No one wants an injury – that much is a given. If you’re an athlete (and even if you’re just an avid gym-goer), an injury equals halting your goals, and focusing instead on recovery and rehabilitation, for sometimes a significant length of time.
Not fun, indeed!
This is why we wanted to dive into what it truly means to be proactive in mitigating injuries, and why waiting to do specific types of exercises only after an injury is a recipe for, well … an injury.
Injuries: Reactive Vs. Mitigation-Based Training
We’ve discussed this idea briefly over on Instagram, but wanted to go a little deeper here. For quite some time, the mode of operation when it comes to sports injuries has been reactive, meaning deep mobility training is only implemented during the recovery process after an injury has occurred.
Our question is: why not be proactive? Why not prioritize all of the healthy behaviors that can help mitigate an injury before the injury occurs?
Of course, we realize that injuries aren’t 100% preventable 100% of the time. Outside of mobility training, other factors including nutrition, lack of sleep, stress, etc … can cause someone to be vulnerable to an injury, no matter how flexible or strong they are.
However, by being proactive in our approach to preparing the body to remain durable under stressful physical conditions, we can potentially avoid serious injuries. And, that’s exactly our goal with a daily mobility practice; it isn’t to believe that it will make us impervious to all injuries, but to ensure that if we or our clients are ever caught in a foreign range of motion where an injury might occur, the exposure to the Durability and Mobility drills can offer a buffer zone to help mitigate the setbacks of any potential injury.
We can compare this to the classic bamboo metaphor: bamboo, due to being flexible and mobile, bends much more under pressure than a stiff tree trunk. If your body is more like bamboo than a standard tree trunk, a injury that could have resulted in a full break, could merely result in a pulled muscle.
On the movement side of things, having a daily mobility practice encourages your body to become more and more like bamboo. Mobility focuses on moving your joints, ligaments, and muscles through their full range of motion, while also adding natural resistance in order to create flexibility coupled with strength.
Performing these drills, like the ones we share below, prep your connective tissues for all types of movement, making them less likely to tear, get popped out of place, or break. Adding in even 10-15 minutes of these various movements can do a great deal to help give you a defensive edge against injuries, even if you’re not a pro athlete.
Other Ways To Become Durable Against Injuries:
• Breathe properly. Most of us breathe shallowly, into our chests. This can activate our stress system, which then stresses out our body and lowers our defenses. Focus on breathing deep into your belly (place a hand on your belly to feel it rise as you inhale) holding for a count, then exhaling completely, for 5 minutes a day.
• Get quality sleep. Lack of sleep can cause drowsiness and reduced alertness, which can be a setup for an accident in the gym or in a sport. Make sure your bedroom is free from all light, and consider supplementing with magnesium or taking Epsom salt baths regularly.
• Get plenty of nutrient-rich foods. Nutrients are the building blocks of our tissues and, well, our entire body. Without them, we can weaken our physical structure.
Mobility Exercises To Try
Our mobility exercises are designed to strengthen and bring elasticity to your entire body, as well as particularly injury-prone areas like your knees, lower back, connective tissues and joints, your neck, and more. You’ll notice the exercises we share below focus on moving your joints through their full range of rotational motion, raising their durability in the face of all types of movement. Give ’em a try!
1. Hips Bent Knee-Hip Rotation
2. Tootsie Rolls
3. Lateral Ankle Roll To Flat Foot
As you can see, these type of movements don’t require anything fancy: even your back yard or living room will more than suffice!
For a full library of exercises like these, plus a training experience that is super convenient, try out our Durable Athlete App here. When you download, you get a 14-day FREE TRIAL of everything the app has to offer, which includes our Daily Mobility exercises!