3 Keys To Reduce Injury In Sports

training

Most injuries are caused by a lack of strength or mobility, preventing the athlete to properly absorb and redirect external forces (ie: gravity or another opponent). We cannot completely prevent injuries, yet we can prepare our body to better withstand the forces that may cause injury.

Purposeful warm-up

The days of just jogging around or riding a bicycle are over. A specific and purposeful warm up allows us to reinforce proper joint mechanics and muscular activation patterns regardless of activity.

  • Start by activating the core muscles using various plank variations will allow for the individual to stabilize more effectively. This will allow our hips and shoulders to adequately move for better transfer of force and movement during gameplay.
  • Using body weight exercises to place a load on the hip and shoulder complex’s in various ranges of motion will decrease aberrant movements at the joints

Addressing deficits and imbalances

All individuals have a dominant side that can produce more work compared to their non-dominant side (right hand vs. left hand). But continually using the dominant side and ignoring the skill development of the non-dominant side can cause an imbalance of muscular strength and coordination. This can increase the chances of injury because the non-dominant side will not have the same reaction time and coordination.

  • Get properly screened by an exercise professional to grade movement and determine if there are any deficits.
  • The movement screen score can then be used to create a program that can address those imbalances

Adequate recovery

Recovery periods are where muscles grow, repair, and replenish energy, not during the workout. Using sufficient rest in between sets as well as in between workouts is paramount to efficiently improving strength, size, and power. The craze of working out to exhaustion can not only be unsafe but also unproductive in regards to specific physical performance goals. Without giving yourself rest in between workouts will also decrease performance in the long term.

  • Without taking adequate rest in between workout sets will not allow for the body to replenish necessary energy stores to produce the necessary movement. This can lead to a bad movement pattern and improperly using a specific muscle
  • Continuously working out to exhaustion without proper recovery can cause the body to stay in a prolonged catabolic state (muscle breakdown). Adequate sleep, proper postworkout nutrition, mobility work, and soft-tissue maintenance is key to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Raymond Deleon, MS, CSCS
Performance Fitness Coach - RWJ Somerset Sports Physical Therapy & Performance Center


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