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Conditioning: how to prevent injuries

Growing up, you have most likely learnt that warming up and stretching are two good ways to prevent injuries to muscles during exercise. You may have included these factors in or before your regular workouts and swear by both of them as they may have helped prevent injuries. Or you may have tried doing both before activity and still have gotten muscle injuries. Although warming up and stretching is a great start before activity, it isn’t the only factors that can contribute to injury prevention.

Conditioning your muscles prior to exercise has a huge benefit to sports. Conditioning strengthens muscles that are specifically used in certain activities. This might seem boring at the time, but when it comes to performing well during competition or preventing injuries, they are of vital importance.

In taking the example of marathon training, the muscles that are used in long distance running are generally the leg muscles and hip muscles. Hip flexors tend to be tight and overworked along with the outer quadriceps muscle and IT (iliotibial) bands. So how can conditioning help? The most common injuries in runners happen to be knee injuries. To prevent knee issues, strengthening the surrounding muscles is crucial. Instead of only focusing on running, going to the gym or doing home body weight exercises specifically to improve your condition for your sport are important in training. Outer hips muscles are generally weak and need to be strengthened to improve a runner’s form. These can be worked on by performing balancing exercises with a simple bosu ball or through the practice of yoga. The inner quad muscle also tends to be weak and needs strengthening exercises to help balance the knee cap as the outer quad and ITB are tight. These overworked muscles can be worked on through stretching, foam rolling, and massage therapy along with other therapy. By conditioning the proper muscles, athletes are able to perform better and to stay longer in the sport.

Book a massage today to help with muscle conditioning and injury prevention!