A routine tennis match ends with a sidelining elbow injury. A typical morning run abruptly stops when a sharp turn results in an injured knee. Your nagging lower back pain turns out to be a slipped disc. No one wants injuries to occur, but accidents can happen to anyone. However, with the right preparation, the risk of injury can be reduced or even eliminated.
Pre-habilitation, also known as “pre-hab,” is a relatively new form of strength training that is aimed at strengthening specific injury-prone areas with the goal of preventing injuries before they occur. Each pre-hab plan must be specifically tailored to the individual’s body, taking into account the weaknesses and imbalances in his or her movement patterns. The pre-hab plan for an elderly individual might focus more on overall balance and stability, while a professional tennis player’s program would include a focus on shoulder mobility.
Correcting posture and form is also an crucial part of pre-hab. A common postural issue can develop from longs days sitting at a desk, bent over a computer. The shoulders can severely rotate forward, causing a shoulder impingement. This unnatural postural position is a perfect set-up for a torn rotator cuff. Correcting posture through pre-hab ensures the individual has proper form and alignment. A personal trainer certified in functional movement can assess an individual’s posture and create pre-hab exercises that aim to realign the body. This also enables the individual to begin seeing the results of their regular workout more quickly.
Pre-habilitation programs likewise seek to prevent injury that result from fatigue. A large percentage of injuries occur not because of sudden trauma, but because a person is fatigued. While these types of injuries can seem sudden, they are actually extremely preventable. An effective pre-hab plan will ensure the body does not overcompensate by using the wrong muscles during while it’s fatigued. Instead, pre-hab exercises work to stabilize the body and stop these common, avoidable fatigue injuries from occurring.
Finally, a significant component of pre-hab is appropriate stretching. While many understand the importance of stretching to prevent injury, they do not understand how to stretch properly.
Prehab can be easily worked into a regular workout routine and does not take longer than ten or fifteen minutes. As the pre-hab trend continues to gain traction in the fitness industry, clients are reaping the benefits of this forward thinking method of injury prevention.
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