Exercise can keep you out of the doctor’s office unless you injure yourself.
This is why injury prevention has become a hot topic among athletes. Everyone wants to know – how do I get stronger, run faster, and train harder without putting my body at an increased risk of injury?
Well, there are a few injury prevention exercises and tips to improve performance and stay active. Some examples include taking a few minutes to warm up and cool down and improving muscle strength, endurance, and power.
Here are the best injury prevention exercises and tips to stay off the sidelines and stay in shape:
12 Best Injury Prevention Exercises and Tips
1. Bulgarian Split Squat
This workout is a version of a single-leg squat where you elevate your leg on a sturdy chair or a bench for balance. As a unilateral squat, this exercise focuses more on the quadriceps than similar lower-body compound movements.
The Bulgarian split squat is also one of the most famous injury prevention exercises for athletes because of their ability to train the body one side at a time (unilaterally).
However, doing this workout helps build better mobility over time because the rear foot is balanced on the chair or bench during the movement. It likewise targets your hip stabilizers that are difficult to hit during bilateral exercises (using both sides of the body together in an activity).
Avoid leaning forward for a proper form when doing a Bulgarian split squat. Instead, lower your torso vertically.
After you squat down and lower your body, you can raise back up and repeat the reps. Then, switch legs so you can fully work on your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, adding strength to the lower body.
2. Goblet Squat
This Goblet Squat works your core, glutes, calves, quads, grip strength, and arms as you hold onto the weight. This full-body exercise is excellent for people who want to prevent lower back injury and tone their cores simultaneously.
It is also a safer alternative to traditional squats because of the position of their load. More specifically, the front and back squats prevent chronic back pain. However, they come at a risk of injury because you hold the weight in an unstable position.
On the other hand, the workout centers the load and makes it easier for your body to lift the weight in a controlled manner. Thus, it is a favored injury prevention workout.
3. Lateral Band Walk
The lateral band walk (miniband walk) works the glutes, hips, and inner and outer thighs.
Many pro-athletics, pilates, and bodybuilding love this resistance band workout because it is a fantastic way to keep the lower back straight. It also maintains proper body alignment and coordinates dynamic body movements.
All you need to do is place a resistance band above your knees, stand with your feet hip-width apart, and squat down into an athletic stance.
In addition, this exercise strengthens the hip joints and protects the knees from taking a bad torque sideways. This is helpful, such as in a soccer or basketball game, which can tear or strain the tendon.
4. Bent-Over Row
A bent-over row is crucial to prevent shoulder injury as it builds overall upper-body strength. Moreover, other benefits of this workout include trunk stability and better posture, lowering your risk of damage over time.
Your starting position should be standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, carefully lift the dumbbells using a neutral grip. Hinge at your hips so your torso is at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
5. Forearm Plank
Planks have many variations, but the forearm plank is a fitness staple. Not only does it give you abs and build muscle, but it also spices up your workout.
This move contracts all your core muscles and tightens your body, helping your core strength. As a result, it keeps your low back strong and prevents lower back pain. Planks also improve coordination and balance during everyday activities.
A strong core resulting from forearm planks can also support you during other forms of physical and athletic activity.
6. Bird Dog
Another great injury prevention exercise is the bird dog. It’s a simple core workout that improves stability, relieves low back pain, and encourages a neutral spine.
This workout uses the entire body to strengthen and target the core, back, and hip muscles. It likewise increases the range of motion and body weight.
For this workout, kneel on a workout mat or a cushioned surface. Brace your abdominals. Next, point one arm straight in front and extend the opposite leg behind to form a straight line from your extended hand.
Keep your spine neutral with your neck and head in alignment. Relax your shoulders and breathe while you lift your arm and the opposite leg. Hold the such position for a few seconds, then return to your starting position. Switch to the other side.
7. Knee Tucks
Try the knee tucks if you’re looking for a great exercise to improve your core strength and target your abs. Asides from the aesthetic benefits, having a strong core protects you from a back injury and enhances your posture tremendously.
Strengthening your muscles through knee tucks also helps with day-to-day movement, making you less prone to injury or falls. Not to mention, you become more agile.
Begin in a straight-armed plank while your feet are on an exercise ball. Steady your upper body as you bend your knees and keep the ball rolling towards you. Next, tuck your legs fully and extend your legs again for another rep.
8. Single-Leg Deadlift
This workout strengthens your posterior chain, including the hamstrings, lower back, core muscles, and glutes.
You will improve your movement and balance with this workout and prevent injury. Mix up how you hold a load to add a challenge, then add additional core work.
The single-leg deadlift likewise strengthens the stabilizers on your knees, taking the pressure off the joints. For starters, tip your body forward and lift your left leg, arms, back, and right leg strength behind you.
Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg to stabilize your muscles.
If you want to build your lower body strength and reduce your risk of injury, try bridge workouts. A favorite variation of many is the single-leg glute bridge.
When performed correctly, a bridge workout can promote better posture and is even prescribed for patients with back pain.
This exercise is simple. Just lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Next, lift your hips until your knees form a straight line. Then, lower your back down to complete one rep.
Hold one leg straight out and off the floor to increase the difficulty level, then repeat the movement with the other leg.
10. Walking Lunge
This injury prevention exercise develops the functional strength needed in sports and daily life. It likewise relates to your joints and their capacity to move your body through a full range of motion without trouble.
Walking lunges challenge your body by hitting your core, glutes, and hips as they stabilize your body. They are among the most favored exercises among athletes because functional strength is crucial in sports.
Without functional strength, injuries occur, and an athlete’s mobility and stability are restricted.
11. Resistance Band Pull Apart
This exercise works the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back, making it an excellent tool for strength training. They’re also versatile and lightweight and work your muscles and weight machines or free weights.
Keep your arms straight while standing for a better form of this injury prevention exercise. Keep your arms straight while you stand as well. Next, hold a resistance band with both hands. Then, pull the band toward your chest by moving your arms outward to your sides.
12. Russian Twists
This exercise has impressive benefits beyond injury prevention. It also boosts your core strength and rotational control, eliminates your mid-section all at once, and builds stability in your spine.
A bonus is that it provides a leg workout too. This workout is the go-to movement to complement your planks.
Doing three sets of 30 to 50 reps of seated Russian twists daily helps you achieve a strong, toned core and abs.
Other Sports Injury Prevention Tips Aside From Strength Training Exercises
Here are other sports injury prevention tips to keep in mind while training.
Warm Up and Cool Down
The most essential part of preventing injury is starting your workout routine slowly. In other words, be kind to yourself and follow the gradual progression of exercise.
Many people think their body is just like when they were younger and feel they can return to that level without observing moderation. However, it’s essential to slowly ramp up the intensity of your workout to avoid injuring yourself.
Whether you’re jumping onto a basketball court or training for a marathon, it is more important to warm up if you’re making a return after some couch time.
Use the Right Protective Equipment
Wearing the right gear and safety equipment is another essential factor in preventing injuries. For instance, if you run on the treadmill with shoes that don’t provide the proper foot support, there’s a risk that you roll your ankle or the pain in your joints or surrounding muscles is increased.
Moreover, when lifting heavy weights, look into wearing protective gear, like straps, gloves, and belts. Investing in the proper protective equipment also pays off by keeping you in the gym longer and protecting your body.
Take Care of Your Joints
Athletes usually complain about joint pain, especially as they age. However, you can prevent injuries to the ankle by taking care of your joints pre- and post-exercise. This also includes using the proper form and a sports gel (topical).
Use a Sports Gel
Sports gel or topicals can fast-track recovery and repair. Take, for instance, ChemiPower’s CarnoSport.
It is a doping-free gel developed in cooperation with Tartu Pharmacology Institute and the large equestrian community. It also contains carnosine as a main ingredient. Carnosine has been used in many food supplements because of its ability to improve muscle elasticity and prevent or delay muscle fatigue.
CarnoSport is formulated to increase muscle performance and improve joint, ligament, and tendon health. Apply this 60 minutes before or right after the workout for accelerated recovery.
This increases your range of motion, blood flow to muscles, and flexibility. Stretching all major muscle groups at least two to three times weekly will do the trick.
Dynamic stretching workouts within your comfortable range of motion are ideal for warming up muscles before the activity. In contrast, static stretching exercises are suitable for cooling down.
Water plays a vital role in the body’s physical processes. It promotes good bodily function and regulates the body.
It likewise improves circulation, delivering the proper nutrients to the cells. It also removes toxins and bacteria from the system and keeps joints lubricated when you exercise, sweat, and lose water.
Therefore, staying hydrated is essential so you won’t be injury-prone since the key nutrients are still delivered to your muscles and joints.
Avoid Overtraining or Under-Recovery
Most of all, stop exercising immediately and seek medical advice if you are over-tired or feeling ill. A good rule of thumb is to rest a specific muscle group for at least 24 hours before working the same muscle group again.
Concerning this, avoid lifting a particularly heavy weight, especially if you’re a beginner. Instead, listen to the advice of your personal trainer or a qualified gym instructor to know what you’re doing.
Final Thoughts on Injury Prevention Exercises and Tips
The health benefits of exercise are tough to ignore. It can give you more energy, make you feel better, add years to your life, and help prevent injury.
Follow these injury Prevention Exercises and tips to improve performance. These simple guidelines will also lower your risk of overuse injuries significantly, and you can stay focused on your fitness goals.
Remember to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program. This is especially important if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have concerns about your fitness, and have chronic health problems.
Ligament and muscle sprains can affect anyone, regardless of fitness level. Use CarnoSport to improve tendon, ligament, and joint health.
Find out more about this doping-free sports gel here.