Anyone who has ever had an exercise-related injury knows how frustrating it can be to sit out of a routine until that injury heals. Most of us will ignore an injury if we feel it isn’t ‘that bad”, but sometimes a simply injury can become a serious problem. Whenever you face an exercise-related injury you should take the appropriate heal-time to avoid more serious harm in the future. No one wants a chronic injury that will permanently change a workout routine. Fitness Magazine put together a short list of the four most common preventable injuries, their symptoms, and a way to avoid them.
Prevent Workout Injuries by Tricia O’Brien Braverman
An injury can stop your workout progress cold, but aches and pains aren’t inevitable. “Many injuries happen because supporting muscles are either too tight or too weak,” says Kent Burden, coauthor of Yin Yang Fitness. Reduce your risk by practicing “preventive rehabilitation” (a.k.a prehab) with moves to guard against these four notorious exercise-induced injuries.
The injury: Shinsplints
Symptoms: Pain or tenderness in the muscles attached to the shinbone.
The triggers: A common running injury, shinsplints are often caused by too-strong or tight calves, worn-out shoes or doing too much too soon. Runners who overpronate (the foot rolls in excessively when it strikes the ground) or who have flat arches are especially at risk, says Peggy W. Brill, a physical therapist in New York City and author of Instant Relief.
Prehab move: Deep squats- done in a doorway- add strength and flexibility to the lower legs and ankles. Hold on to each side of a door frame with your arms at shoulder height. Your feet, slightly turned out, should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart, knees pointing over big toes. Squat as low as you can while your hands glide down the door frame. Keep heels flat on the floor. Hold for a count of 10. Do 3 sets.
The injury: Shoulder Tendonitis
Symptoms: A pinching pain at the top of the arm near the shoulder, especially when lifting arm to the side.
The triggers: The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, but it’s also relatively unstable, which makes it more vulnerable to injury, says John R. Martinez, director of physical therapy for Plus One Physical Therapy in New York City. Overuse can stretch, pinch or tear the many ligaments or tendons around the joint.
Prehab move: Palm-up shoulder raises work the front and middle of the deltoids without compromising the rotator cuff. Stand holding 3 to 5 pound dumbbells at sides, palms facing forward. Lock elbows and lift arms in front to shoulder height. Lower, then lift weights to sides until at shoulder level. Do 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps per move.
The injury: Torn Meniscus
Symptoms: Swelling and a clicking sound in your knee.
The triggers: Lunge or squat too deeply- or take too many step-classes- and you may tear the meniscus, the soft disk that cushions the knee joint.
Prehab move: Strengthen the muscles that support your knee with the clock lunge. Imagine there’s a clock on the floor, with your feet together at the center. Lunge forward to 12 o’clock with your right foot, lowering until right thigh is parallel to floor. Return to starting position. Repeat, lunging forward and back with right foot to one, two and three, then stepping back to six o’clock. Return to start and repeat with left foot, lunging to 12, 11, 10 and nine and back to six o’clock. Try not to let your front knee extend past your toes. For an added challenge, hold dumbbells. Do 3 sets.
The injury: Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome
Symptoms: Pain in the ITB, the thick strip of tissue that runs from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.
The triggers: Tight muscles and ligaments in the hip can pull the knee joint out of alignment, creating inflammation in the affected hip, knee or ITB. It’s often brought on by overuse while running, stair climbing or doing various other aerobic activities.
Prehab move: Hip stretches increase flexibility in the muscles around the hip joint, reducing your risk of injury in surrounding tendons. Stand with right foot crossed over left, knees slightly bent. Lean right while pushing left hip out to the side, feeling the stretch along your left hip. Hold for 15 seconds; switch sides and repeat.