How to prevent injury when training

Total_Health_Injury Prevention
This article has been provided by Total Health, 05 April 2011
When training for specific events, activities or sports, one of the hardest aspects of the process is avoiding injury. How many times have you, or someone you know of, been training really hard or consistently then just when everything is going great injury strikes!

On the flip side, many injuries can occur when neglecting rest or the correct preparation for these tasks has not been followed.

First of all, why do so many injuries occur when things seemed to be going so well?

One of the main reasons for this is due to over repetition. I see it happen over and over again, where people practice a particular activity or train for an event and assist that with too much 'specific' training. This means that during training you perform similar movements to that of your activity or sport and that certain muscles and movement patterns will be over loaded. It is important that you have a certain amount of specific conditioning in your training plan but too much can create imbalances within the body. This damages posture and will create tension in these over worked muscles. The worse thing to neglect when training is posture and the balance of the body as you will start to ruin the structure and alignment of the body, causing all sorts of problems!

Along with this, when the body performs the same movements repeatedly it will be using the same muscle groups over and over again, which also will destroy your structure and alignment. This can make these more active muscles over dominant so when you then try to perform other movements, these muscles try to take over. Again a lot of problems stem from this as the dominant muscles are in constant use and some of the opposing muscles may 'go to sleep' and very rarely get used. This is where imbalances are created.

Now the next aspect that the majority of the population forget about is recovery. I bang on about this all the time, most likely to the point where everyone is bored of hearing me talk about it but it is the most common mistake I see people make when in training. Without recovery your body cannot repair from the damage you have caused by training or use so why do so many people think that they do not need rest and recovery? There is only so far you can push the human body and if you actually want to perform well or even just feel good whilst training/exercising- don't neglect recovery!

So no matter how great you are feeling please ensure you structure in some recovery sessions. This should be weekly as well as monthly and can be anything from very gentle exercise to massage and meditation and after some weeks of gradually building up intensity plan a few days of recovery together!

Also research shows that active recovery (light movement/exercise, massage) is far more beneficial than doing nothing so do consider this. Although I would have to say from personal experience that sometimes when training has been intense extra sleep is the best form of recovery. So a mixture of active recovery and deep relaxation is the best way forward.

Finally- 'fail to prepare and prepare to fail!' The quote is so true, very few people can get away with just throwing themselves straight in at the deep end. Whether it is an event you are training for or to have the ability to enjoy a long walk you must make sure that your body has the posture, strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance to do so. The best way to prepare for anything is to give yourself an all over base level of fitness and posture and then start to look at the specifics needed for your chosen activity. Do remember to keep maintaining your base level of posture though and not to get carried away with the specifics!

To help you prepare, you can take a look at the hip strength and mobility video here:

Hopefully this answered a few questions as to why your body may be breaking down or gave you some good ideas to implement into your routine.

Keep moving!

Craig Ali
Owner of Total Health
Coach and Consultant

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