Being an athlete is a rewarding, gratifying experience, but it comes with a unique suite of challenges. Being an athlete means battling fatigue, scheduling the rest of your life around practice and competitions, and, perhaps most challenging of all, preventing injuries and nurturing yourself back to health when injuries do happen.
If you’re an athlete — collegiate, professional, recreational, or otherwise — you already know that preventing injuries is key to staying in the game. Putting that knowledge into practice is another story, but with the right tips, you can stay injury-free and enjoy your sport for years to come.
Sports, exercise, and recreational activities all require a certain level of skill. Perfecting the technique of your sport is arguably the first thing you should do to prevent injuries. For example, if you’re a competitive powerlifter, you need to have phenomenal form on your squat, deadlift, and bench press to avoid injury when training with heavy weights.
Gearing up for your workouts is key for preventing injuries. Proper gear can not only make you more comfortable and elevate your performance, but it can prevent common injuries that are easily avoidable. Here are some examples: If you run, wear proper running shoes that fit. If you lift heavy, invest in a quality weightlifting belt, knee sleeves, and other supportive gear. If you cycle cross-country, wear a high-quality helmet.
Improve circulation with heat to relax back muscles, while cold treatment reduces inflammation to help relieve pain
All superstar athletes know mobility is critical to athletic performance and injury prevention. When you have supple joints and muscles that move how they’re supposed to, you’re less likely to get injured in the event of a fall or other accident. Many sports injuries occur when a muscle is stretched beyond its capacity — the obvious solution, then, is to increase your body’s range of motion.
Always prime your body before diving into the main part of your workout or practice. Sure, warm-ups can be annoying and it can feel like they take up valuable time. However, if you approach your warm-ups with the mindset that they add overall value to your training session (because they should), you’ll be more likely to thoroughly prime your muscles and joints pre-workout or pre-practice, thereby reducing your risk of a sports injury.
Increasing core strength and regular stretching can help contribute to reduced back pain
Overuse injuries are all too common in sports, fitness, and recreation. Athletes sustain overuse injuries when they engage in a repetitive movement too often — eventually, the body can’t withstand the force. Think of golfers, baseball players, and shot-put throwers: These athletes all rely on their shoulders to perform. If they don’t strengthen other movement patterns and recruit the muscles and joints that oppose the throwing motion (AKA, cross-train), they might wind up with a rotator cuff injury or a SLAP tear.
Work hard, recover hard. Athletes spend a lot of time breaking their muscles down, so they need to spend adequate time building their muscles back up, too. One of the best ways to help your muscles recover is with soft tissue manipulation, or massage. Percussive massage in particular penetrates deep into the muscle fibers, encouraging blood flow and removal of toxins like lactic acid.
For percussive massage you can take anywhere, choose the Ekrin Athletics B37 percussion massage gun. With speeds up to 3200 repetitions per minute and 56 pounds of force, the B37 delivers the power athletes need for true muscle recovery and injury prevention.
Written by Ekrin Athletics Staff
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