Scott Markey | Fitness
Whether you lift weights, swim, run, participate in crossfit activities, practice martial arts, or pretty much any sport or activity you are involved in, you are susceptible to a myriad of injuries.
Even certain occupations or work habits can predispose you to a variety of overuse conditions. Any of these can result in pain and poor performance.
Prehabilitation is the science of recognizing imbalances in high-risk activities. Also referred to as “pre-hab,” it aims to prevent injuries before they happen.
A prehabilitation program is commonplace in the world of high performance athletics, as well as everyday common workout regimens. To prevent these type of injuries, you must become aware of potential risks and appropriate actions should be taken to prevent or modify those imbalances.
Unfortunately people who do not link up with a professional to prehabilitate can be injured by shortcomings, such as posture problems or poor form. This is something I see way too often. All of this is preventable, but you have to know what you are looking for.
Shoulder Injuries: Rotator cuff and shoulder impingement are two of the most common problems for active individuals. If you participate in any overhead activities, including weight training, racquet sports, swimming, throwing, volleyball, etc., you are at risk due to the compromising nature of the motion. A forward-slouching posture also increases your chances of shoulder problems. Have a friend examine your posture by looking at your normal posture (standing and sitting) and take note of your ear in relation to your shoulder. If your ear is in front of your shoulder, your risk of shoulder problems increases.
Be aware of shoulder discomfort when participating in overhead activities. Don’t push if you feel any pain. Correct slumping postures by strengthening the upper back muscles, and to some degree the chest muscles. Increase the flexibility of your posterior deltoid or shoulder muscles, especially on your dominant side, if you have one.
Neck And Shoulder Tension: This is quite common and is often caused by slouching postures and awkward positions held for extensive periods. Poor sleeping positions can cause this as well. Rowing exercises, lat pull-downs and good posture can help prevent many neck and shoulder problems.
Lower Back Pain: This is a problem that affects 80 percent of us at one time or another. It is the leading cause of disability in individuals under 40. A potbelly and/or forward tipping of your pelvis will increase your chances of lower back pain. Sitting or standing for extended periods can also aggravate the lower back. Be aware of this throughout your day. Having a weak core or abdominal muscles and poor back strength and flexibility are probably the biggest contributors to lower back pain. Strengthening the abdominals as well as your hamstrings will decrease your chances, as these muscle groups help to offset the forward tipping of the pelvis. I feel that hanging leg raises are the best overall abdominal exercise there is, and I have all my clients include them in their training.
Hamstring Pull: If you participate in any sudden, explosive activities such as sprinting, squatting, basketball, football, softball or tennis, be certain that your hamstrings are adequately warmed up. Perform two-joint exercises that allow for hamstring contribution as opposed to only leg extensions and leg curls. Examples might include squats, leg presses, lunges, and my personal favorite, hack squats. Avoid high velocity bouncing and extreme over-stretching, as this can strain the hamstrings. I’m personally not a big believer in stretching, but if you do so, your stretches should be slow and controlled.
Ankle Sprains: Running and walking on uneven or unstable surfaces, such as a slippery road or soft sand, increase your chances of developing ankle sprains. Muscular imbalances in the lower leg can also lead to problems. If you do work your calf muscles, which you should, and do not work the smaller muscles on the front of the leg, such as the tibia, you are more likely to develop ankle and leg problems.
Remember, knowing about injuries and how they start helps prevent them. I tell all my clients a very important thing, and that is to “get in touch with your body.” Think about the exercises you are doing. Develop the mind-muscle connection and always use strict form. Having strong muscles will support and strengthen your bones too. You must have resistance in your workouts.
Cardio alone is not the answer.
Scott Markey has over 25 years in the fitness and health industry. He has graced dozens of magazine covers and specializes in physique management, training and nutritional consultation. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.