Strength training isn’t just for building and toning muscle—it’s also a great way to prevent injuries, especially as you grow older and become more susceptible to them. In fact, building up the strength and elasticity …
Strengthening Muscles to Avoid Injuries
Strength training isn’t just for building and toning muscle—it’s also a great way to prevent injuries, especially as you grow older and become more susceptible to them. In fact, building up the strength and elasticity of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding your joints is one of the most effective methods for preventing injuries. Though this practice is commonly employed by athletes, it works just as well for ordinary people.
Areas of Focus
Although you can injure pretty much any part of the body, there are certain areas that we at PMR see most commonly enduring painful injuries, usually near the joints, and including tears, sprains, and strains. By focusing your strength training exercises on these areas, you’ll get the maximum bang for your buck.
The knees, shoulders, and back should be your primary focus. Every time you work out, you can introduce a few strengthening exercises in these areas to help protect your body from injury. A trainer or physical therapist can guide you in choosing appropriate exercises, but dead lifts, crunches (for the core), squats, and shoulder presses are a good place to start.
Although strength training exercises are a great way to prevent injury, they’re only effective if practiced with proper precautions in place. To begin with, always warm up to get your blood flowing, and perform stretches before exercising. After all, there’s no reason to exercise for injury prevention if you’re risking injury during the exercises themselves.
Vary your exercises from day to day by cross training, and don’t over-exert yourself. Proper form and spotting are critical, and regular periods of rest don’t hurt, either.
You’ll be most successful in developing an exercise routine for injury prevention if you work with a team of specialists to develop a plan. At PMR, our physical therapists are experienced in helping athletes and non-athletes develop programs with the aim of preventing injury.
They can help to ensure that you don’t have muscle imbalances, for example, which can make injuries more likely. In addition, a comprehensive plan that includes massage therapy and chiropractic treatments can aid in recovery for those who exercise regularly.
To begin developing a balanced exercise program that can keep you healthy and strong for years to come, give us a call at PMR today!