Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Top 100 Sports Training And Nutrition Tips, #3

Prevent, or reduce the risk of these injuries with the proper sports training techniques.....

16. This might sound elementary but..... warm-up properly to avoid injuries.... walking for 2 minutes is not a good warm-up. A good dynamic warm-up prepares your body best for intense practices or games. A sample dynamic warm-up could be a 5-10 minute jog, prisoner squats, cone/ladder drills, lunges, etc. Static stretches would be done after your workout or game.

17. Don't underestimate the benefits of sports massages. The benefits include improved flexibility, tension release, relieving of swelling, alleviation of fatigue and prevention of injuries.

18. Along the same lines, self myofascial release with foam rolls (SMFR) is a type of self massage that you can do every day and prevent various muscle injuries, strains and tears.

19. Protect your feet....its amazing how many injuries can be avoided by wearing quality footwear (interpreted: don't wear cheap athletic shoes). If you have flat feet or high arches you definitely need the right footwear.

20. Avoid various tendonitis injuries (pain, swelling) caused by over-training and wear and tear. Rest and recovery is important. R.I.C.E.R. (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION, REFERRAL FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE) should be followed immediately after a muscle or tendon injury.

21. Train to lessen the risk of a knee anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury....it is the most common injury affecting the knee joint. Do this by having adequate hamstring strength and practicing proper landing, jumping, stopping and cutting techniques.

22. Continuing on with hamstrings...prevention of hamstring injuries is the best solution. They are tough to recover from so adequate hamstring strength and flexibility is needed to lessen the risk of injury.

23. Strengthen and stretch your throwing shoulder muscles to avoid rotator cuff, shoulder and elbow injuries.

24. Strengthen and stabilize your core to prevent injuries such as low back pain, oblique strains/pulls, neck pain, ruptured disks and various other muscle and ligament strains.

25. Forget about doing situps....there is a correct way to do situps but most people are not familiar with the technique. The hip flexor muscles are preferentially recruited to do much of the work during incorrect execution of situps. This leads to muscle imbalances and low back pain. Because of the injury potential from doing situps, you are better off finding safer ab exercises like planks and bridges.

26. Avoid shin splints by not over-training and wearing quality footwear.....also exercising on hard or uneven surfaces or excessive uphill or downhill running can cause shin splints. If you over-pronate (foot and ankle rolls excessively inward when running) you are at risk for shin splints (don't wear cheap shoes!).

27. Lessen the risk of a torn or injured Achilles tendon (the largest tendon in the body). It takes a full year to recover from a torn Achilles tendon. Stretch and stabilize the tendon with one-legged exercises, calf/peroneal stretches and Achilles tendon stretch.

28. You don't want Plantar Fasciitis (the long, flat ligament on the bottom of your foot stretches too much, small tears develop and the ligament inflames (ouch!!)! Folks, this is serious pain! Plantar Fasciitis usually develops over time so takes steps to correct the problem when it first occurs by keeping your foot and ankle area flexible. Also, don't wear (you guessed it!) cheap running shoes! Excessive running on steep hills or inclines can also cause Plantar Fasciitis.

The point is this: prepare your body for competition (stabilize, strength, flexibility, etc.) and maintain your body over time. Don't ignore the warning signs---LIKE PAIN!

Train hard and smart! See ya tomorrow!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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