Injuries can become a sometimes unavoidable part of the game in any sport or physical activity, but especially in sports where physical fitness is necessary to compete, like football, basketball, or Mixed Martial Arts.
While specific actions or movements that require contact may be unavoidable, focusing on reducing non-contact injuries can certainly make a difference in keeping athletes healthy and safe. Non-contact injuries will generally result from inaccurate movement patterns, muscle imbalances or poor body awareness. Being aware of certain training mistakes, every athlete can reduce the risk or even avoid injuries that may happen during play or an intense training session.
The main point to consider when avoiding non-contact injuries is to correct negative habits both in and out of the training or weights room. Making sure of not doing these 3 performance-damaging mistakes will help you stay healthy and strong.
Sitting Too Much
Sitting nowadays, in office chairs, couch or vehicles, is almost unavoidable. Sitting for long periods of time though can have a negative influence to your health and well-being.
The main reasons are that our body is inactive for the majority of the day or simply extensive periods of time, and that our posture while sitting is bad for athletic performance. The time spent with the hips in a shortened position can cause damage on your hip flexors, hamstrings, and glutes. These problems can have a negative effect on how mobile your hips are as well as decrease overall power capacity.
In order to reduce the negative effects of sitting, get every chance you find to get out of the chair. You may even want to try a standing desk (they do exist), if and when possible. If however, sitting cannot be avoided, make sure to think about your posture; in other words, try and maintain your shoulder blades pulled back and core engaged, while having your chin parallel with the floor. Finally, take short breaks during the day and make full use of it by walking or including hip mobility drills, which can aid in avoiding chronic hip dysfunction.
Half-Reps or Half-Repping refers to an athlete performing a lift or exercise (most commonly by using weights) without reaching the full range of motion. Being at a weight room, one will most probably see athletes in the squat racks doing half-repped squats. Performing training movements without using the full functional range of motion can have a more negative impact than positive.
For example, if an athlete squats while failing to reach proper depth (or not performing the full range of motion of the hips) can place excessive stress on the anterior chain of the lower body. When this occurs, your hips and hamstrings will not be able to effectively stabilize your knees. Even though, you will be able to squat more weight (when you half-rep) at the give time, you will end up failing at moving that weight in a functional or effective pattern.
People used to believe that squats are bad for someone knees however, this only applies when an athlete squats with poor form, poor depth, and poor core stability. Employing the full range of motion of the hips will allow you to control the weight with the proper spinal stability while protect the knees by strengthening their overall integrity. Performing less than the full range of motion will only lead to increased imbalances, as well as give you a false perception that you can squat a lot of weight. As with squatting, avoiding the full range of motion on other exercises may also have a negative impact to our bones and muscles which may eventually lead to an injury; thus, make sure to maintain the appropriate motor pattern or technique when practising.
There is a common phenomenon nowadays that athletes (especially young ones – when unsupervised) may skip their warm-up or not take it seriously. Although it may simply take time and experience to follow this practice, a proper warm-up is crucial to ensuring that your body is all set for training as well as aid in avoiding non-contact injuries during play.
Before any training or lifting, it is essential that athletes spend the required time to perform some light activity, mobilise specific muscle areas and prepare them for training, while letting the nervous system know that large motor units will soon be used. Warm-ups can also work to quickly understand what muscle groups require more recovery or extra prep time as well as and how hard overall you should be pushing.
Recovery Tips for Optimal Performance
Injuries can become a barrier to future athletic success and progress, and even have a serious impact on your psychology and well-being. As you would expect, do your best to not get hurt. The longer you can stay healthy and strong, the better you can improve without putting limitations on yourself and body. Invest and plan your time to make the necessary changes for an effective workout and training session. Our Fused Reaction™ supplement contains 12 natural ingredients that can improve your stamina and power and increase the focus and motivation you need to achieve your goals.