by Jackie Crosby
Injuries often leave athletes feeling like it’s the end of the world. After investing time and effort into a specific training regime, it can be very difficult to stop and recover from an injury properly. Here are some tips and tricks to prevent injuries—the four “R’s” of injury prevention.
REST- Resting can sometimes be the hardest part of training, but it’s a key component of injury prevention. It will not hurt your performance to take a day off; your body actually needs the rest and it’s essential to muscle recovery. It can be hard to distinguish between when to take time off and when to work through the pain. Just keep the long-term goal in mind. You don’t want to put in work and not be able to perform come race day. If you are questioning whether or not to work out due to an injury, take the day off. Use your “rest” time for foam rolling and rehab exercises.
ROLL- A foam roller is a great tool for athletes who suffer from tight and fatigued muscles. It can be used for preventative measures and recovery. Foam rolling increases blood flow and circulation. The foam roller, if done properly, can be a more affordable version of a massage therapist. Key areas to focus on are the hamstring, quads, glutes, and IT bands.
The 4 R's rest, roll, rehab, and recovery
REHAB- Rehab exercises are extremely important for injuries, especially for serious injuries. Rehabilitation programs will usually take you through three different phases:
Right after the injury
Functional and sport specific exercises.Rehab is the best way to prevent future injuries after as well as recover from an existing injury.
RECOVERY- Recovery is a broad term and covers a variety of topics. Recovery after any hard workout can be the best way to prevent injuries. Proper recovery after workout includes multiple fields:
Stretching after a warm down to relax muscles and reduce soreness and tightness.
Eat proper fuel in the hour window after a workout to make sure your body receives the recovery fuel it needs.
Compression socks also aid in recovery by increasing blood flow to flush out lactic acid.Recovery is proactive! The more you properly recover, the less injuries you will have, and better training session will occur with your body being in top shape.
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