Four Simple Exercises to Reduce Your Chance of Injury

Posted On January 23, 2024

Four Simple Exercises to Reduce Your Chance of Injury

As all of you know the worst thing that can happen to an athlete is not losing a game, it is getting injured. When you get hurt you cant play!

Winning or losing lasts about 10 minutes. getting hurt can last for weeks or (gasp!) longer.

Forget the score we just want to be able play!

 

Some High ROI (Return on Investment) Workout Practices

Over my many decades in sports I have come across a few good ideas on how to limit the likelihood of injuriesand some really bad ideas that became wildly popular.

Here are a few things that I believe give you a very high return on your investment of time and energy.

 

  1. Hanging from pullup bar

A few months ago, I wrote about the value of doing hangs from a pullup bar. This builds a killer grip, powerful shoulder support, and stretches out your spine after a heavy workout.

Recently I have discovered (much to my surprise) that bar hangs help another part of your bod.your knees.

I do a fair amount of running, and the usual leg work that comes with squatting and deadlifting. Much to my surprise (and glee) I discovered that my knees feel great after hanging from the pullup bar.

Big surprise.de-load the knees and let them extend a bit after a heavy workout, they will feel better.

I call this a high ROI move because it is only necessary to do ONCE it for 30-60 seconds at the end of your workout.

Of course, you can do more, but I believe that you probably get at least 70-80% of the benefit from the hang doing it onceat the end of every workout.

 

  1. Deadlift with terrible form

In all my writings and coaching I constantly preach that you should be doing the deadlift with perfect form.

For heavy lifts, this is true.without exception.

For conditioning, flexibility and injury prevention I suggest that you do some light reps with terrible deadlift form.

By light, I mean use a weight that you do for five to ten reps but could easily do for fifteen to twenty.

There variations are:

  • Rounded upper back. Do the lift with straight legs. Treat it as a loaded stretch
  • Uneven grip: Grasp the bar with your right hand 1-2 inches wider than your left. Do a second set with your left hand wider than your right. Legs straight.
  • Stand on block and do one hand kettlebell deadlifts deep with straight legs.

Do these at the end of your deadlift workout and on one other day of the week.

The idea is to build resilience and flexibility in odd positionsnot set a record for dumbest looking deadlift ever

 

  1. Kettlebell Figure 8s for knees

This is a great pre-hab exercise. Hopefully you dont need to do it for re-hab.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and take a light kettlebell in one hand. Bend over and begin passing the kettlebell from one hand to the other by first swinging it behind your leg and taking it in the other hand. Then swing it back between your legs and grab it with the other hand so that the weight goes behind your leg on the next pass.

As you pass the weight from one hand to the other lean to the side where you are moving the weight. This is a skating motion.

After passing the weight in one direction, change directions and pass the weight the other way. Alternate the leg that you pass behind and the one where you pass the weight in front.

If you do this drill 2 times a week for 10 reps in each direction, you will build up the support muscles around your knee so that your chances for injury are reduced.

 

  1. Overhead walk with kettlebell

This exercise became extremely popular in NFL weight rooms around 2005. This proved to be a great move for strengthening the support muscles around the shoulder that tended to be under trained during regular pressing and pushing.

The strength coaches loved it because it cut down on shoulder injuries for receivers and DBs. I found that swimmers loved it because it gave them bulletproof soulders.

Take a modest weight in one hand and hold it at arms length overhead. Then walk anywhere from 20-50 steps with your arm fully extended overhead. Put the weight down and pick it up in the other hand. Then re-trace your steps with the weight in the other hand.

You only need to do two circuits of this 2-3 times a week.

Remember, keep the weight modest at the start. The goal is to increase gradually over many months.

 

It is not necessary to do all of these exercises every workout. However, doing a couple consistently at the end of each workout will build up your resilience and durability. Your reward will be the bad things that dont happen.

Lift Big!

Richard

Written by Richard

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