Prehab implies that you rehab before it is needed. Prehabilitive modalities include activities such as stretching, foam rolling, massage, therapeutic exercises, and post exercise icing. These modalities not only manage the severity of aches and pains but also prevent them from occurring.
Stretching- Stretching has been preached upon the fitness community for years. There has been much debate on the exact method individuals should use, but it is still often void from our programs. Stretching increases circulation which will provide increased nutrient flow in and aid in muscular hypertrophy and injury recovery. Not only will stretching increase circulation, but if the muscle becomes constantly tense, it will decrease its own blood circulation. Stretching also allows for muscle to maintain a full ROM. Muscle groups that will not fully lengthen will impede the contraction of opposing muscle groups. A prime example of this decreased bicep contraction due to impaired tricep lengthening.
Suggested: Perform 3-5 x week for all major muscle groups 20-30 sec per stretch static holds after the body is warm.
Foam Rolling- Foam rolling is also know as self-myofascial release. This term is describing self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points from the restrictive area around the muscle. Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns and pain free movement.
Suggested: Post workout self massage throughout the area just worked 1x/wk for each muscle group
Massage- The benefits of massage vary greatly depending on the skill of the practitioner. The benefits can be as small as increased circulation and relaxtion of excited muscle groups, to manipulation of tendons and adhesion release with a skilled practitioner. Depending on the issues you are have seek out a therapist that can assist with your exact concerns.
Suggested: 1-2x/month soft therapy week
Therapeutic Exercises- Therapeutic exercises are movements that are included into your routine for the prevention of injury due to muscular imbalances. These modality type exercises could be anything from rotator cuff work to stabilization based exercises. The goal he is to identify the weakness and strengthen it within balance.
Suggested: This is individual. Assess and determine the best plan for your needs
Post Exercise Icing- Icing is a quick and effective way to control post exercise inflammation of a specific joint or muscle. Icing controls the inflammation by essentially prevent widening of the capillaries to allow the cascade of events from the immune system into the area. You are essentially freezing the area to prevent further inflammation from occurring. Icing is a natural remedy for pain control over use of NSAIDs
Suggested: 20 min post exercise for any inflamed area
Taping and Sleeves- During movement the use of kenesio taping allows for the alignment of weak muscles and also facilitates joint motion as a result of the tape’s recoiling qualities. The use of a sleeve or light brace is also very similar to this, but is also more supportive. The Use of the tape is less invasive to assisting muscle groups as it much thinner and more skin like and does not limit ROM. Taping during non-workout periods of the day increases blood flow and circulation of lymphatic fluids to the area to increase the healing process. The use of loose sleeves can also be implemented to keep a joint warm during the entirety of the workout.
Suggested: Only utilize if needed.
Warm Up- A warm should be considered a pertinent part of any workout. The workout begins the initial blood flow into the muscle. As the muscle receives the blood it becomes more pliable and has the ability to go through additional extreme ROM. This increased fluid into the area begins the transport of nutrients to the working area as well as toxin removal. The warm up also excites the nervous system and will allow for increased fiber recruitment.
Suggested: Thorough warm up of any area that will be worked during the training session.
This can be accomplished by a short bought of light cardio followed by multiple light sets of the exercises to be completed. Ie for legs: 5 min bike at 65 RPM followed by multiple sets of exercise #1 starting as low as 10% of the initial working set weight.
One of the most important parts to achieving long term success in physique culture is to prevent injuries and ailments that will prevent you from maximal training. Although some of the prehab mentioned above may be time consuming, it can also be time saving in preventing actual injury rehab. Including some of the above modalities will not only help prevent injuries, but will also increase the efficiency of your current training. With physique enhancement it is the small things over years that pay the biggest dividends.
About the Author
Marc Snyder is an active NPC Bodybuilder and current 2013 Mr Ohio. Marc has created a balance in his life with the sport he loves and the family of 2 kids and a wife that he lives for. Marc has been involved in many avenues of the fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. He also has experience in clinical exercise physiology working in the field for nearly 2 years.
It is now Marc’s goal to educate and guide individuals through yèt-their health and fitness journey by utilizing the knowledge he has gained over the years. He operates SnyderAthletics.com an online nutrition and training website to help people. achieve their goals.
Please follow Marc on his journey of continued progress by following him on his website at SnyderAthletics.com , facebook at www.facebook.com/NPCMarcSnyder and twitter at www.twitter.com/SnyderMarcA. He post his daily lifestyle tips on these feeds for you to access and utilize in your health and fitness journey.