10 TIPS TO REMAIN INJURY FREE
Here are 10 Tips To Remain Injury Free when training from Berkshire based Biomechanics coach, Ian Davies.
1. Keep Moving
We have all heard the phrase “use it or lose it” and this is a top tip for remaining injury free. If we don’t move, our bodies stiffen up and we lose range of movement. This causes our bodies to compensate and as a result we ask muscles to do jobs that aren’t theirs to do and eventually something will have to give whether it be something small like a muscle spasm or something more severe such as, a tear or rupture.
2. Stay hydrated
Our bodies are made of between 50-75% water. Imagine a sponge for a second, when the sponge is wet it is quite springy and flexible. But if we allow that sponge to dry out and get dehydrated then it becomes more rigid and easier to tear or break. Our bodies work in similar ways and dehydration will effect not only our performance but our function also.
Don’t just eat enough for the amount of activity you are participating in, but have a nutritious diet, full of vitamins, minerals and trace elements that complete our diet. This will vary from individual to individual but essentially a well balanced, planned and varied diet will aid in your performance.
4. Good technique
There is no such thing as a “bad exercise” but you can do exercises badly. If you are new to an exercise seek out help and tuition from an expert, the cost of learning this will far out way the cost of fixing injuries resulting from poor form when exercising.
5. Have Purpose
Have a periodised training program – have a purpose for your training and plan the necessary steps to get you to your goal. This will keep you focused in training. Injuries are most likely to occur when we’re distracted or unfocused on exercise. Take the time to plan your training and a purpose will add the necessary edge to keep you focused throughout your workout!
6. No cheating allowed!
Don’t skip steps in your learning – it’s always tempting to progress quickly once you start achieving some results, skipping steps will result in you potentially “biting off more than you can chew” with an exercise, the body will compensate for this and if you refer back to number 4 then you’ll understand the implications of this.
7. Learn to train out of pattern
Alignment is a great place to start to learn an exercise but that’s not how we live our lives. We are constantly tested by external factors and we move out of “pattern” all the time, particularly when we play sport. The body is perfectly capable of dealing with this but we need to give it practice. Referring back to point one, if we don’t move we lose the ability to and therefore we will compensate somewhere else in our body if somewhere becomes stuck or weak. This compensation will lead to over stressing and injury.
8. Stretch and massage
So long as we keep moving, stretching becomes less important as muscles will get stretched and worked during this time. The reality, however, is that we don’t move enough and certain structures can become tight. These are the areas we need to stretch to remind them of their job /role within our movement patterns. Massage will help break down some particularly stiff structures but it won’t fix the issue, you still need to stretch and the two combined together are a great way of maintaining mobility.
9. Learn how your body moves and address bad habits
As a biomechanics coach, I would recommend that you see a biomechanics coach to address your mechanical issues. We all pick these issues up as we pick up movement habits. If you can learn what these are, address them and stay on top of them then not only will you reduce the risk of injury but your performance will be so much better as the body will no longer be using energy to protect the body and so it can put that energy into performing and improving!
10.Get off that chair
When we sit we slump, this basically sinks all our weight into our pelvis and/or spine. This stress and lack of movement causes structures around our hips, pelvis and spine to become tight or bound. As discussed above, this lack of movement can lead to injury. Try not to sit for too long, when you do sit support your body by sitting up taking more weight in your legs and less in your back and hips.
Ian Davies is a qualified personal trainer and biomechanics coach. He is the founder of the Injury Clinic Berkshire based in Wokingham, Berkshire. The Injury Clinic specailises in injury prevention and injury recovery.