Prehab: The Key To Preventing Injury
Taking care of the muscles, joints, and bones in the body can be a challenge especially for those who are living active lifestyles and spend multiple days in the gym a week. It is important to prepare our bodies before out workouts, as well as cool them off after, to reduce any muscle pain or soreness and help to prevent injury. Unfortunately, many people ignore the warm-up aspect of their workouts and this leads to strained, pulled, and even torn muscles. No one wants to throw a wrench in their gym regimen with an injury that keeps them off their feet, especially those who are training for something specific. Well, the latest trend of avoiding injury comes to us in something called prehabilitation.
In the easiest sense prehabilitation (also called prehab) consists of performing rehab exercises, like the ones you would come across in physical therapy, without the injuries that usually accompany them. The overall goal of prehab is to prevent you from encountering the types of problems that would land you and your body in rehab in the first place. This is where the name prehab comes from, and its catchiness leads to the belief that once you know about it and how it works you won’t soon forget its importance. Prehab is a trend in fitness that has gained recognition over this last year, and gyms and trainers all over are trying to find the best ways to incorporate it into their training.
Fitness in recent years has very much become about pushing the limits, but those with little experience pushing their limits will more than likely lead to injury. Pushing yourself like an athlete is all fun and games until you get hurt and don’t have access to the same resources for injury as an athlete. You may be thinking, Prehab just sounds like a glorified warm-up. If that’s you, we understand how it may seem that way but it definitely isn’t. A warm-up is designed to get your body somewhat adjusted to the movements, energy, and motion required for your workout. Prehab, on the other hand, was solely designed to prevent injury regardless of your body being warmed up or not.
Prehab allows you to develop good positioning habits that will promote the long term and overall health of your body long past your workout. The idea is that you can take the principles of physical therapy and apply them to other aspects of your life outside of the gym to promote not getting hurt; for example when you’re squished into a bus seat, or moving boxes up a flight of stairs. Prehab can be used in all parts of your life. In our modern lives we may work some muscles for hours at a time, and others not at all. Sit at a desk all day? Use prehab to work on posture and back alignment. Constantly on your feet working as a food runner? Use prehab to help you protect your joints from injury.
Prehab is more than just a warm up, and can be viewed as treating your body as one big connected system. It can consist of flowing stretches, foam rollers, and even resistance bands. Prehab exercises work to improve mobility, flexibility, alignment, and posture. Think of it as allowing your body to tune itself before playing the big song. In a workout you take your body through a range of motions, and doing prehab exercises that target the areas you intend to workout will benefit you in the long run. Many gyms have started offering prehab classes to members, and it has worked in their favored. An uninjured gym-goer is more likely to return than an injured one! All in all, prehab is something that everyone should work on inserting in their day-to-day life. It may be relatively new to many, but it is gaining traction. Before you know it, you might have a prehab clinic right down the street.
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