If there is something that hampers progress more than missed gym sessions, extra dessert, and skipped meals…its injuries. Not only does an injury keep you from growing, but also it keeps you out of the temple you love: the gym!
Instead of sitting idly by and praying that you will not get injured, take action. Avoid another session of rehab by tapping into the emerging science of prehab –an individualized program of injury prevention.
You may not realize it, but injuries begin long before you feel pain. Because we tend to stick to the same set of limited motions in the gym, smaller muscles and supportive joints can get overworked –leading to painful injuries.
Prehab is a preemptive strike against injuries as is stimulates and strengthens the areas at highest risk of getting hurt.
Here are some of the best prehab exercises to incorporate into your routine:
Prehab: Rotator Cuff Curl
Lie on one side; bend your top arm at a 90-degree angle. Holding a very light weight (1-3 lbs.), let your arm slowly fall. Then, counting to “5″, lift your arm back up for 10-15 reps. You should feel a burn “inside” your shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
Why: 80% of people experience back pain, most of which is preventable. While lifting is great for our muscles, it oftentimes works the back in unnatural ways.
Prehab: Pelvic Tilts
Stand up straight with your back against a wall. Tilt your pelvis back so your lower back is firmly held against the wall. Hold for 45 seconds to a minute. Repeat for 3-4 sets.
Why: The elbows are a well-known “hinge joint” –meaning they are meant to bend a particular way. Sometimes, when you go heavy, your elbows bend slightly out of place.
Prehab: Forearm Pronation
Kneeling in front of a bench, hold a very light dumbbell. Rest your wrist on the bench with a “hammer grip”. Slowly tilt the top head of the weight back and forth, keeping your wrist on the bench. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
Prehab: Straight Knee Extensions
Lie flat on the floor with your legs straight. Slowly lift one leg a few inches off of the floor and hold for a 3 count. Repeat with the other leg for a total of 15-20 reps and 3 sets.