Train smarter and avoid injuries. Have you recently joined a gym or started a new exercise program? We all know that consistency is the key to losing weight, getting fit and gaining strength.
However, especially when we are starting out or training for an event, there are a lot of common pitfalls that can lead to injury. Experts have some important advice when it comes to avoiding this issue.
What should you do?
1. Should You Stretch Before a Workout? Stretch Smart. Dynamic Warm-Up.
No, you do not need to start stretching extensively before a workout with your cold and unused muscles. It’s a better idea to basically prepare your body for the exercises you will be doing with something called dynamic stretching. You are stretching your body, but you are working through a series of exercises at a slower rate to increase your body’s core temperature and activate your nervous system. Think of it as an ‘on ‘switch. Static stretching will actually negatively impact your training. Skip it.
Your routines can vary, but you can jog on the spot, do some jumping jacks, squats, etc. When you break into a light sweat and your heart rate is elevated, you’re ready for number 2.
2. Specific Warm-Up for Your Training
What are you training? Which muscles and joints need to have the maximum amount of blood flowing and which joints need to be supple for the work ahead? This is a way to focus your brain and body on the upcoming task.
It’s about being smart and focusing on your form. The result will be training at a higher level of intensity. You will max your training output, but first, you need to do some higher-intensity reps to get the muscle groups fully prepared. Preparation is everything. A fully warmed-up body will function more effectively and reduce the risk of injury.
3. Stretch after Your Training
Do you want to avoid feeling sore the next day? Do you want to reduce the risk of injury? Stretch, stretch and stretch some more.
Your body is warm and your muscles have been working hard. Now is the time to stretch them out, and you will get a better stretch with your muscles now. It’s important to hold your stretches for 30 to 90 seconds. This will improve your flexibility. Stretch into them and breathe. As you exhale, stretch a little more and hold.
4. Grab a Foam Roller
What are myofascial muscles releases? Well, there is a layer of connective tissue that binds our muscles to our skin, our nervous system and limbic system, and it runs through our entire body.
Professional athletes go for massages, and you can help release your muscles by using a foam roller. Roll your body and muscles — especially any tight spots — over a roller. If you’re able to, get a professional massage. It will help you recover.
While you may be tempted to train every day and think that the more work you are doing, the better your results will be…you are wrong. Your muscles need time to heal and grow. Your body heals when it is resting — 24 to 72 hours, depending on your training.
So, skip those crazy ideas you have of training twice a day, every day, for two weeks to turn yourself into a Mr. or Mrs. Fitbit. Rather, pace yourself and avoid having to go see a doctor after doing something funny to your back/shoulder/hip. Injuries are painful and avoidable if you are sensible.