Prehabilitation exercises strengthen your most vulnerable areas that get stressed in everyday movement: your hips, core and shoulders. Also known as your “pillar,” strengthening these areas will improve posture and alignment, allowing your joints to move more efficiently. You’ll also build up your most injury-prone areas before you are struck with chronic aches and pain that may, in the worst cases, require surgery.
Prehabilitation also helps correct problems created by life outside the gym or playing field. There’s a good chance you spend hours hunched over in front of a computer every day. This lifestyle causes your shoulders to roll forward and tighten. That’s bad enough, but now let’s say that you go out and try to play tennis. Since your shoulders are so tight, they lack the necessary stability and range of motion. Your body has a knack for compensating, however, and you end up using more of your elbows when you swing the racquet. That, combined with the poor joint alignment caused by your poor posture at work, could produce a nasty case of tennis elbow or rotator cuff issues in your shoulder.
With prehabilitation, you will strengthen the muscles supporting your upper back and shoulder rotators. This improves your posture by pulling your shoulder blades into the correct position. The shoulders ball and socket joint will move freely and efficiently, as it was designed to do. You will feel the difference in every aspect of your life.
Sitting at a desk all day also puts undue stress on your lower back and inevitably affects your core. After a long day in your the job, it’s difficult, if not potentially harmful, to go out and do something that requires strength in your torso without first “waking it up.”
Lots of sitting also causes hips to become locked down and less mobile. The hips support the pelvis and have more musculature attached to them than any other joints in the body. We want to make sure your hips have exceptional mobility and stability so that they can keep your pelvis in alignment. Prehabilitation movements work on this area.
Perform Prehabilitation two to six times a week. You can do it at home when you wake up or at any point during your exercise routine, but its best performed near the start of a training session. Many of these movements can be done with no equipment and can take just 5 minutes out of your 24- hour day. You owe it to yourself to find the time—it’s one of the best investments you can make in your long term health.
Here’s how this pre-emptive protection of your shoulders, lower back, and hips ultimately improves your life: About 65 percent of injuries—both athletic and lifestyle related—come from overuse, which is to say from repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalances. Since Prehabilitation addresses the muscular imbalances that lead to injuries, it helps prevent many of the lower-back injuries, shoulder-joint problems and hamstring pulls, for instance.
The other 35 percent of injuries are caused by trauma. If you go over on your ankle during training or a game, or take a tumble on the ski slope for example, something is likely to give, regardless of how carefully you have followed your exercise programme. Still, Prehabilitation and the other components of your training plan can improve your chances, maybe because of your improved balance and stability, you ankle will regain position, or you won’t tumble at all. Maybe you will tumble but not suffer as hard a fall as you would have before training. Professional skiers, for example, can walk away from nasty falls that would leave out-of-shape skiers paralyzed because the pros have developed stability, elasticity and strength. Even if you do fall and get hurt in a sporting feat your conditioned body should recover faster from any injury.
Once you have built pillar strength through your Prehabilitation routine, you have gone a long way towards creating a body that’s capable of remarkable movement and, more important, is resistant to injury and long-term deterioration.
If you work at a desk, spend long hours in the car, or have been bench pressing since your first day in the gym, there’s no getting around it—you have some muscle imbalances that could set you up for serious injury and reduce your ability to get the most out of your training. This programme corrects those problems, allowing your body to move more efficiently and helping to eliminate any pain you may already have. You will realign your body for optimum performance.
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