blood flow to our muscles and is one step of the process in preparing our bodies for exercise we should go further with activation, opening of joints and preparation of specific movements. The activation steps looks at ensuring the nervous system is telling the right muscles to contract when undertaking relevant movements. A great example for this is band work for ensuring the shoulder blade is tracking correctly when pressing overhead. Opening of joints refers to dynamic stretches, banded distractions and other methods of increasing joint range. This is vital when undertaking multiple sessions a week and you feel stiff. Sometimes this can include the use of a foam roller or lacrosse ball. As these myofascial release methods trigger your parasympathetic response you must prepare your body before undertaking heavy or intense exercise. The parasympathetic response brings you down (you know that sleepy feeling after a massage, this is the cause) and prior to a workout you need to be adequately prepared. If you do need to use myofascial release prior always keep this point in mind. Preparation involves practicing the movement with little or no load, in part and in full then adding a little load and repeating. This prepare your nervous system.
  3. Take rest days. Rest days give your body a chance to fully recover or get as close as it can to being full recovered. Every day you train or play sport adds stress to your system that your body seeks to adapt to. Just like any other type of stress your body can only deal with so much, if you don't let is rest and recover the weakest link in the chain will break. We recommend resting on Saturdays if you like training Monday to Friday. If like to get a session in on Saturday's too we recommend resting Thursdays and Sundays.
  4. Focus on the basic skills and master them first. Once you have mastered these skills come back to them often and continue working on them. Being really good at air squatting, push ups, strict pull ups and running mechanics only makes everything else easier.
  5. Be aware of your limitations and make them known. This goes back to point one about informing your coach. If you have movements that you have been advised not to perform by a medical professional or you know will cause you issues tell your coach. If it is something that is temporary and can be removed your coach can correctly show you the path to progress through. If you do not inform your coach they can't know the best way to help you out. We all have physical limitations in regards to mobility or stability in some movements and should not attempt more complex movements until we are ready, this is what your coach will help you with.

 

Accidents happen unfortunately, so even if you do all of these it won't completely keep you injury free. When you do sustain an injury seek out a medical professional like a physiotherapist and please complete the exercises and/or stretches they provide.

 

Written by Coach Luke McCracken

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