Recent studies suggest that up to 38% of all active exercisers suffer from an injury each year, it’s a topic worth exploring.
The following three injuries occur commonly among active people. Let’s explore the cause of each and then detail your very own injury prevention plan – because let’s face it, you simply don’t have time to spend nursing and injury (and losing all that progress you had made).
3 Top Workout Injuries
1) Pulled Muscle
Occurs when a tendon (connects muscle to bone) or muscle is stretched or torn. If you suffer from a strain you will feel pain and swelling in the muscle belly, or loss of function if the strain occurred in a tendon. Many strains occur as a the result of an improper warm-up and insufficient stretching.
Occurs when a ligament (connects bone to bone) is stretched or torn. While this can happen to any ligament in your body, the most common areas of sprains are in the ankle, wrist and knee. This injury will often happen suddenly as the ligament is stretched beyond its normal limit, usually during a fall or other acute trauma.
3) Low Back Pain
Studies have said that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives – and the list of causes is as diverse as the sufferers themselves. Below are some of the reasons for workout related back pain:
* Improper form: Similar to bad posture, using improper form while performing weight bearing exercises will leave your back sore and aching. But the good news is that once you form is corrected this pain should subside after some healing time.
* Weak Muscles: If you have a desk job then chances are your deep back muscles are inactive and unconditioned. When you start an exercise program, but fail to properly strengthen these muscles, the result is often an aching back.
*Strained Muscles: Sitting all day at a desk job or in front of your computer results in a tight back. When these muscles are not properly warmed up and stretched before you begin your workout then a muscle strain is bound to happen.
After going through this list I have a 5-Step Injury Prevention Plan
Injuries don’t have to slow you from meeting your goals. The 5 steps below will dramatically reduce your chance of injury and if you do find yourself injured, but you’ve been following these 5 steps then your recovery will be quicker.
5 Step Injury Prevention Plan
Step 1: Stretch
Yes, stretching is boring! You want to exercise, not sit around touching your toes – right? Even though it isn’t exciting, stretching is the best way to increase muscle elasticity and durability.
You can simply add these Pilates Mobility Movements into your workout to get a more active stretch, it’ll make your stretching a bit more exciting.
Tight muscles are big contributors to strains – remember?
Take the time to stretch everyday before and after your workout to keep injuries away. You can easily add these Pilates Mobility Movements to your daily workout to keep you limber and loose.
Step 2: Warm Up
Preparing for your workout should not begin and end with putting on your workout clothes. Your muscles need to be coaxed into motion by a 10-15 minute warm up in order to prepare them for injury-free use.
Cold muscles are less elastic and are therefore more prone to tears. Here’s a few Pilates Mobility Movements to add in the beginning and end of your workout to keep you agile.
Step 3: Proper Gear
For most fitness enthusiasts proper gear has everything to do with shoes! I learned this the hard way by wearing the wrong running shoes for a long time. Not just any shoe will do.
Find shoes that offer support and traction for your exercise of choice, and make sure that they aren’t too tight or too loose. If you tend to be more prone to ankle injuries then try wearing high-top shoes for extra support.
Step 4: Lifestyle
Stop and think for a moment about your car – if you don’t maintain it with regular oil changes, tune ups and high quality fuel then you can’t expect it to perform well on the road for you.
The same applies for your body. Getting healthy amounts of sleep, staying hydrated and eating well balanced meals will all play an important role in your performance during exercise and your day to day activities.
The healthier your lifestyle is the less likely you are to suffer an injury.
Step 5: Condition
This may seem like the most obvious step in injury prevention, but unfortunately it is the most overlooked. People who keep their bodies in top condition by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are the least likely to injure themselves.
When you sporadically start and stop an exercise program your muscles are most likely to become injured.
However, being conditioned also has another great benefit that everyone enjoys – you get to look and feel great! And who doesn’t want that, right?!
Continue to work on your mobility and stay limber and loose with these Pilates Follow Along Movements you’ll find…