Improve Injury Prevention
Quarantine, due to the Coronavirus, has interrupted or impacted most people’s lives; this includes sports and physical exercise. As many states and countries are now starting the slow processes of reopening society, gyms, and sports are not far behind. People have an urge to compete, train, participate, and watch sports. It’s in our nature and one of the most rewarding activities we can do.
Whether you are a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior, or just recreational runner, injury prevention should be prioritized after this long layoff. You might feel like jumping right back into your training and activity; however, science and experience tell us that would be a mistake. A complete stop or even reduction in training results in a loss of pervious physical condition, or as the gym rats say a loss of gainz. You might feel like you are in pretty good shape, but your body has reverted to a slightly slower, weaker, and more injury-prone version due to lack of training.
Research has identified low levels of training as being a significant risk factor for sustaining an injury when returning to activity. We will cover 3 simple and effective injury prevention methods and strategies every active person should include in their return to activity after COVID-19.
Gradually Return to Sports
This recommendation might seem too simple to be effective. Still, it is probably the most reasonable step you can take to reduce your risk of injury. A gradual return to sports or activity is what it sounds like; you slowly ease yourself back into your previous routine. Common sense would tell you this is the right thing to do, but in the heat of practice or a session, emotions can get the better of you. To keep yourself accountable, write out your program before starting. If you don’t trust yourself to stay disciplined, consider bringing along a friend or better yet hire a professional to help keep you accountable.
For a weightlifter, this could include starting a beginner program or repeating the last few workouts you did at the gym at a significantly lower weight or intensity. A 50% reduction in load will be an appropriate step to take if you wish to maintain the same volume of reps. If you wish to have a shorter but slightly more intense workout, then you should decrease the number of reps your perform. There are many logical ways to scale your return to the weight room; the most important thing is not training beyond your ability to recover.
Acute stress causes micro-trauma and breakdown in bones, tendons, ligament, and muscle; these all will recover at different rates. Reintroduce training slowly and seek to improve your technique before moving on to heavy resistance. This will optimize your training time, reduce recovery time between workouts, minimize the soreness you will feel after working out and spare the joints from unnecessary stress.
A runner might start with a simple walk and jog routine, to reintroduce their bones and joints to the stress of running. If you are not sure how to properly scale your return to activity, hiring a coach, or purchasing a return to training guide would be a smart move!
Improve your Mobility & Flexibility
Having been stuck in the house watching TV or crunched at the dining room table, working from home is not great for your ability to move effectively. Needless to say, you are probably feeling stiff and in need of some focused mobility training. Having an adequate amount of motion at the joint, and flexibility in the muscles that propel us in motion is critical to moving effectively, avoiding injury, and generally feeling better.
Countless ways of improving your motion can be found online to perform from the comfort of our own home. Yoga, Pilates, and other guided mobility, flexibility, and soft tissue programs are available on YouTube or on other forms of social media. You should take this portion of your return to sports just as seriously as the training itself.
An excellent foam roller is worth its weight in gold when it comes to addressing soft tissue issues. They are cheap, portable, and easy to use. I recommend purchasing a foam roller with a PVC core. They provide slightly firmer pressure, will last longer and are a better return on investment in the long run.
Train the Hips Every Time
Not training the hips in multiple directions and actions is a gaping hole in most people’s programs. It will be an even more significant concern after an extended layoff when the muscles have been underused. To make sure your “glutes,” aka your hip muscles are firing at all cylinders; you should include them in your warm-up every session. A few exercises early in your workout can save you a lot of pain and discomfort down the road.
Proper hip muscle activation helps alleviate pressure in the spine, and knees during squatting, lunging, and cutting motions. Lack of sufficient hip strength is believed to be a contributing factor for dynamic valgus by which a high number of ACL injuries occur. A few sets of banded squats, hip bridges, and lateral walks are an excellent addition to your warm-up.
When returning to sports or physical exercise, you should heed these three simple strategies to reduce your risk of injury. Gradually return to the previous level of activity by modifying your workouts and following a logical progression. Improve your mobility, flexibility, and soft tissue quality with a compressive routine. Many can be found for free online, but if you have individual concerns, seek out professional help. Lastly, include direct hip training into your warm-up and program. These muscles are critical to safely controlling your knee motion during training. Follow these simple methods and reap the benefits!
Interested about learning more about Effectively Getting and Staying FIT While Homebound, check the link at Trusted Nutrition