Athletes are notorious for pushing their bodies beyond the limits. It’s this mentality that creates athletes who are gladiators, on and off the field. But when your body is pushed to breaking, and then pushed some more you run the risk of developing serious injury. The key to athletic longevity is to train smart to keep yourself off the DL.
If you are in the midst of an intense training program, it is your duty to pay attention to your body and recognize when pain has gone from good to bad. We all know the feeling of good pain from a hard workout, but when your pain is sharp, acute, and debilitating then you need to stop and re-asses your goals and program. Take some days off, cross train, and seek medical attention if necessary.
2.Increase Your Flexibility
Stretching is an important component to any good workout program. Tight muscles cause you to alter your body’s natural movement, causing other muscles to compensate for the lack of mobility. This could lead to further and increased tightening of the muscles and possible injury. Incorporate regular stretching at the end of your workouts and you will improve joint and muscle flexibility.
Maintain balance in your training program with cross training activities. Cross training will help keep your cardiovascular system strong, while increasing muscle strength and endurance. A good cross training program will compliment your regular activities and keep you focused on your body.
Strength training helps keep your muscles powerful and balanced. For athletes who perform a lot of lower body activities – soccer, running, basketball – upper body strength training will help you build a strong and efficient physique. In contrast, athletes who primarily perform upper body movements will benefit from a well developed and powerful lower body. If all the muscles of your body are strong, your risk for injury is diminished.