Injury Prevention Through Training
While many people say their main goal in fitness training is weight loss or gaining strength or endurance, a growing number of people cite training to prevent injuries as one of their main focuses when coming into the fitness studio.
Preventing injury through fitness training isn’t just for athletes, although naturally, for an athlete, injury prevention training is extremely important.
Older people who wish to remain active without putting their health in jeopardy can benefit tremendously from injury prevention exercises and training — as can active parents with kids to chase around or who need help with their athletic endeavors, people who participate in weekend sports leagues but are sedentary most of the week and many others.
So how can you go about effectively training to prevent injuries?
Muscular Imbalance and Injury Prevention
When it comes to injury prevention training, the idea of muscular imbalance is probably the most important one to remember. All strength training movements are either “push” movements or “pull” movements. If your push muscles are stronger than your pull muscles, or vice versa, you have a muscular imbalance. The greater the imbalance caused by the difference in strength between the muscle groups, the greater your chance of a training injury.
This doesn’t mean that if your muscles are in perfect balance, you will never get injured. But trying to maintain balance could be the best way to prevent injury through fitness training. Imbalances can also manifest themselves in the form of bad posture, neck and lumbar stress and other joint and muscular discomfort.
The SAID Principle
Another concept to keep in mind on injury prevention and exercises is the SAID principle, or Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. This means you need to give your muscles adequate time to rest and recover — but not too much. If you let too much time go between workouts, your muscles will go back to their pre-workout state. However, if you try to work out again too quickly, your muscles will not get a chance to repair themselves properly and you will not get the results you want.
You should give yourself 48 hours to recover from any strength training workout. This means eat, sleep, hydrate and don’t
work those muscles again until the recovery period is over. The sweet spot is between 48 hours and 72 hours from the previous workout of those muscles. This will create a “supercompensation” state where your muscles will heal most effectively and give you a higher level of strength and fitness.
Rest and Recovery
Make sure you get eight hours of good sleep every night, as a lack of sleep increases cortisol levels and reduces anabolic hormones, which can inhibit your ability to lose fat and gain lean muscle.
The right personal trainer can put you on the most effective resistance training regimen to help you achieve your fitness goals while making your body more resistant to injury. If you’re in the Maryland area, call Excellence In Fitness Personal Training Studios at 410-266-6688 for a free consultation on how to get the best fitness results for you.