Don’t let an injury stop you from achieving your NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS in 2019
If you haven’t read Part 1 in this series then click here
3. Recovery: Allow muscles to ‘pick up the pieces’ before going again
When your muscles get put under stress from resistance training, chemical changes occur within the tissue rendering it less capable of producing force. These can be felt as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). During this recovery period, muscles are more susceptible to injury (such as a muscle strain) as are the other components of the musculoskeletal system that it protects (such as tendons, bones and joints).
When starting a new exercise program in the new-year it is important to allow your body time to completely recover before the next session. During your December vacation, use your time off to give your exercise schedule good structure, with recovery days booked in after every exercise session. This will ensure that your body gets a chance to adapt to those new loads it is exposed to after a long lay-off.
4. The AAA of warm up: Activation, Activation, Activation
The thought process behind a warm up is to prepare the body for the strenuous activity it is about to endure. Whilst stretching should form some part of the warm up it should not be overdone and with excessive sustained hold times. This comes on the back of a study that showed that sustained stretching can weaken the muscle being stretched. Having a muscle that is weakened is less than ideal preparation before strenuous exercise!
In a warm-up we aim to ‘wake up’ rather than relax different parts of the body. This is called activation. Activation exercises aim to enhance the nervous system, helping it recruit muscles to prepare them for sporting activities. These may be as simple as a gluteal bridge or a hip/knee squat. The aim is to be physically feeling the muscle working as you perform the activation exercise. Having as little as three activation exercises to perform as a warm up before you train will go a long way in preventing an injury in the high-risk period following the Christmas holidays.
Come in and see our physiotherapists to help set you up for an injury-free 2019!
Wishing you all a merry Christmas!