Unfortunately, often, people only think about injury prevention when it’s already too late and they’re coming back from any injury. Although it’s better late than never, injury prevention should be integrated into every person’s training routine. Injury prevention workouts don’t have to include full routines specifically designed to prevent injuries. Really, any exercise if done properly can lower your risk of certain injuries. However, the key here is to do the exercises properly to get the full benefit of an injury prevention workout.
1. Incorporate Some Stability Training
Despite what many may think, stability training is not all about your core. In fact, it has more to do with how to move than how you strengthen. By focusing on your reaction time as well as your alignment, you’ll be working on how well you control each movement. Control is the key to preventing many injuries, such as strains and sprains from rolled ankles. Incorporating slow and controlled movements into your workouts will build your stability as well as your strength. By doing each exercise with control and attention will also help you focus on your posture and alignment, which will both work for injury prevention and prevent strain during the exercise.
2. Core Strengthening In An Injury Prevention Workout
Without a strong core, it’s difficult to have balance, steadiness and control. Having poor balance and lack of control can greatly increase your risk of injury. Particularly if you’re active on uneven ground or your sport requires great control, you can be at a higher risk. You’ve probably heard it said more than once that your core is your powerhouse and the foundation of functionality. Without a strong core, you’re more likely to be unstable, lose your balance, have poor alignment, and move improperly. This can lead to not only accidents and acute injuries but also overuse injuries. Adding in core strengthening exercises to every workout or specifying days where you work exclusively on your core can greatly reduce your injury risk in many ways.
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3. Good Balance Lowers Your Injury Risk
We all know that good balance can prevent trips and falls, rolled ankles, and accidents. However, did you also know that having good balance can also reduce your risk of a sports injury? Researchers have found that poor balance can make jumping and landing, as well as agility exercises, high risk movements. Studies have also shown that those with good balance or who do balance training have a lower rate of injuries, especially ankle injuries. Such exercises as lunges, one-legged squats, and many yoga poses can increase your balance.
4. Cardio Training & Injury Prevention
Most people automatically think about strengthening and agility when it comes to injury prevention. However, endurance and stamina are two of the most important components of preventing sports injuries. When you have cardiovascular endurance, you increase your muscle stamina. You also ensure that your muscles are working efficiently and in your favor. As you start to fatigue, you often start to lose control, form, and balance – all of which increase your risk of injury. Adding in specific days devoted to cardio can help keep your injury-risk low and increase your performance and ability to perform for longer periods of time.
5. Cross-Training: Yes, It Can Keep You Injury-Free
Cross training is often emphasized to help increase an athlete’s performance. However, it’s also important in prevent injuries, particularly overuse injuries. Cross training, if done properly, often works muscles you might not otherwise strengthen. These muscles are oftentimes supporting muscles to the areas of the body you most often use during your performance. Cross training is variation, which means you’ll be using different muscle groups, ensuring that supporting muscles are able to work efficiently. Furthermore, you’ll be giving your most-used muscles a break, which helps prevent overuse injuries.
Exercising For Injury Prevention
No, you don’t have to do specific workouts that focus on injury prevention. You’ll find that the workouts and exercises you’re already doing are working in your favor for lowering your injury risk. However, the key is to do the exercises properly and to make sure you’re not overdoing nor underdoing it. Furthermore, it’s important to remain consistent with your exercising and training routines. Deviating from your routine, other than to cross-train where appropriate, can lead to overtraining and, worse, and injury. Keep it consistent and keep yourself injury-free!