The key to getting fit is not doing or avoiding one thing. It's consistency. In order to have consistency in fitness, you need to stay injury free.
Sometimes, I find it easiest to write a blog post about my own experiences. It makes me write about not only the practical side of the topic but also how it effects other things such as your motivation, results and many others.
I have been wanting to write for a while about injury prevention. It’s a topic I have written about before and this will probably not be the last one either.
Injury prevention is something I find extremely important, both as an athlete and as a trainer. Safety is always my number one priority when training clients, no matter how hard a training session can be. Sometimes this gets tricky because a trainer has to push the client to get most out of the session and get the results they want. However, it needs to be done in a safe way. After all, if you get injured, you won't be able to train for days, week, months or in some cases even years! Whatever you were doing at that point in time, was probably not worth this kind of injury.
When I train my clients, whether it’s a private session or group class, I always tell them that form should be their main focus. I start off showing proper form and go over the proper technique while discussing what we're about to do. If a client does cheat form or make a mistake but it does not affect their safety or risk of injury, I will let them finish and then tell them what to change next time they do the exercise or drill. If it does affect their safety, I will pause the exercise right away and correct immediately. It can be a fine balance between safety, effectiveness and keeping the momentum alive.
As for myself from a personal standpoint, I have been very fortunate (and careful) to have a healthy body without any main restrictions or injuries. I have been doing strenuous training since I was seven, started training with adults at the age of 12 and did competitive martial arts and road cycling, as well as countless hours of sports in college as a part of my Bachelor's Degree.
Anyone who knows me, will tell you I don’t hold back when training either, I give it my all and work my hardest. Through all of this, I have been able to avoid any main injuries that
affected me long term (I had a lower back issue at one point from an intense sparring session but recovered from that).
In my opinion, the best ways to avoid injuries are:
- Knowing your body well and know where your limits are.
Even if I push through my limits, I take calculated risks and pay attention to form.
- REST is extremely important, know when to take a break.
- Fuel your body right, nutrition is so vital.
- Take only responsible and proven supplements
- Drink lots of water
- Aim to live healthy and respect your body.
Sleeping 3 hours after partying or eating poorly is not the way.
- Listen to your body.
Aches, pains or tightness can be a precursor. Heart rate monitoring can indicate overtraining or an illness coming your way.
- Don't go looking for trouble.
Ever notice how few people get hurt in training (if done properly)? Instead most people get hurt in games, competitions or recreational activities. You're much more likely to get hurt skiing or downhill mountain biking than during a workout. Yes live your life but take care.
- Stretch a lot, tight muscles are prone to injuries.
We love implementing yoga classes into our training routines! - Personal one: I love massages! They help you recover and stay loose.
- Regular chiropractor visits can detect issues before they turn into a more serious condition.
- Follow the normal guidelines (warm up well, foam roll and stretch etc.)
- Do exercises within your abilities.
Not everyone is meant to do everything. There is so much variety in functional gym equipment, exercises and training methods. There is no need to replicate someone else if you're not meant to be doing what they are doing.
When training clients or groups, I try to share some of these tips with them. It is fully understandable that everyone has their own life and wants to do their own thing. Some things might not even work for someone. However, from my experience, these little and very simple pointers make a huge difference and can keep your body functioning properly even under the stresses of daily life and training.
Use your common sense and listen to your body. Train HARD but also take care of yourself to prevent injuries!