Are injury prevention exercises part of your regular workout routine? Do you know what the best injury prevention exercises are? If you answered no to both of these, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Despite how important injury prevention exercises are, very few of us do them! Hence why my team and I have put together a list of easy injury prevention exercises to get you started.
Some of you might be wondering why you have to concern yourself with workout injury prevention; after all, isn’t that just for athletes? The simple to that is, no. If you exercise at all, then workout injury prevention and treatment is something you should be doing. However, the injury prevention exercises we’ve included here can serve as both everyday prevention and sports injury prevention.
So why are injury prevention exercises so important? Because frankly, it’s better to be preventing workout injuries than to be treating workout injuries.
That’s why the sooner you add these prevention exercises to your regular workout routine, the better you’ll be in the long run.
A quick note … Injury prevention exercises are just like stretches, meaning that our muscles respond best to injury prevention exercises once warmed up. So do an easy 10-minute walk or something similar before you begin.
Injury Prevention Exercise #1: The Forward Lunge
To perform the forward lunge as an injury prevention exercise, simply kneel on one knee. Place the other leg in front of you at a right angle (aka knee over ankle). Lean forward until you begin to feel a stretch in the inner thigh. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Switch legs. This is one repetition. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
Injury Prevention Exercise #2: The Bird Dog
Since you will be on your knees for this exercise, it is best to perform it on an exercise mat. If you’re able to perform it in front of a mirror, do so so that you can check your alignment.
- Begin on all fours. Your knees should be under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
- Maintain a straight back, engage your core muscles, and draw your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly raise your right arm and left leg, keeping your shoulders and hips parallel to the floor.
- Lengthen the back of your neck by tucking your chin into your chest to gaze down at the floor.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your arm and leg back down to the starting position.
- Repeat the motion with your left arm and right leg, also holding the position for a few seconds.
- Return to the starting position. This is one round.
- Do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Injury Prevention Exercise #3: The Side Lunge
Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend one leg and lean toward that knee until you feel a stretch. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat the movement for the opposite leg. This is one repetition. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Injury Prevention Exercise #4: The Forearm Plank
Yes, that plank. This tried and true exercise can help bulletproof your body from injury by strengthening all your core muscles, which you need for practically every movement you make in exercise and day-to-day living. But the plank is often performed wrong, so let’s make sure you’re doing it right to gain its benefits.
How to Plank
- Using an exercise mat, place your forearms on the floor, so your elbows are right under your shoulders.
- Put one leg straight back, serving as a “kickstand” for your body, and then extend the other leg back next to it. Your weight should now be supported by your forearms and toes, the rest of the body should be elevated.
- Look at the space between your hands and press your arms firmly into the ground; this engages your shoulders.
- Now, squeeze your butt. Yes, I’m serious. This makes the glutes the heaviest muscles in the body, so now you’re supporting their weight as you plank.
- If you’re able to perform the plank in front of a mirror, you should see that your back is staying flat and that your hips are not drooping. Keep your entire core engaged!
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute. That is one repetition. Repeat for 3 sets.
Injury Prevention Exercises To Keep You Safe and Strong
These four injury prevention exercises are just the beginning. Integrate these exercises into your daily workout routine, either before or after, to begin protecting your body against injury. After you’ve mastered these exercises, research more, and challenge yourself!