Picking up an injury in any form is always going to be frustrating, a lot of the time it will affect what you are trying to carry out in your day to day life as well as disrupt the momentum that you have currently built in terms of your fitness regimen.
The trick is to try and be as proactive as possible when it comes to preventing injuries so you won't have to miss training time.
1. Get Stronger
Getting stronger shouldn’t just be a goal for powerlifters and bodybuilders. Getting stronger is relative, when you get stronger you increase the force a muscle, tendons and also bones can tolerate before rupture.
2. Get Mobile And Stable
Having one without the other won't work. Improving flexibility and stability in the right muscle groups through a proper warm up will help protect your joints and keep them healthy. Improving mobility will also increase the length a muscle can tolerate before rupture.
3. Train Some Form Of Power
This is a big point especially for the ageing community. As Alwyn Cosgrove says, “We lose power long before strength, muscle mass or cardio vascular fitness”. I’m not saying every 50 year old out there should take up Olympic weightlifting, but including some form of jumps / med ball throws in training would be a great start.
4. Stay Hydrated
The common stat that gets thrown around is that a loss of only 2% body mass can decrease performance by 10-20%. It will also contribute to muscle cramps, decreased mental acuity and fatigue making you more likely to become injured.
This is a two-headed beast.
- Proper nutrition speeds up recovery and helps us replenish and repair what we have taken out of the body during exercise or everyday life.
- Adequate sleep. When we sleep we have a surge in hormones that promote recovery such as growth hormone, sleep is sometimes referred to as “the magic supplement”.
6. Don’t Ignore Pain
Sorry to state the obvious but, pain is our body’s way of telling us something is not quite right. That being said far to many of us just shrug it off and hope it will go away. Often times catching an injury in the early stages will mean your recovery time will be dramatically shortened. If you are suffering then get a professional opinion and don’t self-diagnose on Google...
7. Master The Basic Movement Patterns
A very high percentage of the population cannot complete a sound bodyweight squat or “hinge” from the hips properly. Learning the correct mechanics of a squat, hinge, lunge pattern, push, pull and carries will stand you in very good stead.