Prevent Injuries on 2! Down. Set. Hut Hut!
Blue 42. Blue 42. Check, Check.
PREVENT INJURIES. PREVENT INJURIES ON 2.
DOWWWNNN. SEEEET. HUT HUT!
As summer winds down, the days start getting cooler, the leaves begin to change color, and across the nation you can hear the sounds of pads clashing against each other. That’s right, football season has returned. Being one of the sports with the most high risk to it’s athletes, the medical staff goes through great lengths to make sure to keep it’s athletes safe.
Like industrial athletes, football players are always at risk of suffering a soft tissue injury. However, the medical staff can only do so much; it is up to the individual players to take ownership over their bodies to do what they can to keep healthy for the season. Unlike NFL athletes, the industrial athlete has no offseason. However, YOU can utilize the tips and techniques the Pros use to keep their bodies in tip top form.
1. Prepare Yourself Mentally AND Physically
The repetitiveness of our daily jobs wear down both our physical attributes as well as our mental. It is important to take time to build strength so our bodies can withstand the stresses placed on it. Also equally important is the ability to prepare the mind each day for what it will have to handle. Caring for both mind and body is the ticket for prevention.
2. It’s Easier To Stay In Shape Than To Get Back Into Shape
In general, it takes 8 weeks of consistent training before you start to see strength gains. In contrast, it only takes 1-2 weeks to get out of shape. If we do the work to get into shape, let’s not waste it by stopping! It’s an ongoing process.
3. Gradually Increase Volume and Intensity
Additionally, staying in shape is more than performing the same workout everyday. Consistency is great but we need to add variety to our workouts so that we don’t plateau. Changing up sets, reps, and weight each week is key.
4. Incorporate Eccentric Weight Training
I know what you’re thinking but we are NOT saying go out and try to run a 4.4sec forty yard sprint. You know your body, you know how fast you can go. If you are physically able to add some sprinting into your workout, DO IT! At your speed, who knows maybe one day you’ll hit that 40 yard sprint in 4.4 seconds.
Eccentric weight training is achieved simply by slowly lowering your weight back into a lengthened position. For example, bicep curls. Slowly lowering the weight down is eccentricity loading your bicep. Great for strengthening the tendons. YOU GOT THIS!
5. Pay Close Attention To Your Sleep, Nutrition, Hydration, Body Weight, Body Fat, & Level Of Physical Fitness
Just as we recognize our work hazards everyday, we also need to recognize health hazards. Sleep, nutrition, and level of fitness all come with warning signals that if we ignore can leave us susceptible to injury! Feeling exhausted? Get more sleep. Feeling thirsty? Time to drink some high quality h2o! Feeling winded earlier than normal in your shift? Time to get back in the gym!
About Omar Fercha, LAT, ATC
Omar is a Portland, OR based athletic trainer with Work Right NW. He has 10+ years of experience working with youth to Division 1 athletes. Four years ago he brought that experience to the sidelines of the industrial athlete. In his free time you can find him hiking with his wife, dogs, and brand new baby, as well as trying out the delicious beers that Portland has to offer.