A wrong step in a game or a wrong movement in the weight room are a couple of ways athletes can injure themselves. But ultimately, sports injuries can happen from anything and everything. Luckily, there are many things that athletes can do to help reduce the risk of injuries from happening.
At Warren Academy, our goal is to educate and help improve athleticism and skill in athletes of all ages and abilities. Below, we go over some athlete injury prevention tips all athletes should keep in mind.
Proper nutrition is one thing athletes can focus on to help prevent injuries from occurring. Just as a car needs quality fuel to run, your body needs quality nutrients to be able to compete at a high level day in and day out. Be sure to fuel your body properly before and after each workout, practice or game. Although it may not seem like it, this is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. Also, hydration is vital for your muscles. Every athlete should be striving to drink their body weight in ounces of water daily.
Proper warm up and stretching
Another thing all athletes should be doing is properly warming up and stretching before exercise. Usually, during practices and games, your coaches will walk you through a warm up, but it’s essential that you are actually taking the time to stretch and make sure you are fully ready to give it your all. Not warming up before working out, especially weight lifting and speed training, can put you at a higher risk of tearing, spraining or straining your muscles. Stretching before exercise also helps you play and work at your best ability.
Athletes should perform dynamic stretching before exercise. This includes moving your joints and muscles at full range of motion. High knees and other mobility lifts are examples of this.
Proper cool down and stretching
Stretching should not be limited to just before you exercise. It’s also important to make sure you are cooling down and stretching post-exercise. Stretching after your workout will eliminate some of the lactic acid that has built up, helping you reduce soreness the next day and keep your muscles healthy and strong.
Athletes should perform static stretches after exercise. Static stretching is when you hold a certain stretch for at least 10 seconds.
Take time off if injured
Lastly, it’s important that you are never overdoing it when working out, especially at practices and training sessions. If you feel any muscle pain or tightness, the smart decision is to take some time off. Whether it’s a couple of days or a couple of weeks, taking time off from exercise will allow your injury to heal and help prevent more serious injuries from happening in the future.
As sports injuries can happen even when you least expect them to, it’s important that athletes are doing what they need to do to reduce the risk of injuries during sports. If you have any questions, give our team a call today!