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Injury prevention for the everyday warrior! – Coach Jack

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As everyday athletes we love to push ourselves to get the most out of the session at hand! Then the niggles come a long and we don’t always listen to our body as well as we should.

Have you ever been training and felt a couple days later that a certain area of your body still shouldn’t be sore or that the movements you normally perform with ease are starting to become harder?

I can guarantee that a lot of people would shrug off a niggle and just tell themselves, ‘ah, she’ll be right’ or ‘ill just rest it and it will fix itself’.
This mentality increases potential injuries within the gym and a lot of sporting environments, the mindset that the body will heal itself. If a tyre got a puncture and went flat on your car I could put my house on it that it wouldn’t inflate itself and be functioning again without some form of intervention.

As a strength and conditioning coach I will prescribe/recommend a vast range of different injury prevention techniques depending on the individual, their needs and the results of an initial assessment. Below are my go to 5 techniques to help prevent injury!

GET MOBILE
Mobility is probably the least focused on aspect of training in the everyday warrior, yet it plays such a large role in performance and injury prevention. The greater the mobility of the working joints, the greater the range of motion, the greater use of working muscles therefore greater results and a potential lower rate of injury!

ACTIVATE & INITIATE
Here is 2 of my favourite words! Best served in a warm up!
Now we all know that a good warm up is best, but we question on how long, what to do and how much of each movement to do.
There isn’t a magic number or a magic movement but there are magic tools!
First up activate/engage major muscle groups and stabilizing muscles. We use mini bands and power bands a lot for upper and lower body activation. We need to prepare our muscles for the session ahead of us.
Time to initiate, by this I mean MOVE! Start slow, build up intensity, add plyometrics. All those muscles we just activated need to start firing effectively!

TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE
There are many reasons to why we need to chase optimal technique!
Not only does correct movement technique decrease potential injury risk but it makes the movement look better and has direct translation to performance.
Lifting technique, boxing technique, running technique, jumping and landing technique are just a few areas where proper technique can result in increased efficiency of movement and therefore improved performance.

GET STRONG 
Pretty straight forward, right?
The goals of a strength program should be to get you as strong as possible, there is research that proves the stronger an individual is the less chance of injury during sport. Just remember that this isn’t a short term achievement, people spend their whole lives getting ‘strong’. It takes multiple training sessions a week, a structured program and a coach that understands the physical demands of strength training and performance in relation to your goal.

Some ratios to body weight (BW) goals that people chase are listed below
GOALS-
2x BW squat
1.5x BW bench press
2.4x BW Deadlift

RECOVER!
Recovery is something I believe everyday warriors don’t do enough of! Yes, it is a bit of an umbrella term but it is SO important to make sure that it is done. Below listed is a few recovery techniques-

  • Nutrition
  • Flexibility/meditation
  • Sleep
  • Cold water immersion
  • Breathing drills and techniques
  • Saunas
  • Deload weeks
  • SMR/rolling

You need to find what works for you!
At the end of the day YOU are the one that needs to get up in the morning and train, YOU are the one that has to deal with the soreness and YOU are the one that will have to manage and rehab an injury if it occurs.
More training isn’t always better.