How to Prepare and Prevent Injuries During Winter


Winter is almost here, and with every season the risk for injuries is higher. During the cold months many people suffer from various injuries each year. Aside from the increased risk of exercise injury, personal injuries can occur when performing the simplest of activities, especially if poorly prepared.

But, luckily, there is no need to spend your favorite season locked up home in order to be safe. We can work to prevent injuries and you can enjoy the winter fun without unnecessary pain and tension. Continue reading and learn how to easily prevent injures with the following tips!

The Importance of Warming Up

Having a proper warm up routine before any physical activity or training session is the key for injury prevention, especially during fall and winter. The cold weather affects your muscles and makes them tighter, creating less responsiveness and a greater risk of tearing (1).

A throughout warm up will increase core temperature and loosen your joints, spiking blood flow in the body. This in turn drastically reduces the possibility for injuries and prepares the muscles for the upcoming workout (2).

Depending on the training session, your warm up should be specific for different muscle groups.

Warm Up For Cardio

  • Bodyweight lunges, squats, hip openers.

  • Single leg hops, leg swings, bounding.

  • Walking, run through's.

Warm Up For Weights

  • For a lower body workout you should focus on exercises that impact this area. This includes weighted squats, lunges, glute bridges, leg swings, rope jumping, etc. Including some light dynamic stretching of the upper body is also recommended.

  • For an upper body workout you should mainly warm up these muscles. Start of with some light dumbbell or band rotator cuff activation, and slowly move towards the shoulder press, rows, bench press, etc. Try out forward and backward arm swings, band rows, and similar activation exercises.

Isometrics

If you’re looking to prevent injuries and build strength at the same time, then you must add isometrics to your routine. An isometric exercise is basically a static contraction of a particular muscle group for an extended period of time. Or in other words, isometric exercises involve muscle engagement without movement. So you pick one position and hold it (3).

For example, in a wall sit the muscles are working, but not actively changing lengths. In positions like these muscle fibers are active but since there are equal forces against one another, there is no movement.

Implement some of the following exercises and challenge your body to get stronger and bypass injuries.

1. Plank

- Get on your hands and feet, keeping your body straight from head to heals.

- Keep your hands in line with your shoulders and lock the body to activate the core.

- Hold until fatigued.

2. Low Squat

- Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides.

- Keep your back flat and core tight. Squat as low as you can.

- Hold for time or until fatigued.

3. Reverse Lunge

- Take an athletic stance with your back straight and core activated.

- Step backwards with one leg into a lunge position, keeping front knee bent to a 90 degrees.

- Hold for time or until fatigued.

4. Leg Extensions

- Sit with your back firmly against the machine, hands resting on the sides.

- Slowly extend your legs and engage your quads.

- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minutes.

5. Calf Raise Hold

- Start of by using both legs, raise your heels and lift the body off the ground.

- Hold this position for 1 minute, if possible.

6. Isometric Push Up

- Get on all fours with your feet together and body straight.

- Lower your body until elbows form 90 degrees, and hold until fatigued.

7. Dumbbell or Barbell Curl

- Stand holding a barbell or a pair of dumbbells by your sides.

- Keeping elbows tucked, curl the dumbbells until forearms are parallel to the floor.

- Hold until fatigued.

8. Bench Press

- Lie on a flat bench holding the barbell directly above the chest.

- Slowly lower the bar to your chest, with elbows close to the body.

- Stop when the weight is a few inches above the chest. Hold until fatigued.

9. Pull-up Hold

- Grab the pull-up bar with hands shoulder-width apart.

- Pull yourself up until the chest is even with the bar.

- Hold until fatigued.

10. Lateral Shoulder Raise

- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

- Hold light dumbbells at your sides, with elbows unlocked.

- Raise the weights equally out to either side, hold until fatigued.

Plyometrics and Balance Exercises:

Plyometrics, or plyo for short, is basically jump training. Doing intense jumping and hoping is proven to strengthen and shape muscles, reducing the possibility for unexpected injuries. However, you should already be fit if you’re considering this workout form. A plyometrics session should be done as an alternative to your regular strength training, to add variety (4).

Balance exercises are also important. They can help prevent falls, which lessens the chance of injury. Working on your balance also helps you easily recover from a misstep or push on an uneven terrain. Effective balance exercises for instance are one-legged stands, single leg Romanian deadlifts, and similar.

Being Safe Outdoors:

You might be doing the right thing in the gym as far as injury prevention goes, but it is equally as crucial to do the same thing outdoors. One of the most common ways to injure yourself during the colder months is slipping and falling, especially in icy and wet conditions. Balance exercises may help you here, but you should also consider wearing proper boots or shoes for ankle support in order to ensure traction and prevent slipping. You should also try to keep your hands as free as possible while walking or running in bad weather conditions, they will act as balancers avoiding any serious damage.

Follow these instructions to the letter, and don’t worry about any injuries all winter long!

References:

1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282153814_Warm-Up_Strategies_for_Sport_and_Exercise_Mechanisms_and_Applications

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605167/

3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/isometric-exercises/faq-20058186

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3842147/

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

© 2020 by Science of Cardio LLC All Rights Reserved

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • iTunes
  • Spotify