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injury prevention and gym prehab

Injury Prevention and Gym Prehab: Lift Strong for Longer in 2022

Gym prehab can assist with long term injury prevention for serious lifters. But how do you going about treating your time in and around training so that you avoid picking up a nasty injury?

A bad injury can ruin fitness careers. Herniated discs, torn pecs and biceps, torn labrums and quads — all of which can put you out of action for a long time.

Heck, even some of those injuries can be curtains for you as a lifter.

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Spinal fusion is often a kiss of death for heavy squatting and deadlifting.

And this is what we want to avoid.

So you want to lift heavy weights?

Good.

More power to you.

But to think that all you’d need to do is lift heavy weights and not work on your mobility to prevent injuries or to prehab the joints and muscles — you’d have to be nuts.

You have to do some form of prehabing to lift as long as possible as pain free as possible.

Need a program to build strength and muscle? Don’t know where to start? Try our ultimate program bundle here.

Injury Prevention and Prehab: What is it?

injury prevention and gym prehab

Put simply, injury prevention and prehab are a variety of methods you can employ to create the perfect conditions where the likelihood of injury is diminished.

This can include stretching and mobility work, dynamic exercises, consuming anti-inflammatory foods, sleep, heat treatment, working on your posture, avoiding ego lifting, foam rolling, spinal decompression and more.

In fact, prehabing can take shape in unconscious efforts throughout your day.

Say your posture sucks, to correct a bad posture, you must conscientiously realign your back position and unround your shoulders to hold a proper shape.

A bad posture will put your body at a higher risk of injury under stress.

Prehab can also take the form of accessory exercises before and after training to either directly strengthen a compromised joint or muscle or as part of an active warm up routine.

You may also avoid certain pro-inflammatory foods such as ultra-processed foods for supple joints. Likewise, you may choose foods high in Omega-3s such as salmon and mackerel to reduce target inflammation.

Additionally, you may also use cold and heat treatment to reduce/increase inflammation on a target area.

Whichever route(s) you decide to take, you are best advised to follow some form of prehabing.

Injury Prevention and Prehabing Exercises

Banded Crab Walk For Runners – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide

We will now focus on some of the main prehabing exercises before taking on some of the big lifts such as the deadlift, bench press and squat.

The goal of these exercises are to strengthen some of the “stabilizing” muscles with a view to:

  • induce bloodflow
  • activate stabilizing muscles
  • loosen fragile joints
  • increase range of motion
  • stretch agonist muscle groups
  • prepare the CNS for lifting

Most importantly, the goal of these exercises is to increase your range of motion and to prep some of the unpronounceable stabilizing muscles for heavy lifting.

Banded Crab Walk

This exercise is great for loosening up the hips, inducing blood flow to the joints, and preparing the body for heavy squatting or deadlifting.

It works by firing the glutes and abductors as well as stretching the adductor muscles — almost emulating some of the positions you will assume while squatting and sumo deadlifting.

Banded Good Morning

This hinge pattern movement stretches out the entire posterior chain and prepares the muscles you will use for the deadlift for action.

It also helps to get the CNS firing before you pick up the barbell.

By mimicking the movement you will perform, the Banded Good Morning will also help you assume proper technique before executing a deadlift.

Band Pull Apart

This is one of the most important exercises you can do — period.

Few exercises come close to the Band Pull Apart in return on investment.

This high powered little exercise can help correct your posture, unround your shoulders, strengthen your shoulder girdle, prevent shoulder injuries, strengthen your pressing movements, and more.

Perform them as part of your warm up AND cool down routine whenever you press AND try to incorporate them into your daily routine for healthy shoulders.

Your rear deltoids are the most important upper body muscle to develop to improve your quality of life.

Face Pulls

Again, like the Band Pull Apart, the Facepull is one of the most important exercises you can do in the gym.

Not only will it help you get that aesthetic V-Taper most people covet, but it will also help you prehab your shoulders after heavy pressing movements and prevent imbalances from setting in.

I have rounded shoulders from childhood. When I attempted the Smolov bench routine, my shoulders felt mashed from so much heavy benching. Face Pulls almost singlehandedly facilitated my recovery — although I couldn’t do any pressing for 6 weeks after the program ended.

Dead Hangs and Spinal Decompression

Dead hangs are a simple miracle exercise that you can also do every day.

Not only do they stretch out your entire upper body, decompress your spine, fire up your CNS before heavy lifting, but they also protect your shoulders from repetitive strain injuries.

Athletes who throw a lot in their sport such as baseball players, American Football Quarterbacks, cricketers, and even racket sport enthusiasts can all benefit from Dead Hangs.

Reverse Hyperextensions

This miracle exercise allowed the legendary Late Louie Simmons to deadlift 300kg (661lb) in his 60s after breaking his back.

Reverse Hyperextensions actively decompress your spine while adding mass to your posterior chain, making you a powerful athlete in the process.

No exercise out there can add as much muscle while simultaneously protecting you from injury, improving your posture, and making you more handsome.

Need a program to build strength and muscle? Don’t know where to start? Try our ultimate program bundle here.

Other Prehab Steps You Can Take

Aside from the exercises above, there are various other steps you can take to avoid nagging injuries and serious injuries from creeping in.

We want you to train as hard and as long as humanly possible!

Stretching and Mobility

This one is a no-brainer. There are a myriad of benefits to stretching and mobility work — and it should be done on a daily basis, not just 5 minutes after heavy squatting or if you’re a little stiff.

Stretching and mobility should become as second nature as eating protein-dense meals to fuel your body after training.

Check out our stretching routine here for further guidance.

Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle

Inflammation has been linked to almost every single disease. The ubiquity of pro-inflammatory diets are almost exclusively a modern phenomenon. The introduction of ultra-processed foods and Omega-6 rich seed oils have wreaked havoc on our bodies.

But inflammation can also be the cause of arthritis, chronic pains, joint mobility issues, and lower back pain.

All of these issues can lead to a sacrifice in exercise form, incorrect/inefficient neuromuscular pathways, and, ultimately, injury.

To avoid (bad) inflammation, eat a diet rich in Omega-3s with plenty of oily fish, remove ultra-processed foods, and reduce the amount of “seed oils” you consume — the best way to do this is to avoid eating out as much as possible and to swap out cooking oils with butter or ghee.

You can also apply cold or heat to affected areas to either reduce swelling or induce bloodflow to facilitate recovery.

Fix Your Posture

This one is simpler, but it will require various exercises at the gym and a round-the-clock conscientious effort.

Exercises such as Band Pull Aparts, Face Pulls, Romanian Deadlifts, and Banded Good Mornings can all contribute to correcting your posture.

But you should seek to practice good posture whenever it enters your mind until it becomes second nature.

Avoid gaining too much body fat or living a sedentary lifestyle. Opt for working at a standing desk instead of slouching in your chair. You will burn more calories, improve your posture, and be more productive by the change.

Avoid Muscular Imbalances

Returning to the importance of Face Pulls and Band Pull Aparts, these exercises work tremendously against the emergence of muscular imbalances.

Most novice lifters prioritize the beach muscles — biceps, shoulders, pecs — over their upper backs and rear deltoids.

As a results potentially harmful muscular imbalances can creep in.

Couple this with a sedentary lifestyle and you will be hunched over like a gorilla.

Shoulder issues can set in and you won’t look as good as you could.

The other common imbalance is to see strong, overdeveloped quads to weak hamstrings in athletes.

Many athletes plying their craft in the gym will prioritize the Squat over posterior chain development. This can lead to hamstring tears when sprinting. I have seen it firsthand on many occasions.

As a general rule you should do 1.5/2 pulling exercises to each pushing exercise; likewise, you should be doing 1.5 posterior chain exercises to 1 quad-dominant exercise like the squat.

Reversing muscular imbalances is crucially important in your prehabing process.

Need a program to build strength and muscle? Don’t know where to start? Try our ultimate program bundle here.

Sleep

Sleep — sleep! — is extremely important in your prehabing process. You need to rest to recovery from training. Moreover, sleep deprivation will ruin your athletic performance and concentration, putting you at a higher risk of injury.

Foam Rolling/Myofascial Release

These tecniques help to reduce soreness, tightness, and improper motor patterns from setting in as a result of working around tension.

Myofascial release and foam rolling can help you lift with less pain and speedier post-exercise recovery.

By implementing most of these methods, you can reap the greatest benefits from your training without succumbing to injury.

Don’t hesitate to email us at herculeanstrength1@gmail.com for personalized coaching and a client questionnaire if you’d like DEDICATED tailor-made personal training on strength training, building muscle, losing fat, developing athleticism, and more — all to your liking, lifestyle, habits, and taste!

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