Workout Tips

The Right Exercises May Help Prevent Injuries

Study shows certain targeted moves can improve athletes welfare and performance during game.

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wide-grip upright row
Per Bernal

To help perform some exercises better, we’re told to first do some other accessory workouts to help strengthen some of the attending muscles and tendons, like say doing side step squats with a band to fire your hip extensor muscles and improve lower body stability for when you step up to the rack and do weighted back squats. Dynamic stretching is another way to help get your muscles ready for more intense exercise so you can perform them better, but a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has shown that targeted exercises can also prevent injuries.

Researchers involved 40 schools and taught almost 2,500 school-age rugby players from 2013 to 2016 in the U.K. a new pre-game training workout. The program focused on balance, strength, and agility to get players ready for the rigors of the pitch and took about 20 minutes. It featured two minutes of running that included change of direction; four minutes of lower-leg balance training; eight minutes of targeted resistance exercises; and then six minutes of jumping, side-stepping, and landing exercises.

The results showed that over the study period, overall injuries fell by 72% when players did the program at least three times a week, and concussions fell by 59%. “Our results are exciting because they show that carrying out a simple set of exercises on a regular basis can substantially reduce injuries in youth rugby,” said study co-author Keith Stokes, Ph.D., a professor in the department of health at the University of Bath. “We believe these findings will have a significant impact in helping to improve player welfare, making the game safer for young players to enjoy.”

To prevent injury in whatever your sport is (or in the gym), look for light-impact warm-up exercises that mimic what you would be doing while playing, or follow these general moves to lessen the chance of getting hurt: shoulder circles, trunk twist, hip circle, lunges, and half squats.      

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