If you like scientific articles like myself, read this article.
However, if you don’t like sitting down and reading scientific literature, I totally get it. So what can we conclude from the article shared with you? A structured strength program is crucial to reduce sports related injuries.
Let’s be real, we are getting older and the jobs in the office is cutting down on our physical activity. As a result, to make up for being sedentary, we participate in various sports like intramural soccer, kickball, volleyball, and others. Not only is this a great way to be physically active in a fun way, but it is also an amazing way to meet new people by joining a cool community.
As a physical therapist, I’ve worked with countless patients who have hurt themselves by participating in these activities. There are some injuries that are out of our control like twisted ankles, collisions, and tripping. However, there are other injuries that are a little more in our control like strain/torn hamstrings when sprinting (while cold), banged up shoulder when reaching too far to get that ‘ball’, or another occasion when we say “man, I shouldn’t have done that”.
The second category of injuries have a higher likelihood of being prevented with a few simple factors. Proper warm up, strength training, and our approach to intramural sports.
The research has shown that a sufficient warm up will reduce the risk of developing a sports related injury. The goals with this phase of activity include: raising body temperature, increased tissue pliability, and nervous system priming. If you’re playing a sport after a period of being sedentary, warm ups will be crucial. Use 3-5 minutes to increase your heart rate and body temperature (jogging in place or full body movements like squats); spend 3-5 minutes focusing on your tightest joints/muscles (hamstring stretch, upper back stretch); and then spend another 3-5 minutes to do some sport specific activities. This 10-15 minute segment may seem boring and slow, but it’s crucial to your movement and health.
Strength is the foundation of function and health. Consider that every activity we do is built on the base of being able to generate force. When it comes to getting stronger, you’re going to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to full body functional exercises. At Hudson River Fitness we focus primarily on the squat, deadlift, and press. These core exercises are the base of how we build our program. If you are new to strength training, or need to add something to your routine, focus on those three lifts. Start with a simple 5 sets of 5 reps, at a resistance that is challenging. It’s also important that you focus on maintaining a strong core throughout all the lifts and that you maintain perfect form throughout. Consider the workout as a way to build you up rather than breaking you down. An effective strength workout does not have to crush you or ‘kill you’ in order for it to be effective.
The third aspect of an injury free intramural sports career is our mindset when approaching these activities. We aren’t professional athletes. Most of us will partake in these activities for physical fitness and fun. You should understand your and others limits. We all have different athletic abilities. Enjoy your time with others while playing a sport that you enjoy. The day of ultra-competitive sports have passed and that is ok.
As we get older we can’t afford being injured. Getting hurt actually puts a huge damper on the quality of life and it prevents us from doing the activities we love. Focus on these three components and you should be less likely to hurt yourself. As a result, you won’t have to see medical professionals like myself and others.
If you need help starting a strength program or are coming back from an injury, then joining the Hudson River Fitness community is for you. Our staff will guide you every step of the way, making sure that you do the lifts correctly, so that you can protect your joints and have a long and fun fitness career. Click here to book your free intro call today.
Have a great day,
*The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in the information provided nor will the owner be liable for any accidents, injuries or other damage, howsoever occurring to any person or property arising out of or in any way connected to the use or application of information obtained from this message