By Ben Musholt, PT Men's Fitness
Getting hurt sucks. Sprains, strains, tendonitis, and even broken bones are all consequences of living an active and athletic lifestyle. Luckily, with the right knowledge and preparation, many injuries can be diminished or entirely prevented. Every week for the next six weeks, we’ll provide you with a variety of techniques and training practices to help you avoid your own injury laundry basket.
This week, you'll learn the two different classes of injuries and a proven blueprint for preventing them, forever.
The Two Classes of Injuries
(1) Traumatic and (2) Cumulative.
Traumatic injuries are those accidents that happen in sport or daily life, such as rolling your ankle on a trail run or crashing your bike on the morning commute.
Cumulative injuries relate to tissue damage that occurs over time as a result of repetitive strain. These types of injuries creep up and may be a function of poor posture, faulty movement patterns, or improper training.
Best Practice for Preventing Injury: General Physical Preparedness
General physical preparedness training is the first concept to understand when talking about injury prevention, especially for trauma. It means maintaining a baseline of fitness so that you can respond to physical challenges without harm.
The Five Main “GPP” Areas to Improve
1. Flexibility: Ensure that all major joints, including your spine, have full range of motion and sufficient muscle length.
Our Advice: Spend at least one, 20-minute session per week on stretching, preceded by a thorough warm-up.
2. Strength: Keep all large muscles and surrounding stabilizers conditioned and ready to react at a moment’s notice.
Our Advice: Plan two-three, 30-minute strength training sessions with weights per week.
3. Agility: What is your reaction time and general coordination like? If properly honed, you can avoid spilling your bike as you swerve to avoid a pedestrian.
Our Advice: Run an agility ladder or tire array twice per month.
4. Balance: Can you stay vertical over uneven terrain or when carrying an awkwardly shaped object?
Our Advice: Single leg medicine ball tosses with a partner are a great balance challenge. Do 3 sets x 60-seconds on each leg.
5. Power: Do you have the speed to move out of harm’s way in a hurry? Better hope so if you need to dodge a vehicle while on your morning run.
Our Advice: A burpee plus a 15-yard sprint is an excellent combo for power generation. Do 5 in a row at the end of your next workout.