Learning From Elite Athletes: Techniques and Tips to Preventing Injury
As most will know injuries go along with the territory of being an athlete. When competing at an elite level some athletes can train up to 25hrs a week, it takes its toll on the body. It is an on going struggle in elite sport keeping athlete’s injury free. In the last 10 years there has been a real push on being proactive and implementing ways to reduce the risk of injuries.
Having been an athletes myself and now working with athletes here are my top 5 tips to staying injury free.
1. Increase training volume gradually – As tempting as it is to have been inspired by the Olympics and jump in at the deep end, this is one of the biggest reasons people end up on the physio couch. Take your time, start off with training twice a week and build up slowly.
2. Recovery – this is one thing that I see so often ignored. Not taking enough time to recover between training sessions can lead to over training and overuse injuries. Listen to your body if everything is feeling tired and tight take a day off.
3. Don’t ignore flexibility – There has been a great deal research that shows that tight muscles predispose you to injuries. If your excuse is it takes to long, pick the two areas that are the tightest and just stretch these, alternatively dedicate one training session a week to your flexibility! You’ll be surprised the difference it will make!
4. Mix up your training – Only doing one type of exercise such as running is very repetitive and can lead to overuse injuries. Try to incorporate different types of exercises, such as weights to improve your strength and yoga to aid flexibility and relaxation. This will give you a more rounded fitness.
5. Address areas of weakness – One of the most common reasons for injury is a muscle imbalance. This is often either seen in one side of the body being stronger than the other or the musculature in the front of the body is much stronger than the back. So yes just doing chest and biceps may help the beach body appearance but could also lead to shoulder problems, so get working on your chin ups!
Sarah is a qualified corrective exercise specialist and accredited UK strength and conditioning coach. Sarah specialises in strength and conditioning but also combines this with her expertise in rehabilitation, making her able to integrate appropriate exercises into the program. Outside of KX Sarah has worked with some of Great Britain’s Olympic hopefuls including England basketball team.
• KX Personal Trainer
• Corrective Exercise Specialist
• Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach