Ahh, injuries, an athlete’s worst fear. Regardless of how careful you are, developing an injury during training will always remain a possibility. However, while this may be the case, there are numerous strategies you can apply to help reduce the chances of this happening. That being said, If you have come here in the hopes of learning some injury prevention methods, I am happy to say that you’ve reached the right place. This article will provide you with the calisthenics injury prevention golden rules you must implement to prevent getting an injury during your training.
So, if you are into calisthenics and you are determined to prevent an injury, keep on reading!
You must warm-up
Perhaps the most common injury-prevention method is the act of warming up before a workout. Most of us are aware of this, but most of us are never told why this is so beneficial. Knowing the why is just as important as it encourages us to take part in it more frequently.
So, enough said, let’s take a look at why warming can prevent injury!
Why warming up helps
- Warming up warms up the synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is a saliva-like fluid that sits in between the joints. It is responsible for good joint mobility and also ensures that the joints do not rub together. In this case, warming up the synovial fluid means that it will become more versatile which will help it do its job more effectively.
- Warming up loosens stiff muscles. During times of inactivity, the muscles can become tight, this drastically reduces flexibility, which in turn, increases your chances of suddenly injuring yourself. In this area, warming up will drive blood to the muscles and it will also lengthen and contract the muscle fibers improving flexibility.
- Warming up helps promote good form. Sometimes, jumping straight into a workout with the hopes of getting it done as soon as possible can contribute towards bad form. This bad form, as we all know, can certainly contribute to getting an injury. Instead, you should take your time, and practice the main movements with your warm-up.
Focus on good form to prevent injury
Practicing good form is important for so many reasons. It not only helps to ensure that your workout is optimal and that it delivers the results you seek, but it makes sure that you don’t cause an injury to yourself through a poor form – (which is one of the most common reasons for injury).
Let’s delve a little deeper into why a good form can prevent injury.
Why good form helps
- Good form means you do what you can handle. When you invite bad form into your workouts, you can sometimes go above and beyond the number of reps and sets, you thought you could handle. While this sounds great, this means you are now placing an increased weight load on numerous other muscle groups not trained for this movement.
- A good form works the muscles you intend. When your form is strict and proper, you will only ever work the muscles you intended on working. You will not accidentally involve other muscle groups, other muscle groups that simply cannot handle the resistance you are placing on them, this certainly reduces your chances of injury.
- Good form means no ego-lifting. Sometimes, during an intense training session, you may bite off more than you can chew. In terms of calisthenics, this might mean that you try far too hard to beat a PR. However, with good form at play, drastically exceeding your goals and inadvertently injuring yourself becomes a challenge in itself.
Be sure to have rest days
If you’ve trained for long enough, you will have certainly experienced the all-out phase. The phase where you are so motivated to train and so desperate to see gains fast that you almost never give yourself a day off.
While this phase can optimize results when done correctly, one thing is clear, the body needs rest! Let’s take a look at why rest days can prevent injury.
Why you need rest days prevent injury
- You don’t allow your body to recover. When you train your body, you almost always break down and/or fatigue the muscle. If you don’t allow full recovery, your next training session can have you too weak to handle the exercises you would normally do. This very factor can indirectly lead to injury through training.
- You need rest days to progress. If your goal is to get stronger, you without a doubt need rest days to facilitate this. For example, if you manage to progress during your training and you don’t rest enough, your strength will be halted. Without knowing this, you could end up trying to place even more demand on your body which could then injure your already fatigued and broken down muscles.
- A lack of rest makes the muscle fragile. As mentioned earlier, when you train, you almost always break down and/or fatigue the muscle. This training-induced fatigue combined with a lack of rest can cause the muscle to end up in a very broken/fragile state. This broken state will mean a very poor training session where a proper form will be absent.
When it comes to calisthenics injury prevention, there is quite a lengthy list of things you can do. That being said, here are some other helpful strategies you can keep in mind if you forget to do the ones above.
Try stretching prevent injury
An alternate form of warming up, stretching can be a useful strategy as stretching helps to loosen any tight muscles you might have. This helps prevent injury by improving the flexibility of the muscles before they are worked.
Use gym chalk to prevent injury
Since calisthenics involves a lot of bar movement, utilizing chalk might give you the edge you need. In this case, the gym chalk will assist with your grip, which in turn, allows you to keep a steady hold of the bar, therefore reducing your chances of injury.
Don’t continue in pain
If by chance, you hurt yourself during your training, do not continue on. Regardless of whether you can handle the pain, do not place your injury under any more pressure. This can exacerbate the issue and cause you to be unable to train for longer than you’re comfortable with.
Out of all the injury prevention strategies out there, these three are by far the most effective. The first on this list – (warming up) is first for a reason, it is because this strategy will always be implemented before any other.
Now that you now know more about the effects of warming up, you should now better understand just how important this injury-prevention method is. However, as we all know, warming up won’t prevent 100% of all injuries, this is where step two comes in.
Good form should always be practiced and opted for during your training sessions. As mentioned above, it targets the appropriate muscle groups and does not place a demand on any other muscles that may or may not be ready for the weight load.
Lastly, as we all know, rest is the easiest way to prevent injury. Not only will your goals be hindered in the absence of recovery, but your chances of getting injured will increase.
To prevent injury, before and during every workout, you should opt to implement these strategies. They are by far the most effective methods and when combined, your chances of injury will be drastically lowered, which is what we all want.