From a football player to a weightlifter, every athlete will tell you that a good warm-up is necessary before every training session. Apart from preparing muscles for the workout, strength training is another way athletes try to avoid injuries. The stronger a muscle is, it is less likely you will strain it and then require physical therapy to recover.
Unloading Muscle Stress
The reason why individual muscles and even whole muscle groups get injured is overworking them. This happens to beginners more often but even the most experiences of athletes might end up overtaxing their ligaments.
The thing that our body’s tissues, ligaments, and joints have a limited capacity is handling stress. Once you pass this threshold, they start to get tired, eventually leading to injury. As you increase the limits of loadbearing by adding more weight or by performing exercises in the wrong way, you are pushing your muscles to their breaking point.
In order to prevent his scenario from occurring, you need to increase your stress capacity. As a result, this will decrease injury risk and increase performance. A strong foundation will support the joints, bones, and tendons, enabling them to bear heavier loads without reaching their breaking point.
Detecting Weak Muscles
Before you are ready to strengthen your muscles, you must be able to identify which muscle groups are the most susceptible to injury. This can be hard at times because we experience knee pain, for example, when in reality it is our core and hips that are giving out, i.e. they are weak.
Instead of strengthening our leg muscles, we should work on the hips and core to decrease the pain in the knees. However, the whole section of the body from the hips to the knees is susceptible to injury, so we should look for a physical therapist to help us determine which muscles need extra strengthening.
Doing Strengthening Exercises Correctly
Once you identify which muscles are the weakest and the most likely to give way, it is time to strengthen them properly. Again, you should turn to sports medicine to help you determine which muscle groups should be targeted.
Well-targeted strengthening exercises ensure the whole body is working the way it should and that the risk of injury is the lowest as possible. This includes imbalances, joint slippage, and misalignment issues, which are all among the highest risk factors for injuring yourself.
Using our previous example of weak hips, the knees are going to bend at wrong angles putting the muscles in a position where they might get injured easily. However, after you strengthen your hips and build your core, you significantly reduce changes for a leg injury. Over time, knee pain will go away as well.
Building Your Core
You might think how is the core related to your hips and knees? Well, the core is connected to all s groups in our body. The foundation and the powerhouse of your body, the core must be strong in order to avoid pain and subsequent injuries in all parts of the body. Hip pain, neck pain, pelvic pain, shoulder pain, and back pain are all connected and can be contributed to a weak core. For neck strengthening, check Iron Neck for some equipment.
A strong core helps you move your muscles naturally and align them properly, thus reducing the risk of injury for all muscle groups. In addition, a strong core is essential for stability and balance, two factors that even seniors can benefit from, not only professional athletes.
In this sense, strengthening exercises need to be done all year round and not just doing the sports season. Exercising properly during the offseason is just as important as staying fit during the height of the season.
Targeted Strengthening Exercises
Apart from doing strengthening exercises correctly, they should be well-targeted, as several studies suggest. Resistance training, i.e. strength training promotes strengthening growth in bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and connective tissue.
These are areas where most common sports injuries occur, especially around ligaments and tendons surrounding joints. If you strengthen the right muscles, you decrease the risk of injury and even enhance performance, which is of the essence for a professional athlete.
However, proper targeting of strengthening exercises can be tricky at times. Only seasoned athletes can do this on their own, as most people require professional help. A physical therapist or a personal trainer can help you target these exercises the best.
Before you call in the professionals, try to figure out the basic strengthening exercises on your own. These are not as intensive as targeted strengthening exercises so even fitness amateurs can them with ease and without the risk of injury.
If you want to achieve the desired fitness effects of strength training in terms of injury prevention and pain management, the exercise you perform must be targeted well. What is more, they should be done properly and regularly. Prevent injuries and increase performance levels of your body are only achievable through such specific strengthening exercises.