We all WORKOUT to get in shape and GET STRONG but often times injuries will sideline us for weeks and delay our progress.
Have you ever been on a roll with your Workouts and then all the sudden aches and pains set in and take you out?
Why do these injuries tend to sneak up on us so quickly?
They don’t! It just seems that way.
Injuries are usually a result of several weeks and months of neglect. Neglecting to treat the body with injury prevention and recovery measures will crush our workout program and results.
The FASTEST way to GET STRONG is to prevent injury and speed up recovery time. It doesn’t sound as effective as doing Push-ups and Burpees but if you can’t do those pushups or burpees for 2 months due to pain in the knee or shoulder, you’ll realize just how important it is.
The average fitness enthusiast thinks stretching is optional and foam rolling is for professional athletes but that’s the exact reason the weekend warrior starts feeling aches and pains and stops working out all together. Discomfort or limitations make exercise miserable.
If anything, it’s the average person that needs injury prevention the most because the body is newer to exercise and isn’t accustomed to some of the strength training moves that are being taught. Athletes are much more adaptable than the fitness enthusiast.
So how do you know if you’re doing the right thing to avoid injury and speed up recovery time?
If you answered YES to any of those questions above, keep reading….
Even the smallest physical recovery habits can make the biggest difference in your strength training progress.
Here are my top 3 recommendations:
- Stretch the major muscle groups of the body after exercise (upper and lower body). This will take you about 5-6 minutes at most and will save you a world of aches and pains.
- Foam Roll your largest muscle groups once a week. This takes about 10-15 minutes and saves you $100’s on massage therapy.
- Strengthen the stability of the hips, shoulders and ankles.
In my latest segment on The Doctors TV show, I shared some specific stretches and strengthening exercise that can keep the ankles and IT band healthy because these are areas of the body that tend to give us problems if neglected.
Why is it important to have strong and flexible ankles?
It seems so insignificant right? WRONG.
All our movement stems from the feet! The way we walk, squat, lunge, step, run, jump is all affected by our ankle strength and mobility.
- Ankle Rolls (heel to toe) (20 reps)
- Calf Raises (20 reps)
- Single legged hops (30 seconds on each leg)
Stretch and Mobility
- Calf Stretch (hold 30-60 seconds)
- Tennis Ball Massage for bottom of foot (1 minute each foot)
- Ankle circles (10 each direction)
Why should I worry about my IT Band?
The Iliotibial Band is a massive Tendon that runs from the hip to the knee and is involved in almost every movement at the hips and knee. Repetitive movements like running and cycling put a lot of stress on the IT Band as well as any type of strength training for the lower body. Therefore, if it’s not stretched or released (via foam rolling or massage), it begins to tighten more and more after each workout.
If you have a Tight IT Band (IT Band syndrome) you might have experienced one of following symptoms:
- Pain or tightness on the outside of the knee
- Hip Pain
The best thing you can do to prevent IT band syndrome and stay healthy and pain free include:
- Foam Roll the IT Band, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes and Hip Flexors.
- Stretch the IT Band, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes and Hip Flexors.
Here is a very quick and simple post workout stretch routine to guide you through some essential flexibility exercises that should help you get started.
In addition to stretching, make Foam Rolling a weekly habit.
This provides the muscles with a much different benefit than stretching. Foam rolling is much like giving yourself a massage. It’s putting pressure on a muscle or tendon to release tightness.
I hope this article has inspired you to take more time to recover after a workout so that you can keep rocking workout after workout! Not only will you get stronger, you will live a more active, pain free lifestyle.
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