Often a hypocrite when I was younger and talking about prehab before rehab, I have ended up with knee surgery, joint pain, and a bicep tendon tear. As I have matured and learned my lessons, I take my mobility work and prehab much more seriously. Strength training will make you more resilient to injury, but training itself comes with certain precautions. Listed below are in my opinion the top 5 prehab methods. What other recovery or prehab methods do you use?
1. Warm up
In my opinion the number one most important method used in avoiding injury. Increasing core temperature and promoting circulation is crucial in delivering oxygen and nutrients to your musculoskeletal system. Most think of only the anatomical aspect of a warm-up, however, stimulating the nervous system is an equally important reason. I am not a morning person, and with that said… without jump roping before teaching class in the AM, I would never be able to get my brain going. Keep it simple, use movements that will take your joints through the full range of motion, and finish with something to crank up your heart rate such as jumping jacks or mountain climbers.
2. Start with the basics
Simply the principle of progression. Before experiencing excessive soreness from minor muscle tear damage, ease yourself into the regimen, this will be easier for previously conditioned athletes, but the title should explain itself.
Example: If you have never squatted before you might spend time doing glute bridges and step-ups, before moving onto body weight squats and goblet squats, finally arriving under the barbell for heavier lifts. Train each set of exercises for 2-4 weeks depending on how your body adapts, before moving on to the next set of exercises.
Many of us work hard in and out of the gym, but forget to rest. This includes sleep, meditation, stretching, and just completely taking time away from the gym. Your body needs time to heal and become stronger, don’t be so clingy with your glutes. 1-2x a week is sometimes all the time you need to spend together, it’ll make your relationship stronger.
4. SMR (Foam Rolling)
Say goodbye to mostly all of your knots and tight spots located in the muscle fascia. I’m sure you will feel it is saying FUCK YOU in return as you get it out. Foam rolling has recently become a very popular form of both PREHAB and REHAB also known as self-myofascial release. Awesome tool for improving flexibility, function, performance, and reducing injury.
5. Competent Coaching
I wouldn’t say you’re wrong if you argued this is the number one prehab method. No precautions that you take will help you if your trainer or coach isn’t competent enough to meet your individual needs. A good trainer or even partner will effectively communicate with you to make sure you execute the technique correctly, keep you from creating future muscle imbalances, and give you honest, accurate feedback.
Today we begin forging our bodies and
strengthening our minds.
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