At Your Health Sport and Spine we do a lot of work with the local sporting teams of Dural, Round Corner, Castle Hill and the rest of the Hills District. With pre-season training for rugby and soccer starting we thought we would share our thoughts on how to approach the pre-season and minimise your risk of injury.

Like many a weekend warrior the time over Christmas and the new-year doesn’t generally involve a whole lot of exercise, at the level you were used to during the season. As such a certain level of deconditioning of your muscles and a decrease in fitness is sure to occur.

Because of this deconditioning there is a likely increased risk of injury if you go into the pre-season training too hard. The last thing you want to do is start training and before you know it spend the first 6 weeks of the competition out due to something that could have been avoided if you were smart about your approach in the first place!

So our 5 top tips are:

Injury AvoidanceGo for a physical screening prior to starting the pre-season!

  • Even better a sport specific functional movement screen or selective functional movement assessment is an ideal way to know what condition you are in and what specific movements or exercises you should be cautious with in the beginning.

Take a graded approach!

  • How many times have you heard of someone getting injured through their sport or work for going too hard too early? Follow the 10% rule, start training at about 50% capacity and build it up by 10% each time.

Variability!

  • Make sure your pre-season training is varied. Start with a mix of low intensity cardio, strength work and mobility exercises. Build this up into a high intensity workload as the pre-season progresses to get you in top shape for Round 1.

Stop with the static stretching!

  • It doesn’t help! Research is now showing that the old stretch and hold for 30 seconds doesn’t reduce risk of injury and may even increase the chance of it1. Try a more dynamic approach with bicycle kicks, walking lunges etc2.

Prevention!

  • The last but probably the most important point. Prevention is always the best cure, make sure that during the off-season you maintain a reasonable level of fitness. Be it a run once a week, the gym, regular cycling etc it doesn’t really matter as long as you are keeping that bases fitness level at a good standard.

Make it your goal to have your pre-season work out being the best it can possibly be. If you have any question or to book in a physical screening with Your Health Sport and Spine in our Dural clinic call us on 9651 1395 today.

Because your health matters!

References:

  1. Witvrouw E, Mahieu N, Daneels L, McNair P. Stretching and Injury Prevention An Obscure Relationship. Sports Medicine 34.7(2004): 443-449
  2. Herman K, Barton C, Malliaras P, Morrissey D. The effectiveness of neuromuscular warm-up strategies, that require no additional equipment, for preventing lower limb injuries during sports participation: a systematic review. BMC Med. (2012) Jul 19;10:75. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-75. Review.