The Compound Birthday Party!
A word about basic maintenance....
From MobiltyWod: "Every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. You know what to eat, how to train, and what to do if you have a cut; you should also know how to fix your tight hips, painful knees, and stiff shoulders, and how to make yourself faster and more powerful. It's too much to mobilize everything, all the time, everyday. Start somewhere. The Mobility Wod should take you four to 10 minutes to complete. Do it everyday...."
We put our bodies through a lot of strenuous activity everyday, especially those of you who haven't seen a rest day in a while. The Compound tries to provide you with the tools you need; a good warm up, coaching on fundamental movements, full body workouts, etc. We also try to speak about eating right and proper stretching after a workout. All of this is with a goal of making you more aware and taking control of your body and not just being satisfied with mediocrity.
Where most athletes fail, from power lifters to basketball players to runners, etc, is stretching after a workout and throughout the day. I know, I'm one of those too. I'm sure we all do the same thing; 5 minutes after we pick ourselves off the floor, we do the same hamstring and calf stretches, pull the arm across the body to stretch the shoulders, etc. Same thing, everyday, a few seconds and we're done. Then we go and sit at a desk or drive in a car for several hours and everything tightens up again throughout the day. We spend 23 hours of the day putting our bodies in poor positions, then expect to be in top form once we enter the gym.
Now, i'm sure we all understand that everything we do in life inherently maintains a certain amount of risk to the person doing the activity (other than sitting on the couch and watching TV, having people bring you anything you need. I used the Final Destination movies as as my research for that info). So we weigh the benefits of being healthy, vibrant, and strong and most of us make the decision that those benefits outweight the risks.
And compared to the rest of the world, gyms are still relatively safe places to be, we frequent them often and walk out the front doors without any complaints other then the normal soreness brought on by a hard workout. But unfortunately for some do not make it out of the gym uninjured, usually the injuries are nothing serious but can still really hurt our workouts. Now the most common gym injuries are not serious but they still keep us from what we love. Here is a brief description of the most common injuries and how you can prevent them.
1) Muscle Strains
The first injury group is perhaps the most common injury seen in the gym, it is a muscle strain, also know as a muscle tear. The thing to remember is that there are different degrees of strains, the most serious being a complete tear of the muscle. Over-stretching of the muscle can also lead to slight swelling in the area and minor discomfort of varying degrees, all keeping you from performing your best. There will be severe swelling and soreness and pain will be elicited during contraction of the affected muscle. Now all of the levels of muscle strain can keep you out of the gym and all will take time to recover from, obviously the higher the level the longer the recovery time.
The standard treatment is rest and physical therapy such as massage or physiotherapy. For my strains, rest and Mobility Wod work for me. The best way to try and prevent a muscle strain is to do a warm up sets for each exercise to help warm up the muscle fibers and the surrounding connecting tissues. Also technique plays a key role when working out, if you are putting you muscles under high levels of stress in weird angles this will increase the chances of a strain.
2) The other most common gym injury is a group of inflammatory conditions brought on by repetitive strain such as a workout routing. These conditions are hard to avoid as they come about for most of us as a direct result of going to the gym regularly and putting our bodies under stress repeatedly.
A very basic condition of inflammation of a tendon. The most common areas affected are the elbows and the knees. Symptoms can vary from aches or pains and local stiffness, to a burning that surrounds the whole joint around the inflamed tendon. Swelling may happen along with heat and redness, but not in all cases, there may be visible knots surrounding joint. With this condition, the pain is usually worse during and after activity, and the tendon and joint area can become stiffer the following day as muscles tighten from the movement of the tendon.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, the bursa is a fluid filled sac that lies between tendons, ligaments and bones or basically anywhere that a soft tissue might rub against a hard surface such as bone. The sole purpose of the bursa is to reduce friction to help elicit fluid pain free movement, but sometimes due to over use and repetitive strain the bursa gets inflamed and causes pain, this is called bursitis. It is basically the same thing as tendinitis but is the bursa instead of the tendon that is inflamed. This group of injuries can be absolutely devastating to a workout routine and can keep someone from the gym for weeks.
The main way to avoid this group of injuries is to vary you training routine, try not to do the exact same exercises all the time, which we do. An anti-inflammatory diet like we usually prescribe (meat, veggies and furit, nuts and seeds, no sugars, few grains) always helps. And loading up on fish oil can help as well.
And as always, you are in charge of your training. If you don't feel up to doing a certain lift or metcon, don't let the competition or your ego get the best of you. Do a recovery workout, do some extra stretching, focus on body parts not effected. The quickest way to full recovery is to continue training....safely. cc