Author: Gabby Gamino, Manager
No matter how in shape you’re in, injuries can happen to anyone, at any time. One of the best ways to prevent injuries is to strengthen the supporting muscles that protect your joints and ligaments.
Before You Start a New Routine
It’s tempting to jump right into a new workout routine, but without the right technique and prep-work, you’ll most likely injure yourself on the first day of training. Here are a few things you’ll want to think about before starting a new workout routine:
Posture and Technique
Strengthening your leg muscles can help prevent knee injury, but if you are doing weighted or unweighted exercises like squats or deadlifts with incorrect posture, you can injure your body before you even realize it. Best practices to follow include:
- Whenever possible, do not lock your knees. When you lock your knees, it takes weight off your muscles and puts it on the joints. This damages the joints over time, and detracts from the workout you’re giving your muscles.
- When squatting, never let your knees pass your toes, and turn out your knees to prevent injury and imbalance.
- Lift correctly: To prevent back injury, don’t lean over to pick up even slightly heavy items. Squatting down might take an extra second, but can save you days of pain.
- Don’t try to lift more than you can handle. If your muscles are buckling and dropping the weight into your joints and bones, decrease the weight.
Back Injury Prevention
A huge part of preventing back injury is strengthening the core, glute, and back muscles.
Because so many jobs involve sitting at a desk for long periods of time, we end up with inactive glute muscles that cause the back to bow in and carry the body’s weight incorrectly. Some exercises to combat this are:
- Donkey Kicks
- Walking Lunges
Lining the spine with strong muscles is an important protective measure. These muscles support our entire body and prevent throwing out the lower back. Try some of these exercises the build back support:
- Weighted or unweighted hip lifts
- Reverse Flys
Knee Injury Prevention
Knee injuries are increasingly common, and can become a lifelong issue if not careful. In addition to exercising properly (correct posture and technique), strengthening the surrounding muscles can take pressure off the knee joint and make you less prone to knee injury and pain. Some exercises to add to your routine are:
- The Stepmill, or just taking the stairs when you can
- Lying leg raises
- Standing straight leg raises
Ankle Injury Prevention
Perhaps the most common joint injury is the ankle. Rolls, sprains, and even breaks happen every day. Building strength around the ankle can make these injuries less likely, and help you recover faster when they do happen.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause not only tissue injury from falls or lifting weight, but painful, chronic injuries such as back and neck pain. If you spend a lot of time at a desk, leaving you with bad posture and inactivity, can leave you with chronic pain. Muscle atrophy and lack of muscle tissue in the body can make you more vulnerable to ligament pulls, and sprains. To avoid this:
- Walk when you can and take the stairs
- Don’t forget to stretch before and after doing a physically straining activity
- Try exercises to improve your balance
Building your body to protect itself from injury is a daily, conscious choice, and with the right information and 20 minutes a day it’s more than possible.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.