Sports injuries can happen to anyone that plays sports, regardless of their fitness level. It’s estimated over 50,000 sports injuries per year result in a hospital stay. An injury can occur when you land badly, stretch further than normal, or simply because you have warmed up or down properly.
While warming up and down, before and after exercise, will help you to avoid a sports injury, strength training is really the best approach to minimize the risk of injury.
In fact, undertaking a personal trainer course will help you to understand the importance of strength training and even offer advice to others.
How Sports Injuries Occur
Sports injuries usually occur when you make a sudden and rapid change to the intensity at which you’re moving or the direction. This places additional stress on joints, potentially stretching a tendon, pulling a muscle, or even rupturing a joint.
The result is usually searing pain as your body tells you something is wrong.
In short, you’ve placed too much force on one part of your body and it doesn’t have the strength to withstand it. It instantly becomes clearer why strength training can help!
Understanding Strength Training
Strength training is when you work your muscles under load. It’s usually done with weights or the aid of a gym machine. But, you can also apply resistance by using your own body weight, such as when you do press-ups or push-ups. Alongside this, resistance bands can be a great way to apply resistance to muscles and build strength.
It is important to note that, when strength training, you will be pushing your muscles to their limits. This actually damages them, allowing them to repair themselves stronger than before. It’s also the reason why you’re recommended to let your muscles rest for 24-48 hours between workouts.
In other words, work different muscle groups each day, returning to the same muscle group every other day.
How Strength Training Reduces Injuries
There are several ways in which adding regular strength training to your routine will help you to reduce the risk of sports injuries:
- Muscle Imbalances
You may not always realize it but you can easily develop muscle imbalances, especially if you’re focused on a specific sport. For example, running every day will build your leg muscles and core but will have minimal effect on your arm muscles. You may feel physically fit but switching to tennis is likely to give you muscle strain in your upper body.
A balanced strength training regime which targets all the major muscles in your body will help to prevent imbalance and lower injury risk.
Posture is important in most sports and for your overall health. However, when you focus on one sport you’ll often find your posture adapts to best suit that sport. This can cause weakness in other postures and increase the likelihood of a sports injury.
After all, your body is a finely tuned machine, if things aren’t aligned properly it can’t work smoothly and there will be issues.
Strength training promotes good posture and helps to ensure there are no weak points in your body.
- Feel Fitter
It may sound strange but as you practice strength training you’ll feel yourself becoming stronger and more capable. This doesn’t reduce the likelihood of a sports injury. However, it does help you to be in better touch with your body and understand its current limits. With this understanding, you’ll find it easier to react and move in ways that your body can cope with.
It can also help you to identify weak spots and find exercise to strengthen these spots, reducing your risk of injury and boosting your feeling of fitness.
This doesn’t just translate into a lower risk of injury. Feeling fitter boosts your confidence which makes you more likely to succeed in anything you do.
- Stronger Muscles & Tendons
The stronger your muscles and tendons are the less likely it is that they will be overstretched or injured. More importantly, string muscles and tendons reduce the load on your joints, reducing the risk of injury.
The best part is that you can incorporate a few strength training exercises into your daily routine in just 15-20 minutes. That means there is no excuse not to!