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5 Common Mistakes That Lead to Injury

19th August 2019

19th August 2019

By Shivraj Bassi

Ouch! Is that a twinge in your ankle, a pain in your knee and an ache in your elbow? Your body is a precious resource, and you don't want to unknowingly injure yourself during your workout. 

Most sports injuries are from overuse and can become chronic. Although it may seem as though injuries are simply part and parcel of working out regularly, this is not true and most are completely preventable. If you’re keen to train but don’t want to have to worry about injury setbacks, check out these five common causes of injury and make sure avoid, avoid, avoid.

You're pushing too hard

Don't walk before you can run (in some cases, this is literal advice). It's important to not increase the intensity of your workouts too much too soon, and to make sure that you know your limits.

You should always feel in control. If you’re running, don’t add more than 10% per week in time or distance and if you're weight training, increase weights gradually, at a consistent pace.

You're not warming up properly

Slow and steady wins the race. Kicking a workout off at 100% effort will lead to burnout and muscle injury. Start off with some static stretching and build up to gentle movements to keep your muscles flexible and prevent strains. Not only will your body be gradually alerted to the change of state and respond accordingly, but you'll be able to go for much longer.

You're wearing the wrong gear

Wear good shoes, not just ones that look good. Choose trainers or sports shoes that suit your needs and can give you some support and protection. Ask in a sports shop for help if you aren’t sure - and don't just buy those trendy shoes that all the influencers are wearing because they match your leggings. 

You're not giving yourself time to recover

Always end your workout with some stretches to warm down, and take rest days to give yourself time to fully recover. Rest allows your muscles to build so you can keep working hard. Your muscles are supposed to be sore after a workout, and it's okay to work out again when they feel like this, but don't overdo it. If something feels wrong, lay off until you have properly recovered. Use a foam roller on sore or tight muscles.

Support your recovery with the right nutrition - get plenty of protein and ensure you're hitting your daily recommendations of vitamins. Check out The Recover Capsules to guarantee that you're getting the minerals and vitamins needed for healthy recovery.

You're not mixing it up

Vary your training. Incorporate strength training as well as cardio into your workout routine. Adding two resistance sessions per week can help to increase strength and prevent injuries.

Weight training is also a great way to tone up and burn fat. Work out on different surfaces such as grass or sand as well as at the gym, and focus on doing a wide variety of different exercises. This will challenge your muscles while preventing overuse. 

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Here's Why You Should Be Foam Rolling Everyday
Unlike Chamillionaire, when we see you rollin’, we’re definitely not hatin’. Foam rolling is becoming more and more widely practiced. But, before incorporating foam rolling into fitness routines, beware of the pitfalls and mistakes that are so commonly made to get the most from foam rolling.  Put simply, foam rolling breaks down fibrous tissue which in turn, boosts circulation and helps relieve tension and pain. This is a great recovery technique, allowing you to train again the next day. What is a foam roller? Firstly, a foam roller is a cylinder of foam (you could say the clue is in the name) that avid gym-goers and exercise lovers utilise to alleviate muscle soreness. Other uses include pain management, flexibility training and knot-busting. The rollers are lightweight, portable and pretty inexpensive if you shop around. They are a great investment to make if you are frequently struggling to get up stairs after a leg day workout. Why do people foam roll? Foam rolling is one of the most gratifying muscle releases there is. We’ve all felt the satisfaction of sore arms and legs feeling eased and relaxed during a rolling session after a hard workout. It hurts so good, sometimes you don’t want to stop. The explanations behind why foam rolling works feels good are hotly contested. While the benefits of it have been claimed to include everything from warming up your muscles to releasing tension to helping you to recover faster after a workout, did you ever pause in your rolling routine to ask how it actually benefits you? Foam roller benefits The benefits of utilising a foam roller are backed up with cold evidence. While there is conclusive scientific research on the subject, it’s limited. A study from  The Sports Medicine Journal discovered that after a session of foam rolling, there was significant alleviation of the impact of exercise.  Another small study published in the Journal of Athletic Training suggested that engaging in foam rolling after you’ve worked out can help reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness, which would then in turn boost performance in later workouts. If you still weren't convinced, there’s also evidence from a review in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy that foam rolling can help to promote short-term increases in the range of motion achieved by muscles and can boost flexibility. This translates to you feeling less tight and being able to work out better and more efficiently. Why is foam rolling so effective? One possible explanation for the benefits of foam rolling is the literal warming up of your muscles. The friction from it could help to increase the temperature of your muscles and fascia, which helps to loosen joints and tissues and increase the range of motion. In the same way, foam rolling post-workout increases blood flow to the areas you work on, which can help to speed up recovery time and minimise delayed-onset muscle soreness.  How should I use my foam roller? Less pain, more gain When it comes to utilising foam rollers and rolling techniques, it’s important that when we roll pre-workout, the aim is not to try and sort out any strains or troublesome muscle knots. If we try and roll out painful spots in our muscles before we exercise, then the pain will cause the brain to respond with a protective reflex that reduces muscle performance. Instead, save the self-inflicted, therapeutic muscle torture for post-workout rolling. But remember, even after the workout, do not roll directly on a painful area because it can increase inflammation and inhibits healing. Instead, roll a few inches away from the painful spot first and then, with large, sweeping motions, cover the entire area.  This will feel like a huge wave of relief over the effective area. Speed matters The speed at which you should be using your foam roller differs depending on the time of the roll. For example, when warming up our muscles pre-workout, you should use fast and dynamic rolling techniques in order to wake up our neuromuscular systems. Then after the workout, you should use slower movements in order to flush out toxins and allow our muscles to adapt and relax.   Aim for texture When you’re in the market for your foam roller, go for a roller that can stimulate nerve endings effectively. We recommend that you pick one that is firm and has a textured surface, as the textured surface will reach deeper into the muscle’s myofascial layers than a soft, smooth roller would. In comparison, a smooth, soft roller is the wrong tool for the job. This is because these are not effective in the stimulation of the nerve endings in the muscles. This is detrimental as this stimulation is needed to send proprioceptive messages to our brains. Therefore, smooth rollers are not as good as textured rollers for preparing our brains to control our body’s movements in our workouts.  Go against the grain Variety is the spice of life – so keep the roll routine varied! Try out different speeds and techniques like pivoting which drives the roller deeper and involves more layers of muscle and fascia. Pivoting is done by rocking the edge or tip of the roller back and forth on the target spot, or twisting, like turning a tap on and off, on that spot. Also, most people only roll in the direction of the muscle fibres, but what is stopping us from going against the grain? Try out cross-fibre friction (i.e. rolling across your muscles) to add another aspect to the proprioceptive message sent to the brain. Summary Pre-workout, post-workout and recovery are hugely important – it’s not just your workout that you should be focussing on. Investing your time and energy into the right techniques and the right products is instrumental in the success of your workouts and in the reaching of your fitness goals.  If you’re struggling with your recovery – why not integrate The Recovery Capsules into your routine? References Macgregor, L. J., Fairweather, M. M., Bennett, R. M., & Hunter, A. M. (2018). The effect of foam rolling for three consecutive days on muscular efficiency and range of motion. Sports medicine-open, 4(1), 1-9. Click here. Pearcey, G. E., Bradbury-Squires, D. J., Kawamoto, J. E., Drinkwater, E. J., Behm, D. G., & Button, D. C. (2015). Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. Journal of athletic training, 50(1), 5-13. Click here. Read more

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