Getting hurt sucks. Sprains, strains, tendonitis, and even broken bones are all consequences of living an active and athletic lifestyle. Luckily, with the right knowledge and preparation, many injuries can be diminished or entirely prevented.
There are two classes of injuries: traumatic and cumulative. Traumatic injuries are those accidents that happen in sport or daily life, such as rolling your ankle on a trail run or crashing your bike on the morning commute. Cumulative injuries relate to tissue damage that occurs over time as a result of repetitive strain. These types of injuries creep up and may be a function of poor posture, faulty movement patterns, or improper training.
The best practice for preventing injury is general physical preparedness. General physical preparedness training is the first concept to understand when talking about injury prevention, especially for trauma. It means maintaining a baseline of fitness so that you can respond to physical challenges without harm. The following list has the five main GPP areas you need to improve:
Ensure that all major joints, including your spine, have full range of motion and sufficient muscle length.
Our advice: Spend at least one 20-minute session per week on stretching, preceded by a thorough warmup.
Keep all large muscles and surrounding stabilizers conditioned and ready to react at a moment’s notice.
Our advice: Plan two or three 30-minute strength training sessions with weights per week.
What is your reaction time and general coordination like? If properly honed, you can avoid spilling your bike as you swerve to avoid a pedestrian.
Our advice: Run an agility ladder or tire array twice per month.
Can you stay vertical over uneven terrain or when carrying an awkwardly shaped object?
Our advice: Single-leg medicine ball tosses with a partner are a great balance challenge. Do 3 sets x 60 seconds on each leg.
Do you have the speed to move out of harm’s way in a hurry? Better hope so if you need to dodge a vehicle while on your morning run.
Our advice: A burpee plus a 15-yard sprint is an excellent combo for power generation. Do five in a row at the end of your next workout.