Can we train to prevent injury?

Did you know 8.5 million people in the UK suffer with painful joints?

Have you ever suffered an injury, ether it be an awkward landing jump, twisting and changing direction at speed or even tripping over the kids toys? If you’ve ever been injured, think about how quickly it happened. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), for example, injuries to this knee ligament happens in a blink of an eye. Our muscles need to react quickly to this force to help protect the joint and keep it stable. How do we train for injury prevention?

Does strength training help?

Strength training is important for overall health and wellbeing, but we need to build our fast twitch muscles to execute a rapidly responding neuromuscular system. Even the strongest person in the gym could have risk of injury if their muscles don’t produce sufficient force rapidly enough.

Training for injury prevention

This is where we need to target our fast-twitch muscles fibres and not the slow-twitch endurance-type muscle fibres. Fast twitch fibres have the quickest response time, highest strength and most power capability.

How do you target fast twitch muscle fibres?

Use a high load. Aim for 3-5 reps working to failure, meaning that 6 reps will be impossible to lift with the correct technique.

  1. Isolate each limb by performing single-legged exercises
  2. Be explosive during the lift. Using an explosive force it encourages use of those fast twitch muscles, which we need to target.
  3. Eccentric Muscles contractions – working the leg eccentrically activates the muscle with the leg extended.
  4. Rest 2 minutes between sets – fast twitch muscles tire quickly!

These are the basics covered for injury prevention. These rules are great for anyone, and not just for every day injury prevention but also those people who spend a lot of time doing sports too!