Injuries suck! Here are 3 simple steps to keep you from getting hurt while working out.
- Movement preparation in the form of dynamic stretching
- Actively take your joints through ranges of motion they might not have gone through during the day or while you were sleeping (if you train first thing in the morning). Doing this primes your joints and connective tissues for the upcoming workout. Examples include leg swings to open up the hips for squatting/lunging and thoracic spine rotations to mobilize the upper back for overhead work.
- Primer Exercises
- Squatting? proper glute activation is key to ensure proper hip/knee/ankle function. The drill you choose should be specific for your distinct body, needs, and workout.
- Pressing or going overhead? Scapular awareness and shoulder stability drills in the form of bent over Y’s and T’s and half kneeling bottoms up kettlebell balance holds will allow for pain free pressing and proper shoulder and scapular movement during upper body exercises.
- Body alignment
This is crucial in recruiting the correct muscle groups as well as setting up your joints to move in the way they were designed to. If you are having trouble figuring out technique, working out in front of a mirror, recording yourself going through a set, and hiring a trainer are great ways to develop more awareness of correct body position.
- Moving through repetitions with intent
Unless you’re planning to compete in powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting, bouncing through the end range of an exercise is NOT recommended. Each portion of a repetition has two parts:
- The concentric, where the muscle contracts and shortens. Examples include the ascent of a squat or a deadlift.
- The eccentric, where the muscle is being lengthened under tension. Examples include the descent of a squat or a deadlift.
- The most common occurrence for injuries happens while people are switching between these two portions of a repetition. One cue I use with my clients is to “own the change of direction.” This means actively resisting the weight during the eccentric portion and contracting the muscle to initiate the concentric.
Following a customized program properly designed to your needs will ensure you are making sensible progressions session-to-session and week-to-week. Proper programming also guarantees you are evenly training each muscle group, preventing imbalances which further reduce your risk of injury. To figure out what your optimal program should look like, contact a LEVO trainer today!