Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Muscles and Injury

Happy Wednesday, folks! Half-way through the week...sounds good to me!

On Monday we accepted (yes, I'm sure you accepted it) the challenge to incorporate more strength training into our workout schedules. If you're pretty new to weight training and looking for info on starting up, check out these posts on strength training basics: one, two or three.

But today I'd like to talk about some of the common injuries that come from training hard, and what muscles they involve. That way, we are actively figuring out how to strengthen our bodies to prevent injuries. Like gorillas, right?!

Injury #1: Groin Pull
This can happen to anyone, but frequently occurs in sprinters or hurdlers. So any interval training can impact these muscles. This has to do with the 6 medial muscles of the thigh that all work to move your legs together (adduct). Doing exercises like lateral squats and lunges can help strengthen these muscles, along with over all good form running and sprinting.

Injury #2: Pulled Hamstring
This can be a horrible injury that can occur frequently in people that have under developed hamstrings. It again happens a lot with athletes doing lots of quick starts and stops or sprinting. There are three major muscles in your posterior thigh that make up the hamstring muscles. One of the most important things you can do to prevent this is adequately strengthening the hamstring and the quads. Without this balance, that is often when injury occurs. Leg curls are a good option to strengthen the hamstrings, as well as doing some hip raisers on a workout ball.

Injury #3: Shin Splint Syndrome
Many people complain of shin splints when they have pain or soreness along their tibia or the front of their leg. It is frequently caused my inflammation of the muscles surrounding the tibia. The tendonitis usually occurs when poorly conditioned runners run on hard or banked surfaces with poorly supportive running shoes. The condition may also occur with vigorous activity of the legs following a period of relative inactivity or running in cold weather without proper warm-up. Again, balancing the posterior leg muscles (the calf) and the front of the leg is important. Some ways to strengthen the shins are to walk on your heels or do toe lifts like you do calf raises.

~Have you had any of these injuries before?

~What's your favorite lower body strength exercise?

1 comment:

  1. Back in high school I had some trouble with shin splints, but in general I've been pretty lucky when it comes to injuries *knock on wood*:)


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