Let’s be real–athletic injuries are devastating. There’s just no other way to put it. Maybe you pulled a hamstring while running down the first baseline during a preseason baseball game or tore your ACL during one of the most important football games of your life. Whatever your sports-related injury is, I’m sure you suffered a large amount of physical pain and mental grief because of it. No one else will ever know exactly what you went through or how it much it affected you at that point in your life.
Having to watch your gym gains slip away because of an injury can destroy your self-confidence and overall morale, which is similar to how having to watch your teammates from the sideline can, inevitably, begin to chip away at your identity as an athlete. Injuries steal something from us that is often taken for granted and never really seen as something that can simply vanish in the blink of an eye–our ability to express ourselves physically.
Sports-related injuries limit progress as an individual, as well as a team. They can jeopardize a potential sports scholarship or your position on the depth chart just as much as they can threaten the projected success of your football team and challenge your coaches to fill the void. Sports-related injuries not only affect you but also affect those around you, who are counting on your athleticism–in combination with theirs–to help the team win a championship.
There’s really no reason you shouldn’t take all of the necessary steps to avoid a sports-related injury that could rip away everything you’ve worked so hard for. By taking the following precautionary measure before playing a sport or working-out, you will decrease the possibility of becoming injured:
The following warm-up approaches are used to prepare you for physical activity by increasing your overall body temperature:
- Passive warm-up: Boost body temperature through external methods, such as heating pads, gels, heat-packs, and saunas.
- General warm-up: Perform non-specific body movements, such as swinging your arms, raising your knees to your chest, and doing jumping jacks to boost body temperature.
- Specific warm-up: Spike body temperature by carrying out similar body movements that will soon be used in a more strenuous manner.
The specific warm-up is most likely the best of these three approaches since it provides a more structured exercise rehearsal and routine for athletes. As a result of performing lighter or less demanding versions of the exercise that you will subsequently carry out, you will prepare and stimulate the exact muscles that you will be utilizing during a workout or competitive sporting event.
There are also a few stretching techniques that can keep you limber while being physically active. While there have been a lot of controversy regarding the best stretching methods, here are the three that are the most important to mention:
- Ballistic: This stretching technique consists of bouncing movements that some experts advise against since it might tighten up and eventually strain the muscle
- Static: A method that stretches the muscle until slight discomfort is reached, and is held for a significant amount of time.
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): This is a stretching approach that uses varying contractions and expansions of the muscles.
Although there are other stretching techniques including dynamic, active, passive, and isometric, PNF stretches seem to provide the most promising results with athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Ballistic and static stretches should be incorporated into workouts and throughout competitive sporting events, too, but the hybrid qualities of PNF work great to expand one’s range of motion. Athletes should stretch both before and after every workout or game to remain as agile as possible.
Finally, on top of warming up and stretching prior to being physically active, athletes should look into compression attire from companies like SWEAT IT OUT® that help them prevent, as well as, recover from sports-related injuries. Here are a few quick facts about compression athletic-wear:
- Designed with COOLMAX® Fabric: This is a proven sweat-eliminating fabric that works by moving sweat away from the body to the outside layer of the fabric.
- Designed with LYRCA® Fiber: This is a confirmed performance-enhancing garment that is designed to stretch as well as recover.
- When combined these two products create a sweat-releasing fabric that helps athletes stay cool and, similarly, works to prevent injury and speed up the recovery process.
Compression attire companies such as SWEAT IT OUT® have, for example, the best compression shorts for hamstring or glute injuries, or most comfortable and supportive running compression shirts that help to limit muscle vibration and reduce fatigue. These compression products will enhance your athleticism and provide additional protection from injuries. For instance, if an athlete has been experiencing muscle soreness in their legs and were to purchase the 1900 SLCP Performance Compression, they would acquire advanced thigh, groin, and hip & knee support. By wearing this product, athletes would receive tremendous benefits including the suppression of lactic acid buildup, the reduction of muscle cramps and pulls, and knee stabilization.
By warming up and stretching before exercise and competitive sporting events, you will decrease the possibility of injury and maximize your performance. Additionally, by using innovative compression products, you will provide added support and comfort for your muscles throughout all physical activity.