Five must-do exercises for injury prevention
by Matt Hodges
10 August 2015
When you work out regularly, injuries are a real risk. The most dangerous injuries are the ones that build up gradually due to years of poor posture or incorrect technique, leaving you with recurring problems that will prevent you from reaching your long-term fitness goals. Luckily, most of these injuries can be prevented. How? Simply by incorporating a few preventative stretching and core stability exercises into your regular routine.
Here are five essential exercises for injury prevention.
1) Single leg hip extension
Lie flat on your back with your legs bent. Engage your abs and lift your right leg off the floor. While doing this, push down on your left foot and raise your hips. Make sure your right leg and hip are in line, and your left knee is in line with your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, and then repeat eight to 12 times. Repeat on the opposite side.
2) Body Saw to Press-up
Get into the plank position with your elbows on the floor and your feet on a towel, which should be placed on a slippery floor. Engage your abs and slowly push back so that your feet slide behind you. Keeping your core tight, pull your body forward and move slowly into a press-up. Maintain the plank position and repeat four to 12 times.
3) Kneeling Quad Stretch
Place your right knee on a comfortable floor (or exercise mat) with your left foot flat on the floor in front. Straighten your back, and grab your right ankle before slowly pulling it towards your glutes. Push your hips forward slightly until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 to 60 seconds and repeat six to 12 times before switching to the opposite side.
4) Knee hug to reverse lunge
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your right knee towards your chest and hug it tightly. Hold for a few seconds then release your leg and take a big step backward until you are in a reverse lunge position, without actually allowing your knee to hit the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then release and repeat ten times on each side.
5) Double leg pelvic bridge
Lie flat on your back with your palms flat by your side and bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor, approximately hip width apart. Engage your abs and breathe in. As you breathe out, push your hands and arms into the floor and raise your pelvis towards the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds, before then slowly returning to the start position. Repeat four to 12 times.